aqua logo


Register with Aquatherm

University of Florida Taps Aquatherm To Solve Steel Chilled-Water Piping Failure

University of Florida
Chilled Water
Products Used
Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
Gainesville, FL
Summer 2015

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Aquatherm’s quick heat-fusion process enabled two installers to weld 11 individual 20-in. butt fusions in less than eight hours
  • Aquatherm pipe was buried without insulation because it has a thermal conductivity k-factor of 0.15W/mK
  • Perfect for environmentally conscious institutions, direct-buried Aquatherm PP-R pipe will not leach into ground water
UniversityofFlorida 1

The Challenge

University of Florida needed an eco-conscious solution when two of its buildings began experiencing failures in their carbon-steel chilled-water-supply pipelines

The Solution

A mechanical contractor was able to direct-bury Aquatherm polypropylene-random piping systems without insulation while eliminating any concerns of corrosion or deterioration


UniversityofFlorida 2The University of Florida (UF) is the oldest university in the state of Florida and—with more than 50,000 students—one of the largest universities in the U.S.

UF’s 2,000-acre campus in Gainesville, FL, consists of more than 900 buildings. The university was officially established in 1853 and part of the campus is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places, but UF is anything but mired in the past. In fact, an ongoing extensive capital improvement program has resulted in a large number of new or updated facilities that are positioned for 21st-century academics and research. Overall, the university’s current facilities have a book value of more than 
$1 billion.

When the university experienced unexpected leaks in its existing 1960s chilled-water pipe serving the 488,000-sq-ft Dental Science Building and 126,000-sq-ft College of Veterinary Medicine Building, it turned to Ferguson Enterprises, a wholesale distributor of plumbing and mechanical supplies with 1,400 locations serving customers throughout the U.S., Puerto Rico, the Caribbean, and Mexico.

Ferguson’s Glen Drummond Jr., Product Manager, Florida and International, recommended that the university replace its failing carbon-steel piping with Aquatherm polypropylene-random (PP-R) pipe not only to solve the immediate problem, but also as a new piping material for permanent replacements.

“I truly believe [PP-R pipe] is the way of the future for piping and something that will help put the University of Florida on the cutting edge of 21st-century energy efficiency,” Drummond said.