Plastics Pipe Institute Presents Awards to Industry Projects and PPI Members

Press Release Summary:

The Plastics Pipe Institute has honored projects and members of the year awards during annual meeting held at Naples, Florida on May 6 – 8, 2019. This annual awards are given to projects and members for their exceptional contributions to the industry. The PPI member of the year winners are Christian Herrild, Claude Labrecque, Jim Johnston, George Zagorski and Gary Runyan and the projects are Whisper Valley Net-Zero Community, Terror Lake Basin Diversion, North Pole, Alaska Potable Water Line and Estes park, Colorado Overhead Fiber Optic Installation.

Original Press Release:

Plastics Pipe Institute Projects and Members of the Year Announced

Winners Range from Net-Zero Housing Complex to North Pole Drinking Water Pipeline

IRVING, Texas - May 23, 2019 - With an unprecedented number of attendees observing, the Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) honored industry projects and individual PPI members during its annual meeting, held in Naples, Florida, May 6 – 8, 2019. PPI is the major North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry. 

"Each year we have exceptional submissions for both the projects and the members of the year categories," said PPI President Tony Radoszewski, CAE, ”and this year was no different -- I think this is the first time we had a project in North Pole, Alaska. It was especially satisfying to present these awards in front of a packed house of industry peers. I know this made it very gratifying for those receiving the awards."

Radoszewski reported that among the 400-plus attendees, there were 17 new member firms and 68 first time attendees.

“Evidently, the word has gotten out about the benefits PPI provides to the industry. We have many task groups and committees staffed by member companies who volunteer their time, lending their technical and engineering expertise in the development of many programs including industry regulations and standards. We firmly believe that the number of attendees and submissions will increase for next year’s meeting, which will be held at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa in Hawaii, May 4th through May 6th, 2020.” 

The association’s annual awards program recognizes projects and members for exceptional contributions to the industry. Submissions in the association's divisions are reviewed, evaluated and voted upon by the PPI members

Radoszewski announced the PPI winning projects and members:

PPI Building & Construction Division Project of the Year

  • Whisper Valley Net-Zero Community, Austin, Texas
  • PPI Member Company: REHAU Construction LLC, Leesburg, Virginia

The developer of Whisper Valley in Austin, Texas mandated that all structures in the entire community be geothermal and solar equipped, capable of achieving the Net-zero energy (or carbon neutral) standard adopted by the City of Austin’s Municipal Building Code. With 7,500 homes including apartments, the $2 billion development will be the largest zero‐energy capable housing community in the nation. Each of the 237 homes in Phase I is equipped with a REHAU RAUGEO™ double U-bend and a ground source heat pump. All builders in Whisper Valley are required to hook up to EcoSmart’s GeoGrid, a five-mile loop of underground distribution piping that links each home to a geo-exchange network, engineered by REHAU. This geothermal system will reduce heating/cooling energy consumption by up to 65 percent.

PPI Drainage Division Project of the Year

  • Terror Lake Basin Diversion, Kodiak, AK
  • PPI Member Company: Pacific Corrugated Pipe Company, Newport Beach, Calif.

To divert snowmelt runoff from the ocean to a hydropower-generating reservoir at Terror Lake in the Upper Valleys of Kodiak, Alaska, a 1.2-mile tunnel was constructed using Pacific Corrugated’s StormTite® high-density polyethylene (HDPE) pipe underneath Kodiak Island’s National Wildlife Refuge. Additionally, the company’s HDPE pipe was used to build cross drain roadway culverts, improving vehicle access to the dam, tunnel locations and Upper Valleys. The Terror Lake Upper Hidden Basin Diversion Project started in 2018 and will take two or three summers to complete. Once the project is finished, the additional water flow will increase the amount of hydropower-generated electricity by an additional 33 million kilowatt-hours per year, which adds about 25 percent more energy capacity to the facility.

PPI Municipal & Industrial Division Project of the Year

  • North Pole, Alaska Potable Water Line
  • PPI Member Company: Pipeline Plastics. LLC, Westlake, Texas

Alaska’s Department of Environmental Conservation discovered Sulfolane and PFAS (Perfluoroalkyl & Polyfluoroalkyls) in and around North Pole, Alaska a long-term solution for the inhabitants of the City of North Pole, Alaska was to install a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) potable water pipeline in sizes of 6, 8,10, 12 and 16 inches that were pre-insulated with polyurethane foam to insure uninterrupted source of water during Alaska’s harsh winters. HDPE pipe provided a tough, durable, seismic resistant supply line. In all, the project will consist of 35 miles of pipe, expansion of the North Pole water treatment plant and a 750,000-gallon potable water reservoir. Other companies involved in the project included Wolseley Industrial Group/Ferguson, design engineering firm, Stantec and contractor, Exclusive Paving of Fairbanks.

