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Living in the plastic age…


Georg Fischer (GF), one of the world’s leading providers of plastic piping solutions to the construction and public sectors, is celebrating the completion of its work at the new Portsmouth Queen Alexandra Hospital together with the new pathology centre, having been chosen to provide water piping systems to the project. Services included not only providing product but also technical expertise, installation and training capabilities in the use of ABS pipe fittings and valves, prefabricated PE sections and ELGEF electrofusion systems.

ABS had been specified for the chilled water pipework element of the project, while GF was also able to offer PE solutions for the condensed water element of the programme. In order to meet the needs of the contract, GF undertook significant training of partner contractor Haydon Mechanical & Electrical’s staff in order to bring all the pipefitters up to speed in terms of the plastic piping installation techniques required, including butt fusion and solvent cement jointing.

With a high concentration of Glycol in the water, GF had to show that its ABS systems were able to perform technically in a demanding environment, as well as working from an ease of installation perspective. In addition, large diameter PE systems were needed that could withstand the harsh 45°C environment of the condensing water system – and again, GF was felt to offer the perfect technical solution for the build programme.

Challenges for the programme included extremely limited site access and GF worked with logistics contractors to co-ordinate a ‘just in time’ delivery mechanism for pipework. The units were also cut to three metre lengths in order to overcome limited access to some of the floors.

Ian Wright, senior project manager at Haydon Mechanical & Electrical, noted: “We chose to work alongside GF because of its technical expertise and commitment to work alongside and train our team in terms of working with large diameter polyethylene systems. Between ourselves and Georg Fischer, we have formed an extremely effective partnership that delivered the piping systems on time and on budget…”

Georg Fischer’s marketing manager, Simon Alder, commented: “It’s been a privilege to work alongside Haydon and main contractor Carillion plc on the PFI project at Queen Alexandra Hospital. In a challenging environment, we were able to bring innovative, total plastic piping building solutions to the project in what was a great example of the capability of Georg Fischer’s piping systems and its commitment to client service.”

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