The iconic Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, plays host to the NBA’s Charlotte Hornets as well as various events and concerts each year.
In the midst of several events, the arena learned it needed to upgrade its outdated domestic water system to comply with a city order. AME Consulting Engineers, a Charlotte-based mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and telecommunications engineering firm, had discovered extensive corrosion on the building’s existing galvanized piping and began working with the city and the arena to finalize the best plan of action.
In order to provide clean water for their guests until a permanent solution was implemented, arena staff cleared the standing water out of the system and replaced it with fresh water before each event. It was time-consuming, costly, and wasteful, and with big events on the horizon, the city ultimately decided 2019 was the year the arena would update its piping system.
Assembling the Team and Materials
Working with Precision Plumbing, a North Carolina-based plumbing contractor, AME chose to replace the original galvanized steel piping with Schedule 10 stainless steel piping to ensure system longevity.
With the pipe material chosen, AME and Precision Plumbing turned their attention to planning repairs around the venue’s busy event schedule, which included the 2019 NBA All-Star Week.
They estimated the new domestic water system would require more than 900 pipe joints, so choosing the right pipe-joining method was essential to delivering an efficient installation, system functionality, operational safety, and ongoing maintenance throughout the service life of the arena.
Not only did the installation of temporary and new water lines need to be closely coordinated to ensure the building was never left without a functioning water system, AME also had to make sure the new domestic water line routed around existing utilities and concrete building structures.
To accomplish this tall order, AME and Precision Plumbing tapped Victaulic, a manufacturer of mechanical pipe joining systems.
Victaulic’s grooved end products can be installed quickly with hand tools in tight spaces. They provide a clean alternative to threading, and there is no need for a hot work permit. These solutions gave the arena the flexibility it needed to turn its domestic water system on and off as necessary.
“Since this is a business, we needed to make sure that the area remained clean, there was minimal noise, and we wanted to avoid an open flame,” said Jeremy Ford, senior design engineer at AME. “I’ve worked with Victaulic before and knew their products would be perfect for this application.”