The Plastics Pipe Institute, a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advocacy and advancement of use of plastics in pipe infrastructure systems, awarded REHAU its Building & Construction Division’s Project of the Year in early May at the organization’s annual meeting. The award recognizes the company’s role in the École Secondaire Jeunes sans Frontiers (Secondary School for Youth Without Frontiers) project in Brampton, Ontario, Canada. The school, which has earned the Canadian Green Building Council’s LEED Silver certification, is the first secondary school building in Ontario to have achieved this status.

Designed by Robertson Simmons Architects, the French-language high school, which encompasses approximately 91,000 sq. ft., is dedicated to fostering an enriched, student-focused learning experience by providing a healthy and sustainably designed environment. To achieve this, the design includes indoor spaces integrated with outdoor landscapes, a green roof, expansive daylighting, water-conserving plumbing fixtures, lighting with occupancy sensors and displacement ventilation.

To achieve maximum HVAC efficiency, the design includes a REHAU radiant slab heating and cooling system, which circulates a heated or chilled water-glycol solution through a network of PEX piping installed in the floors throughout the entire facility. The radiant system enables the school to meet indoor environmental criteria related to air quality, noise reduction and occupant comfort while also maximizing space efficiency by eliminating bulky convectors and ductwork.

“To help the school recognize the benefits of a combined radiant heating and cooling system, we supplied a finite element analysis to model the floor heating and cooling output,” explained Mark Euteneier, president of Klimatrol Environmental Systems, the project’s designer and supplier. “The results predicted a significant energy savings due to reduced heating and cooling loads, and increased efficiencies of the heated and chilled water sources. Coupled with the comfortable, even method of heating and cooling, this analysis made the REHAU radiant system a must-have for the project.”

The system consists of 104,700 ft. (32,000 m) of RAUPEX 5/8-in. O2 Barrier pipe and 42 PRO-BALANCE manifolds prepiped with three-way valves into recessed manifold distribution cabinets. The PEX pipe was installed at the ground level in a concrete slab-on-grade design using a counter-flow spiral pattern to promote even surface temperatures.

To accommodate precast concrete floors on the second level, the pipe was affixed using plastic rails of recycled PVC and covered with a 2-in. to 3-in. (5 cm to 8 cm) concrete layer.

Read more about the project here. REHAU was previously recognized with PPI Building & Construction Division Project of the Year awards for the Denver Zoo Asian Tropics Complex as well as for the Vail, Colo., town center project, Solaris.