Plastics Pipe Institute Honors Infrastructure Innovation in Annual Competition

  • Construction workers with PVC pipe

    As it does every year around this time, the Plastics Pipe Institute (PPI) announced the winners of its annual Project of the Year competition in five categories during its annual meeting but, COVID oblige, it all happened virtually.

    “It was the first time we could not physically congratulate each winner,” said PPI President David Fink, but the nominated projects in each of the five divisions — Building and Construction, Drainage, Energy Piping Systems, Municipal and Industrial, and Power and Communications — were “remarkable and the winners exceptional,” he added.

    You can draw your own conclusions by viewing this slide show of the winning projects (but I’m quite sure you will agree with Fink that they are pretty spectacular).

    During the online meeting, PPI also announced its Members of the Year in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the industry. The 2020 laureates of the five divisions are:

    Building and Construction — Jim Paschal, Aquatherm
    Drainage — TJ Leason, Pacific Corrugated Pipe Co.
    Energy Piping Systems — Dell Doyle, Dow Chemical Co.
    Municipal and Industrial — Mary Houston, Pipeline Plastics
    Power and Communications — Tom Stewart, Dura-Line

    PPI is the North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry.

    And now, on with the (slide) show!

    Lead image: Zstock/Adobe Stock; all other images courtesy Plastics Pipe Institute.

  • Geoexchange system installed at Vancouver airport

    Building and Construction Project of the Year: Vancouver International Airport Geoexchange System

    Winner: Versaprofiles (Saint-Lazare-de Bellechasse, QC)   

    One of the largest Geoexchange systems in Canada has been installed at Vancouver International Airport. Geoexchange technology uses the earth's renewable energy, just below the surface, to heat or cool buildings.

    The borefield for the Geoexchange system at the airport’s Central Utilities Building includes 841 boreholes, each one 500 feet in depth, which equals 79.64 miles of drilled borehole and 159.28 miles of 1.25-in. HDPE 4710 piping. The system is expected to reduce heating- and cooling-related CO2 emissions by as much as 35%.

  • Drainage system at Leatherman airport in Charleston, SC

    Drainage Project of the Year: Hugh K. Leatherman Sr. Terminal, North Charleston, SC

    Winner: Advanced Drainage Systems Inc. (Hilliard, OH)

    The initial design for the drainage system incorporated reinforced concrete pipe and concrete box culverts, but an engineer working on the project raised concerns about possible joint separation and the potential for infiltration from sub-surface soil settlement along the Cooper River. To circumvent these issues, Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) recommended the use of HP Storm polypropylene pipe for the storm-drain conveyance pipe. It was used for the entire project because of its ease of handling, extended joint, double gaskets, and flexible design, said the company. As a result of the redesign, some 27,000 feet of ADS HP Storm was installed on the 280-plus acre site.

  • Installation of PA 12-based gas pipe in Henderson, KY

    Energy Piping Systems Project of the Year: Henderson Municipal Gas (HMG) PA 12 Gas Pipe Installation, Henderson, KY

    Winner: Teel Plastics Inc. (Baraboo, WI)

    The city of Henderson, KY, installed 2,720 feet of polyamide (PA) 12 gas pipe extruded by Teel Plastics, the first such installation under the PHMSA Mega Rule, which went into effect in January 2019. The rule allows PA 12 to be installed without a special permit.

    To minimize disruption to businesses during the project, HMG installed the pipe under driveways and existing utilities, and buried sections of it using horizontal directional drilling (HDD), pulling the pipe through bored holes and fusing the sections together.

    More ductile and much lighter than steel, PA 12 expedited HDD-based installation.

  • Tunnel sewer slip lining project

    Municipal and Industrial Project of the Year: Colsman Tunnel Sewer Slip Lining, Centennial, CO

    Winner: WL Plastics (Ft. Worth, TX)

    WL Plastics had to slip line a 48-in.-diameter HDPE pipe into an old, deteriorating sewer without stopping flow during the pull. A completely sealed custom pull head had to be designed and built so that sewage would not fill the drill string during the pull-in operation.

    Another restriction was that the staging area allowed for no more than 200 feet of pipe to be out of the tunnel at any time. The pipe string was pulled as each stick of pipe was fused and added to the string of pipe. Total pull length was more than 8,000 feet.

    A custom winch system was brought in for the heavy pull that included two spools of wire cable to achieve the required length.

  • Teel plastic pipe used in conduit

    Power and Communications Project of the Year: Alliant Energy Private Fiber Optic Network, Madison, WI

    Winner: Teel Plastics (Baraboo, WI)

    Teel Plastics pipe was used to install conduit across Alliant’s service area in Iowa and Wisconsin to improve the telecom network’s security, speed, and reliability. The conduit will protect the utility’s infrastructure, which serves more than 970,000 electric and 420,000 natural gas customers. It is also designed to allow for expansion of network capabilities while providing cost savings.

    Replacing telecommunication carriers with its own network will protect Alliant Energy from future price increases and lessen its reliance on over-the-air communication. In addition, the fiber-optic network serves as a gateway for Alliant Energy to work on advances in energy efficiency and technology, which would not be possible without a private fiber network.

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