PPI Power & Communications Division Project of the Year

  • Estes Park, Colorado Overhead Fiber Optic Installation
  • PPI Member Company: Dura-Line Corporation, Knoxville, Tennessee

Dura-Line’s FuturePath Figure-8 Aerial Self-Support was used to bring broadband to Estes Park, Colorado in the middle of the Rocky Mountains with an elevation of 8,000 feet. With all of its poles still being climbed and only 40 percent access to its existing poles, the City of Estes Park Power and Light decided for a fiber installation on the poles. The initial project went up a 7-mile canyon and because of the FuturePath multi-chamber pathway design with a micro cable, they were able to jet fiber the entire route without splicing, which saved $3.5 million in man hours. 

Because of the innovative installation, this project brought high-speed broadband into a community where none of the residents ever thought it would be possible.

- PPI Member of the Year Winners –

Building & Construction Division Member of the Year - Christian Herrild, Teel Plastics, Inc., Baraboo, Wisconsin

Herrild is part of the PPI management committee and serves as Vice Chair of the Polypropylene Pressure Pipe Steering Committee, Chair of the BCD Website task group, participates in the Geo Steering Committee, and serves on several other task groups.

Drainage Division Member of the Year - Claude Labrecque, Soleno, Quebec

For more than a decade, Labreque has been an active contributor to PPI and the Drainage Division, offering a perspective from Canada and its providences. He has participated in many technical and marketing groups including being a member of the Division’s Management Committee and PPI’s Advisory Council. 

Energy Piping Systems Division Member of the Year and Municipal & Industrial Division Member of the Year

 Jim Johnston, McElroy Manufacturing, Inc., Tulsa, Oklahoma

Johnston has been relentless in his pursuit of standardizing practices and in educating the industry and end users about heat fusion joining of polyethylene pipe. He actively worked to bolster understanding and acceptance through his participation at PPI, ASME, ASTM, AGA, NGA and also by providing support to manufacturers and end users through numerous venues including presentations, workshops, and PPI seminars. He has served as the EPSD management committee advisory council representative and on the PPI board of directors. For the Municipal and Industrial Division, he contributed his time and expertise to support the use of HDPE pipe in water and waste water applications as part of the Municipal Advisory Board, AWWA, and at trade shows, and in the development and writing of technical documents.

Power and Communications Division Member of the Year - George Zagorski, Blue Diamond Industries, Louisville, Kentucky

Zagorski has served as Advisory Council Liaison to the Power and Communication’s Division Management Committee and has been a member of most of the division’s Task Groups and Chair of many, including “Revise ASTM F2160”, “Develop Conduit Design Software”, “Revise Chapter 14”; previous PPI BOD Chair 2013 - 2015.

Plastics Pipe Institute Lifetime Achievement Award - Gary Runyan

Runyan, who is now retired, was Manager, Product Development Engineering for Zurn PEX, Inc., a manufacturer of plumbing products and accessories. His successes during nearly 45 years in the plastic pipe industry include six patents. Runyan’s participation in PPI includes being Chairman of the Board of Directors, Chairman of the Building and Construction Division and of the division’s Technical Committee, plus serving on the Hydrostatic Stress Board, a voluntary industry group of professionals with expertise in thermoplastic materials who work closely to validate performance and define industry-wide procedures. 

Additional information can be found at the Plastics Pipe Institute's website:

About PPI:

The Plastics Pipe Institute, Inc. (PPI) is the major North American trade association representing all segments of the plastic pipe industry and is dedicated to promoting plastic as the materials of choice for pipe and conduit applications. PPI is the premier technical, engineering and industry knowledge resource publishing data for use in the development and design of plastic pipe and conduit systems. Additionally, PPI collaborates with industry organizations that set standards for manufacturing practices and installation methods.

NY News Contact: Steve Cooper


PPI News Contact: Tony Radoszewski


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