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September 2007

Chilling Out with Refrigerants

Up until the mid-1980’s, the type of refrigerant to be used in a building’s cooling system was, at best, an afterthought of the consulting engineer and building owner. But increasing awareness of the harm that once-common chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants were causing to the ozone layer forced the industry to find alternatives. Part of the industry’s response was to use hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants, such as R-123 and R-22, which have a much lower impact on the ozone layer compared to CFCs. However, the Montreal Protocol, signed by over 190 countries in 1987, called for the eventual phase-out of HCFCs due to... Read More

PEXimizing the Plumbing Industry

Chances are, in a newly constructed home, you might not find the familiar copper piping underneath the kitchen sink. Instead, you may find crossed-linked polyethylene tubing, commonly referred to as PEX. Since being introduced into the U.S. market in the early 1980’s, PEX has made headway in the construction industry and is fully integrated in many new facilities across the country. Before its rise in popularity here in the states, PEX proved its versatility in Europe, where it was first created and put to use in the late 1960’s. “Since the tubing is easily maneuvered into bends, there are few... Read More