Viega ProPress® instrumental in hospital construction timetable

The facility is the North Alabama Medical Center, located in Florence, Alabama.

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August 06, 2018 |

North Alabama Medical Center, Florence, Alabama

With an aggressive construction schedule – just 23 months to build a 485,000-square foot, five-story hospital – contractors knew that speedy installation was a must. They turned to Viega for help.

The facility is the North Alabama Medical Center, located in Florence, Alabama. Operated by RCCH HealthCare Partners, the new 263-bed hospital complex will also include a 72,000-square foot, three-story medical office building. General contractor Layton Construction and mechanical contractor MMC Contractors are both proponents of Viega.

“There are savings with Viega and really from an overall speed of installation standpoint,” John Thomas, Senior Project Manager for Layton said. “It was almost inconceivable that we could accomplish this schedule without the advantages of ProPress to speed it up overall.”

Another selling point for Viega in a medical setting is the ease of use for future expansion or if repairs are needed. Work can be done quickly and without a need for flame, so fire watch and burn permits aren’t necessary. A crew can get in and get the work done quickly and safely, greatly lessening the impact on a hospital and its patients.

Viega products have played a major role in the construction of North Alabama Medical Center. Mark Bradley, Superintendent for MMC, said nearly all the lines installed include Viega fittings. They’ll be used for hydronic piping, chilled water, heating water, domestic water and instrument air. Copper ProPress fittings, in sizes ½" to 4", are installed throughout the facility. Crews have run more than 265,000 feet of pipe.

Based in Kansas City, Bradley travels the country for jobs, and many of the workers are hired locally. He appreciates the simplicity of a pressed joint because he doesn’t have to worry about the available labor force for soldering or brazing.


Viega ProPress instrumental in hospital construction.


“We don’t always know the skillsets we’ll have,” he said. “And Viega’s reps do a fantastic job of coming to help train people and show them the right way to press.”

Thomas echoed the advantages of ProPress versus traditional pipe joining methods.

“It’s much quicker to pull the trigger and press than to braze copper,” he said. “I love the fact that we can train in a local market. And you know that things are pressed and holding pressure.”

Thomas has seen plenty of construction and knows the importance – and sometimes difficulty – of staying on schedule and budget.

“It cannot be overstated, the benefit we have in taking advantage of ProPress on this project,” Thomas said. “Without the tools we have, like Viega ProPress, we could not deliver the job and be where we are on the schedule!

“It’s the nature of what we see in the trend of healthcare – everyone wants it faster, cleaner and cheaper. It’s impossible for me to guess the time savings on a big job like this, but I can only imagine that with Viega, easily, 25 percent of the rough-in time is cut out, or maybe more. ProPress contributed to the earlier operating date, and to our success on this job.”

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