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Aquatherm Tames Aggressive Water in Retrofits, New Construction at University of British Columbia

Numerous new construction and retrofit projects
Domestic Water
Products Used
Aquatherm Green Pipe®
Aquatherm Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Multiple projects completed or anticipated approximately 2015 - 2019

Aquatherm Advantages

  • The hydrophobic nature of Aquatherm pipe and its resistance to corrosion, erosion, and scaling were important to the client in an area of aggressive water
  • Aquatherm’s custom fabrication services were employed by the customer to save time and labor on the jobsite
  • The light weight of Aquatherm pipe, as well as its low likelihood of jobsite theft, were appreciated by the contractor throughout multiple projects

The Challenge

A major university in Western Canada was seeking a piping material for its residence halls and other campus buildings that would stand up well to the area’s aggressive water

The Solution

Aquatherm Green Pipe® is hydrophobic, suitable for domestic water uses, and when properly applied will not will not corrode, erode, or pit like copper or steel piping, even in areas with aggressive water


The versatility of Aquatherm polypropylene-random (PP-R) piping has been on display at the University of British Columbia (UBC), a major university in western Canada, where a number of new construction and re-piping projects have recently been completed or are under way.

Approximately 1,900 meters of Aquatherm Green Pipe® were used in two recent projects at UBC: the new 350-bed UBC Totem Infill student residence hall (which bears the First Nations name of c̓əsnaʔəm), and the replacement of copper piping at the 634-bed Thunderbird student residence hall. Aquatherm pipe also is being used in another new housing project, UBC Gage South, which eventually will house up to 630 students. That project is scheduled for completion in 2019.


Peter Way, the Aquatherm representative at Hy-Line Sales Ltd., said a strong consideration from the university’s point of view was the environmental benefits of Aquatherm pipe. Both the university and the projects’ consulting engineers, AME Consulting Group Ltd (https://amegroup.ca/), are always looking for innovative products that have sustainability and environmental benefits. Aquatherm was selected as the piping of choice for the new residence hall in part for that reason.

“Aquatherm pipe is fully recyclable, which is important on LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects, where you have to control the waste off-site,” Way noted. “So not only are you getting a great lifespan of 50 to 60 years — which you certainly wouldn’t get with traditional piping materials ­— it’s also ultimately being reused and not going into a landfill.”

Aquatherm pipe directly contributes to LEED v4 credits. In addition, it helps create an efficient system by minimizing heat loss.

“You don’t have the same heat loss [with Aquatherm] on hot water systems as you do with metal pipe,” Way said. “Aquatherm is great at retaining the heat of what’s inside the pipe.”

The PP-R pipe has a natural R-value of approximately 1 depending on the pipe size and standard dimension ratio.