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Sun Valley Ski resort

Sun Valley Ski Resort

Ski resort installs nearly three miles of tubing in one day

Sun Valley, a premier ski resort near Ketchum, ID, has been called the American Shangri-La. Discovered by two enterprising businessmen who wanted to create a world-class resort, Sun Valley opened to the public in 1936 and has entertained celebrities and citizens alike. Most recently, Sun Valley renovated their snow-melting systems using Viega ProRadiant. 

Chris Share, HVAC Boiler Maintenance Supervisor at Sun Valley, maintains around 80 boilers, which are mostly for snow melting, and in the summertime, he takes care of the cooling towers and chilling systems. He was in charge of the project.

"We took out a nine million BTU atmospheric boiler that covered 60,000 square feet," Share said. "And it either had to be all on or all off. Now, I have 19 zones and I can run what I want."

Share and his team installed ¾" ViegaPEX™ Barrier tubing, Viega PEX Press fittings in ¾" and 2", and 12-port copper manifolds. They also used insulated Viega panels in the installation.

All the distribution lines are ViegaPEX, with 400-foot lengths in each loop. With everything, including the building supplies and returns, there is a little over 30 miles of tube installed in the ground at Sun Valley.

Share and his crew did the River Run Bridge section in one day – 37 loops – nearly 15,000 feet – with the help of six men.

"I've used other snow-melting systems," Share said. "But they're a pain because you're dealing with European tools. With a lot of the other fitting systems, the rings aren't attached. With Viega systems, the rings are attached so you don't have to hunt for them. If you want a system that doesn’t leak, you don't want to be able to take it apart easily."

Share and his team followed the layouts Viega provided so closely that he laminated them and drew in the positions of the manifolds to hang in the mechanical room as a guide. During installation, they put different colored electrical tape on each line so they could tell them apart, and Share color-coded the blueprints to match.

Viega snow-melting systems aren't the only Viega solutions at Sun Valley. They've also installed 1⁄2" Viega FostaPEX on the roof of a snow-making building to prevent ice buildup. Most of their manifolds are Viega manifolds and they have also installed Viega ProPress systems in sizes 3" and 4". Additionally, they upgraded all the domestic water piping in their laundry facilities using Viega ProPress Stainless steel.

Object Snow melting systems
Location Ketchum, ID, USA
Year 2014
Category Project profile
Installation in-house
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