Cape Girardeau, Missouri, is about 115 miles southeast of St. Louis and 175 miles north of Memphis, Tennessee, with a population of about 38,000 residents.

 It is the childhood home of conservative radio talk show host and political commentator Rush Limbaugh.

Commonly called “Cape” by locals, it’s a growing community with a diversified economy. One such business is Rust Communications, a privately owned media company based in the city. The family-owned company has full or part ownership of 18 daily newspapers, including The Southwest Missourian, a 112-year-old publication that covers Cape Girardeau.  Additionally, they own and operate 30 weekly papers and 17 radio stations in eight states.

Rust Communications needed to expand its office space and chose to do so by leasing an older, former bank building rather than incurring the higher cost of constructing a new one. To repurpose the space, the structure went through extensive modifications to meet their requirements, including the addition of a new HVAC system. The new system required a separate duct line to be installed for a dedicated outdoor-air unit, along with ducting for ventilation air. Typically, standard spiral duct or rectangular would be used, but the mechanical contractor was considering other options.

Aaron Srsen, a representative at American Metals Supply, said he’s always looking for innovative products to offer his mechanical HVAC construction contractor clients. American Metals Supply is a St. Louis-based sheet metal products distributor with seven locations throughout the Midwest. Among the lines Srsen distributes is snap-lock spiral duct and fittings from GreenSeam Industries.

GreenSeam Industries is part of Pennsylvania-based DMI Cos. and a manufacturer of factory-sealed sheet metal products. GreenSeam Plus snap-lock spiral duct and fittings are available in many lengths and alloys. The GreenSeam Plus line of spiral duct and fittings also ships with factory-applied gaskets that eliminate post-assembly manual sealing, officials point out.  

The choice

When Srsen became aware of GreenSeam Plus snap-lock spiral duct, he said he immediately realized the product’s potential to increase the efficiency of field installers by reducing installation time and improving quality.

Mike Lax of GreenSeam Industries visited American Metals last year in preparation to call on Sheet Metal Contractors Inc. with the goal of introducing them to the GreenSeam Plus system.

SMCI is the HVAC construction contractor for the Rust Communications project. It provides heating and cooling services in and around the St. Louis HVAC market. They maintain an 80,000-square-foot office and plant in the region. Neal Krodinger is executive vice president and chief operations officer for the company.

Lax was quick to point out the attributes of GreenSeam Plus.

“We have designed and engineered a completely factory-sealed pipe and fittings duct system for the low-pressure side of HVAC systems,” he said. “Our HETOs (high-efficiency takeoffs), conicals, collars and pipe will provide sheet metal contractors with a SMACNA (Sheet Metal and Air-Conditioning Contractors’ National Association) Class 3 seal without needing to use additional sealants or tapes on the job site.”

The product has a gasket in the longitudinal and transverse joints to prevent air leakage. This gives the contractor an airtight system that doesn’t need duct sealant to be applied. SMCI liked the fact that the GreenSeam Plus product provided significant material and labor savings.

Overall the installation required 900 linear feet of ductwork fabrication. Sizes varied in diameter, but were readily available through the distributor.

SMCI’s Krodinger was not disappointed.

“Our distributor had product available as needed; no waiting for special deliveries,” Krodinger said. “Cost is competitive with traditional spiral and custom-manufactured ducts, making them cost effective.” 

This article and its images were supplied by DMI Cos. For reprints, contact Jill DeVries at (248) 244-1726 or email