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Retirement Center Management Starts Trend with Selection of Aquatherm PP-R

Friendship Haven Retirement Center, Domestic Hot and Cold Water
Products Used
Green Pipe®
Location / Date
Fort Dodge, IA,
Summer 2011- Spring 2013

Aquatherm Advantages

  • On a fast-track project, Aquatherm provided labor time savings thanks to heat fusion and its lighter weight compared to steel
  • Aquatherm Blue Pipe® was not insulated on several applications, whereas steel would have been
  • Ownership embraced the corrosion- and scale-resistance and exceptional flow rates PP-R offers

The Challenge

Friendship Haven's VP of Campus Support Services wanted a domestic water delivery system that would end problems they'd had with pinhole leaks

The Solution

Aquatherm Green Pipe®, was selected thanks to its resistance to hard water, longevity, and quality


Retirement care center staff helps set in motion a change in the way domestic water and other systems are piped in the Fort Dodge area.

A domino effect has taken place in Iowa and it all started in 2011 when Mel Smith with Friendship Haven in Fort Dodge, sought and specified an alternative piping solution for the domestic water supply systems on a three-building project.

As VP of Campus Support Services for the 60-acre Continuum Care Retirement Center (CCRC), Smith was responsible for the new buildings being added to a campus that includes 52 townhomes, 56 independent living units, 104 assisted living units, and a 96-bed health center. The solution to his problem was a highly engineered polypropylene-random (PP-R) piping system that’s relatively new to North America: Aquatherm.

Smith found the piping system via the value engineering process brought to them by their mechanical contractor, Midstate Plumbing & Heating Inc., and Ferguson Enterprises. “We built another project with copper and have pinhole leaks,” Smith explained. So he and his design team (including Dan Dahlman, the project’s mechanical engineer with Minnetonka, MN-based Emanuelson-Podas, Inc.) were intrigued enough by Aquatherm to conduct a jobsite tour of a PP-R installation at the student center at a college in Minnesota.

Smith was impressed with the natural insulation quality and rigid construction of Aquatherm pipe, and after seeing the installation, was onboard with using it for the project. “We liked the insulation factor. I’m kind of picky and I like things organized. It’s [Aquatherm is] very organized and I don’t like how PEX runs like a garden hose.”

While other materials had initially been considered, once Smith saw Aquatherm in action, “We didn’t price out anything but Aquatherm,” he said.