With lockdown restrictions gradually easing, there’s plenty to be optimistic about. For plumbing and heating installers and contractors especially, more and more commercial sites are now opening back up and it looks like we’re on the road to recovery.
As the government looks to fast track key infrastructures like schools and hospitals, along with new build construction, streamlining commercial plumbing installations has never been more important. In this blog, we’ll share tips on how you can make projects more efficient with the right products and materials.
Compliance is the first step
The first step of any commercial plumbing and heating project is to ensure that the system is compliant.
Lots of people will use these buildings and facilities every day, and if the water is not safe and stable for use, it can lead to a range of problems like higher risks of scalding, Legionella bacteria breeding in the system and backflow that disrupts the supply to the building and other neighbouring developments. If you use non-compliant products, it can also lead to remedial works, more costs and delays to the project completion.
For instance, thermostatic mixing valves (TMVs) must be installed beneath baths, basins and showers to regulate the water temperature at the outlet. These valves prevent users from being scalded, while still allowing the system to run at high disinfection temperatures to kill Legionella bacteria.
There are strict guidelines on the use of TMVs, depending on the type of building the TMV is used in, which you can read more about here in our dedicated blog. RWC’s Reliance Valves provide a complete range of WRAS-approved TMV2 and TMV3 valves to suit any application.
Along with TMVs, we manufacture a host of other valves designed specifically for commercial use that controls everything from temperature, pressure and flow. If you are unsure of which valves you should be installing or have any questions, our technical team can help you pick the right product.
All-in-one valves for high-rise buildings
Another area where speed is key is high-rise buildings. These multi-unit buildings are being developed to help reduce urban sprawl – for instance in London, the number of towers more than 20 storeys high that are planned or under construction hit a new record of 541 in 2019. By 2030, these skyscrapers will provide over 110,000 new homes.
These buildings have their own challenges, particularly when it comes to plumbing in the airing cupboards, where a lot of pipes, fittings and valves (PVFs) are installed to deliver water to each unit. Typically, each unit requires a pressure reducing valve (PRV), isolating valve, water meter, a double-check and a stop valve, and with not much room to work with, we know these areas can be tricky and installations can be time-consuming.
One way to overcome these issues is with the Tenant Valve Plus. This all-in-one valve has been developed specifically for multi-unit buildings and serves multiple functions within one self-contained unit while controlling and monitoring the water supply.
It’s a single 311mm unit cartridge design that ensures a simple, quick and easy installation for plumbers. It also takes up much less space in comparison to a chain of valves.
This pre-insulated solution also means that consultants don’t need to spend time sourcing multiple parts from manufacturers, as the Tenant Valve features a ball-type isolating valve, an approved stop valve, a pressure reducing valve, a double check valve, a pressure gauge and a connection point for an optional water meter.
Building faster with push-fit pipes, valves and fittings
Another way you can boost commercial plumbing efficiency is by using push-fit pipes, valves and fittings (PVFs), such as those in the JG Speedfit and SharkBite plastic and brass ranges, part of RWC’s family of brands.
Designed with flexibility and efficiency in mind, push-fit PVFs cut down on installation time by eliminating the chance of soldering-related problems. Firstly, this installation method requires no hot works permits. Secondly, while soldering pipework needs a certain amount of set up time and tools such as solder and flux, as well as the use of a blowtorch and cleaning materials, push-fit PVFs offer a ‘no-tools’ installation. Once the pipes have been measured and cut, simply pushing the pipe into the fitting creates a secure and leak-free connection, that is backed with years of performance.
Another added benefit of push-fit technology is that it is easily demountable, making it simpler to rectify any mistakes or change the pipework layout in future.
Shaping the future of faster commercial plumbing
It goes without saying that the coronavirus pandemic has made the landscape of construction, plumbing and heating more challenging. However, we know that to get the economy moving again, speed is key, and more so than ever, commercial projects must run like clockwork. That’s why we’re constantly developing products and solutions that make installations easier, safer, and more efficient.
Our ranges of PVFs from our family of brands not only make installations more efficient but they exceed in terms of quality and longevity, giving you peace of mind both during and after the job has been completed.
If you have any questions about a project you’re working on, or to find out more about RWC and our family of brands, please visit www.rwc.com