RWC | Chain of command

RWC | Chain of command

Richard Bateman, Product Marketing Manager from RWC, discusses how all-in-one valves can help overcome the challenges of providing water for high-rise & multi-occupancy construction.

With high-rise living becoming increasingly popular, developers are now challenged with unique obstacles when it comes to delivering water to these multi-unit buildings.

Due to rapid economic, demographic and social changes in urban spaces across the UK, city centres have become residential hubs for working professionals and families. ‘Megacities’ and high-rise buildings are transforming cities and urban areas across the globe, with the UN predicting 68% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050.

These high-rise buildings need to be built faster than ever before, and with the UK’s current housing crisis – which has been exacerbated by Covid-19 – it is vital the industry gets back on track. To meet this increasing demand to complete projects faster, plumbing and heating engineers need to adopt smarter plumbing technologies to increase the speed of installation.

As we squeeze more housing units into our cities, the footprints of these living spaces grow smaller and smaller. This leads to increasingly difficult installation environments, with space, time, product supply and maintenance requirements all throwing obstacles in the way of plumbing work.

The complexity of working in tighter, more confined spaces that do not offer much room to manoeuvre around can increase installation times. Therefore, installers need to seek products that are designed for compact spaces, while providing the same level of quality.

One clear example where installers feel the impact of a tight squeeze is the riser cupboard installation. This is where chains of valves are fitted to control the flow of water to individual apartments, through a multi-unit block.

Every individual apartment in a block of flats needs its own chain of valves. These consist of a pressure reducing valve (PRV), isolating valve, water meter, a double check and a stop valve. And installing a single chain can take experienced plumbers up to ten minutes.

Once they have been assembled, each chain needs to be fixed onto the pipes, flushed through, and tested. In blocks consisting of tens if not hundreds of apartments, this can take hours. Alongside this, the installation process may take longer if there’s a leak point or issue with the assembly, consequently pushing the construction timeline back.

Finding compatible valves, fittings and fixtures to build these chain of valves takes time and has its own set of risks. Usually contractors order different parts from different manufacturers to realise cost-efficiencies. However, this may jeopardise timescales and cause delays if there are issues with delivery or stock levels.

Furthermore, carrying out future repair works can be tricky when the valves have been sourced from different suppliers. There is always the risk that some valves or products may have been discontinued.

To simplify all these challenges, plumbing contractors need one product which includes all the elements that make up the chain of valves, as this can make installation, repairs and maintenance jobs easier and faster.

One way to overcome these space, time and aftermarket issues is by opting for the all-in-one Tenant Valve Plus from Reliance Valves, that’s been developed specifically for multi-unit buildings. These valves have multiple functions within one self-contained unit to control and monitor the water supply to individual flats.

The Tenant Valves Plus has a compact 311mm unit cartridge design which ensures a simple, quick and easy installation in riser cupboards. It includes all elements that make up the chain of valves – including a ball-type isolating valve, an approved stop valve, a pressure reducing valve, a double check valve, a dual reading pressure gauge/test point and a connection point for an optional water meter – all in a pre-insulated cover.

Servicing and maintenance of these valves is much easier and efficient too. If an apartment has a leak, there’s no need to check every connection point on the chain of valves, which can take quite long. All components are accessible from the front of the Tenant Valves, which makes repair jobs much faster.

Smarter ways to build faster
As the need for multi-occupancy buildings and city centre living increases, builders must adopt smarter, intelligent and time saving technologies. The all-in-one Tenant Valve Plus not only helps in solving the critical space-saving challenges but also speeds up installations, all thanks to its compact design.

At RWC, we are always on hand to offer advice on intelligent space and time-saving solutions to make installations quick and easy, especially during these challenging times.

So, get in touch with our team of experts if you need guidance with selecting the right plumbing solutions for your job or if you are struggling to source products for your project.

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