Plumbing and drainage in multi-occupancy housing

In June 2020, prime minister, Boris Johnson announced a £5 billion new deal to build homes and infrastructure to help combat the impact of Covid-19 on the economy. With high competition for development land and a growing need for affordable housing, it is likely that a multi-occupancy housing will be a key focus for the construction industry in the coming months and years. Speed of build is also likely to be of high importance for multi-occupancy buildings such as apartment blocks, student accommodation and retirement but many aspects of the construction including the plumbing and pipework can present numerous challenges for designers. There are a number of issues that are unique to multi-occupancy including pipe noise, access, potential leaks, interference, pressure and venting and installation in confined spaces.

Preventing pipe noise

Part E of the Building Regulations (2010) states that sanitary noise in new and refurbished residential properties should not exceed 45 dB as a daytime average. Noise from water pipes and WCs can be particularly noticeable in multi-occupancy buildings causing inconvenience to residents. Whilst good practice in installation is always important in reducing noise, pipes designed specifically for their noise reduction are likely to offer more reliable results as well as additional benefits such as faster installation with a lighter pipe than the traditional iron pipes used for soil stacks.

The Wavin AS+ soil and waste system gives significant sound reduction over standard soil systems and is particularly suited to soil stacks in multi-occupancy buildings. It meets the requirements of Part E of the Building Regulations and is tested in accordance with BS EN 1451 as well as the Local Authority Building Control (LABC). Its high specific weight and special molecular structure absorbs sound energy from airborne sounds caused by pipe vibrations and structural borne sound. The push-fit technology and no need for mineral wrapping can also speed up installation time.

When delivering optimum acoustic performance of a system, designs should avoid sudden changes in speed of wastewater i.e. rapid changes in pipe diameter and avoid abrupt changes in direction to promote free flow (1).


Traps to ensure hygiene in multiple occupancy buildings

Whilst foul odours caused by failure of p traps can be unpleasant, the current covid pandemic has highlighted the potential for transmission of disease especially in high rise and multi-occupancy buildings (3). Poor layout of pipework and system overuse causing pressure surges leading to siphonage which will cause the failure of a water trap. Lack of use especially in warmer weather can also lead to evaporation of a water seal.

Wavin’s HepVO provides an alternative solution to water traps with a self-sealing membrane which allows waste-water to flow out, whilst preventing foul sewer gases from entering the building. It also has the advantage of being space saving which is often an important consideration for multi-occupancy buildings.


Easy installation of domestic and commercial hot and cold systems

One of the key differences between single and multi-occupancy buildings is the need to Install and connect different plumbing systems including both commercial and domestic. For speed of installation, easy connection and confined spaces in domestic properties Tigris K1 commercial press-fit plumbing combined with Hep2O push-fit domestic plumbing makes a great combination. Tigris K1 is a multilayer composite pipe with high quality PPSU fittings with a fixed stainless steel sleeve and is available in sizes from 16mm to 75mm. Hep2O is a flexible plastic pipe that lays flat for quick and easy installation with unique joint recognition for secure, tamper proof connections. Connection between the 2 systems can easily be made using Hep2O adaptors to distribute the water to the individual apartments as required. Crucially both systems can be installed and connected without the need for hot works permits. Both systems are covered by Wavin’s market leading BIM Revit content and technical support team, to help optimise designs to provide invaluable design advice when needed.


Wavin BIM

A complete solution for multi-occupancy from Wavin

Wavin can provide a tailored solution for plumbing and drainage from roof to ground in multi-occupancy buildings with its innovative products. Wavin supports each project from design to delivery with its market leading BIM Revit content, e-learning and CPD modules and design support team available to provide free project support either onsite or remotely whatever the application. The Unique intelligent assistance can help to slash design and project delivery time and costs of multi-occupancy housing projects with more accurate, faster and easier pipe modelling and enhanced productivity at every step.

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