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Established Contractor Uses PP-R Pipe for A/C Retrofit on 83-year-old School Campus

University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, HVAC
Products Used
Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
Detroit, MI
Summer 2013

Aquatherm Advantages

  • The natural R-value and durability of PP-R eliminated the need for insulation and allowed the pipe to be direct-buried
  • Aquatherm’s quick heat fusion installation cut labor costs, reducing the installation to six days from an estimated nine days with steel
  • The leak-free heat fusion joints and chemical resistance will guarantee peak performance from the system for decades to come

The Challenge

The supply and return lines between the school’s boiler house and residence building needed to be buried directly in the ground, and traditional piping options were not optimal.

The Solution

Aquatherm’s polypropylene-random (PP-R) pipe enabled the team to install the lines in direct contact with the soil in less time than more conventional materials.

John E. Green Company installs 21st century piping in direct-bury heat pump application at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School.

uofdetroitLocated in inner-city Detroit, University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy was founded in 1877. The school has prospered through good times and bad by focusing on its founder's Jesuit values and preparing students to become community leaders. This commitment to academic excellence, faith, and service has drawn students from the Greater Detroit area and resulted in a stellar reputation. According to the school website, each member of the 2013 graduating class was accepted to a college of their choice, which included 19 Jesuit universities and four Ivy League institutions.

The majority of the current campus was built in 1930, and while staff considered leaving the urban site for a new building in the suburbs in the mid-1990s, the decision was made to renovate the existing campus. The 50,000-sq-ft residence building had originally served as the residence for the school's priests but now serves as counseling, meeting rooms and administration space.

A boiler house located 120 ft from the residence building originally contained a coal-fired boiler that served radiators in the school. In recent decades, the boiler house was upgraded with more modern equipment, including water source heat pumps, while also being configured for future expansion.