Schools present a challenging environment for building services engineers to work in, with downtime not an option for pupils and staff. At the Forest School in Horsham, a boys comprehensive set in 20 acres and teaching over 1000 pupils, the refurbishment of an antiquated heating system by contractor, BSW Building Services, was helped along the way by easy-to-fit and test pipe-fittings from Geberit. Geberit Mapress, the revolutionary press fit pipe system, saves money according to a BSRIA report in excess of 35% compared with traditional systems - as well as time on site.
The Geberit Mapress Carbon Steel system is simple to install and connect, offers a very light solution during installation and is extremely strong, being able to withstand pressures up to 16 bar, which was well within our design parameters. Another great benefit is the fact that the pipe and fittings have an external carbon galvanised coating which provides a long lasting corrosion-resistant outer finish for a higher standard and therefore a longer lasting system for the client, said Alan Wetherfield, BSWs on-site contract manager.
BSW Building Services was appointed in 2012 to undertake the heating refurbishment of the school in two phases. The initial contract involved installing new boiler plant in the main school boiler house and the sports hall, linked in to the existing heating circuits via plate heat exchangers.
The second phase of the project involved the upgrade of 200 radiators, 50 fan convectors and five radiant panels, utilising Geberits Mapress Carbon Steel pipe and fittings.
Geberits Mapress Carbon Steel pipe fittings offer a fail-safe method for checking un-pressed joints. Any connections that arent properly fixed during installation are automatically detectable during the leak test, allowing for the quick rectification of problems, while assisting in minimising the risk of system failure for building occupants. Additional security is provided by indicator foils which are removed after the correct pressing operation. These indicators are colour coded by material type, and branded with the dimension size to aid the installer.
Peter Jupp, Technical Sales Manager for Geberit, further explains why Mapress is made for school projects. The Mapress press-fitting solution means theres no need for hot works, limiting the time spent on site waiting for joints to cool; clean jointing also offers a faster commissioning process. All this means the job can get done much quicker, a key factor for buildings which cant be out of action for long periods of time.
Working at a school on a project this size takes careful planning, not just in our design spec, but in consideration of the schools ongoing activities in order to keep disruption down to a minimum, added BSWs Alan Wetherfield. It has had its challenges for sure. We have often worked late into the night and over weekends in order to fit around the school program. Systems, such as Geberit Mapress, greatly assist in making the logistics work for a project of this nature.