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Live stack replacement in high-rise residential buildings
There are approximately 4,500 tall buildings under local authority control in the UK. Many were built in the postwar period, which means that refurbishment programmes are required at regular intervals to keep the buildings operational and comfortable for local authority residents. While many refurbishment programmes are focused on the aesthetic properties of a building, there is a growing need to address the drainage systems in high-rise buildings, which can often be overlooked until a problem occurs and is reported. Local authorities can arrive at a situation where essential drainage system maintenance work needs to take place, but can only be completed by moving residents out of buildings temporarily, or to another site altogether. This is a costly undertaking, which often brings a range of unknown factors that can increase the time needed to complete work and the cost of rehousing residents. Manufacturers are beginning to work with networks of approved installers to offer an alternative, more efficient approach and have developed a drainage stack replacement method that takes place section by section within a building, without putting a full drainage system out of commission. The process that has been developed also makes provision to improve the fire protection systems within a building, with a range of passive fire protection products for use with plastic-based drainage systems. This paper outlines the problems found in many high-rise residential buildings under local authority control and sets out a solution, which has been incorporated into a growing number of refurbishment and maintenance programmes, that allows for project cost control, minimises disruption to residents, and provides for effective building fire protection improvements as a matter of course.
The full article is available to subscribers to the journal.
Ed Swift is National Sales Manager — Public Sector for Polypipe Building Services and has vast experience working with local authorities, private landlords and their appointed contractors, on refurbishment and improvement works in residential blocks. Having worked for Polypipe Building Services for four years, Ed has also provided lectures at seminars on drainage specification with the LABC, exemplifying his expertise in the field.