Wavin reinvents the Swinging 60s

Housing Fri, Aug 31, 2018 8:31 AM

During the decade that transformed Britain into technicolour and saw the economy thrive, the 1960s witnessed a boom in the construction of multi-storey office complexes.

Fast forward 50 years, and many of these buildings now stand empty following steep declines in industry and subsequent financial recessions.

Now, many councils are calling out for renovations of these tired and outdated structures, and Sim Chem House was no exception.

As experts in water management, Wavin was called in by contractors CLG to help them specify a robust water distribution system to support its renovation into over 180 residential apartments.

In the heart of Manchester’s thriving community of Cheadle Hulme, Sim Chem House was last occupied in 2011 by an engineering consultancy, leaving the near 82,000sqft building derelict for almost six years. In 2017, Stockport Borough Council earmarked the site for redevelopment, to help support the increasing demand for homes.

The aim of the site is for 184 high-spec apartments, including hardwood flooring, granite worktops and designer bathrooms with prices starting at £135,000 for a one-bedroom apartment.

Part of the extensive team on the renovation was mechanical and electrical contractor CLG, who turned to Wavin for the business’ expertise in water distribution systems for redevelopment sites.

With the area of the site being restricted to the existing footprint, and with tight timings, CLG tasked Wavin to propose a quick solution that would make most efficient use of the space available. Reviewing the existing 1.27acre site, Wavin specialists recommended the Tigris K1 press-fit range, which boasts various benefits for the specification of the development and the project’s timescales.

The biggest problem the development faced, as with most renovation projects, was the routing of the piping being restricted by the existing structure. When Wavin first visited the site, the availability of space and routing options showed that lagging – insulation of the pipes post-installation – would have been near impossible and incredibly time consuming.

Tigris K1 is a multilayer pipe system designed for potable water and heating applications. It is ideally suited for installation on commercial projects such as schools and colleges, apartment blocks and hotels, and particularly suited to renovation projects because it is pre-insulated, negating the need to fit lagging to the pipework and reducing installation time. The Wavin team knew that CLG needed a quick turnaround for the water management system installation and Tigris K1 would be a perfect solution.

The press-fit nature of the Tigris K1 system meant that the installation was quick and simple, offering long runs with few joints needed throughout the site. A further benefit of the Tigris K1 range is that its radiator connectors and compression adaptors mean it can be easily connected to heating system and appliances.

To ease the process of installation further, one of Wavin’s Technical Support Engineers, Steve Harris, visited the site to deliver comprehensive training on the features and benefits of the Tigris K1 products, as well as providing hands-on product demonstrations for the main contractor, CLG.

Additional training was provided during the installation process, with on-site training sessions and certification of installation training delivered by the team at Wavin.

Ben Culver, Mechanical Project Manager, at CLG, said: “The technical advice and training we had from Wavin was second to none, we always knew we had the support of a strong team working with us through this part of the redevelopment.

“The Tigris K1 press fit system was a clear choice for us to adhere to the site size and development timeline, and it has provided us with excellent results to quickly move onto the next phase of the redevelopment.”

Work on the six-storey redevelopment at Sim Chem House began in Summer 2017. Now renamed Fabrick, the anticipated completion of the project is early 2019.

Paul Metcalfe, Product Manager for Hot & Cold at Wavin, concluded: “Our Tigris K1 range has time and again proved invaluable for contractors dealing with tight deadlines on redevelopment projects with very specific requirements enforced by an existing development. With no lagging necessary and the flexibility to fit nearly any space or size project, it’s proving to be a top choice for contractors re-purposing developments.

“Our technical team is always on hand to support contractors and third parties, with training for staff on site so that installation can run as smoothly as possible to avoid any costly delays or mistakes. At Wavin we pride ourselves on being an extension of our clients’ team, available to provide advice and training wherever needed to get the job done to the highest quality.”

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