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Polypropylene Pipe Helps Ease Elementary School’s Transition to Geothermal


Project
Park Orchard Elementary, HVAC
Products Used
Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
Kent, WA
Summer 2011

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Faster installation times thanks to the lighter weight (75% less than steel) and heat-fused connections
  • Simple and durable heat-fused joints produced no leaks in over 3,000 ft of piping
  • The lower installation time and competitive material cost led to project savings
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The Challenge

Retrofitting a 50,000-sq-ft school’s aging heating system piping with a reliable material in a short period of time.


The Solution

Aquatherm’s Blue Pipe provided the speed, savings, and reliability desired in a new piping system.


The Kent (WA) School District leveraged grant money to dramatically upgrade its heating system with an assist from Aquatherm's polypropylene pipe.

Originally completed and opened in 1963, Park Orchard Elementary was part of the local school district's plan to accommodate the growing population in Kent, WA. After undergoing various additions including extra wings and a gym, the district determined that the roughly 50,000-sq-ft building should be retrofitted for energy savings.

The retrofit included replacing classroom heating systems including boilers, pumps, piping, and three rooftop heat pump units. The Kent School District was awarded a $1 million-plus grant from the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction for project design enhancements including the installation of a ground-source heat pump system with full energy management controls, and roughly $60,000 in additional grant funds from Puget Sound Energy.

As the project's mechanical contractor, Hawk Mechanical in nearby Monroe, was tasked with removing the existing radiators and getting the school set up with geothermal heating. Hawk has built a reputation for innovation and customer service in the commercial, hospital, industrial, and public works sectors since 1996.