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Chilled Water Distribution – Breaking New Ground without Tearing up Terra Firma

University of Southern Mississippi, HVAC
Products Used
Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
Long Beach, MS
Spring 2012

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Resistance to rust, corrosion, and chemicals was crucial in the salt-laden environment
  • Natural insulation value allowed for a much simpler and quicker installation compared to metal pipe
  • Aquatherm’s heat-fused joints withstood the pulling force of the boring process

The Challenge

Tying a new building into the existing district energy plan through a buried pipe without disrupting roads, tennis courts, and the root system of a 500-year-old oak tree.

The Solution

Aquatherm’s Blue Pipe was pulled through a bored hole and direct-buried with minimal impact on the surroundings.

The University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Park used a cutting-edge direct boring technique to tie its new Science Building into an existing physical plant without disrupting the root system of descendants of an iconic tree, tennis courts, and a road.

Founded in 1910, The University of Southern Mississippi is a comprehensive doctoral and research-driven university with a proud history and an eye on the future. In just 100 years, Southern Miss has grown from a small teachers' college into a premier research university with a national reputation for excellence in both academics and athletics.

The University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Park (USMGP) campus in Long Beach, MS has long been a beacon of learning and provides several courses of graduate and undergraduate study. The university's science programs are renowned, and to that end, school officials embarked upon the construction of a new $10 million Science Building. The project is also part of a rebuilding effort necessitated by devastation resulting from Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The three-story, 36,000-square-foot building features nine teaching laboratories, research space, approximately 20 faculty offices, the associate dean's office, and an 80-seat instructional classroom. The university sought to make the new building as energy efficient as possible and leverage the capacity of the existing physical plant. However, using the existing heating and cooling source presented a number of challenges.