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If the bowling green on Plymouth Hoe had been waterlogged at the time of that famous bowls match, and Sir Francis Drake had needed somewhere impressive to shelter whilst he waited for the Spanish Armada, he couldn’t have found a more impressive place to stay than ‘The Grand’ on Plymouth Hoe – with its perfect views out to sea!

Polypipe Building Products is delighted that not just one, but several of its impressive products is featuring in a massive £8 million renovation project that is seeing one of Plymouth’s ‘stand out’ buildings converted from one of its favourite hotels into one of its favourite addresses – featuring 24 elegant two and three bedroom apartments for discerning buyers!

The Grade II listed Grand Hotel has stood sentinel on the world famous Plymouth Hoe since it was built back in 1879 and it was run as a hotel right up until 2003. It forms part of Plymouth’s grandiose parade of Italianate buildings that are so recognisable along the seafront. A huge fire in 2003 rendered the hotel unusable and despite the roof being replaced, it stood empty and unused until 2009 when Devington Homes, renowned in the area for its exciting new homes and renovation projects took on the task of restoring it to its former glories – but with a change of use from a hotel to a high class apartment building. The restoration work is being carried out by North Cliff Construction Limited under the eagle eye of Garry Hatton.

“The location of this development and the quality of the apartments we are building meant we needed high quality products to help us achieve the desired effect and finish,” says Garry. “So it was natural that amongst the huge number of products we needed to specify to get to where we wanted, Polypipe Building Products would feature. The building is a superb old building and was built to last – the fact that it survived the fire as well as it did is testament to that – but being a listed building, we needed to retain as much of the fabric of the building as we could and that meant looking for products that helped us to work with and around – quite literally in some cases – the contours of the existing building, and this is where Polypipe’s contributions have been very helpful.”

Plastic plumbing systems are now recognised by most professional heating engineers and plumbers to offer the ideal response to most projects but particularly in complex older buildings where much thicker walls and a myriad of nooks and crannies make working with copper pipe a time consuming, tedious and frankly very expensive option. With totally secure plastic plumbing systems such as those from Polypipe available, utilising polybutelene pipework that offers the flexibility to easily bend around obstructions in older buildings and to run inside new walls formed within the shell of the building – and of course to provide the water carrying system for the leading underfloor heating systems available – even in complex older buildings, renovation becomes that much more attractive and simple.

Polypipe offers underfloor heating systems (UFH) for every application and in The Grand, with floating floors, the Polypipe Floating Floor UFH system has been the obvious response to the requirement for top quality, evenly spread heating throughout the apartments. Many of the apartments benefit from higher ceilings than modern homes can offer, so it’s vital that effective heating is available – that’s exactly what they get from Polypipe UFH – with the floating floor plates laid, and then the polybutelene pipework fitted into the pre-formed grooves of the heat spreader plates to ensure that the available heat traverses the whole floor area giving maximum comfort levels to the occupants of each apartment.

In new apartments such as these, the purchasers expect the highest quality finish and this is equally true for those things you can’t see as those you can. And the heating and hot water is something you take for granted as being Ok when you buy a new home – so as well as top of the range high efficiency boilers, these apartments benefit from Polypipe’s Polyplumb plastic plumbing systems to distribute the hot water to the underfloor heating manifolds and to the hot water outlets around the apartments – in the luxurious bathrooms, en-suite’s and quite beautiful kitchens.

And of course if you’re paying upwards of £300,000 for an apartment, you expect all the grey and waste water to be taken away from your home effectively and this is where Polypipe’s above ground waste products come into play quite perfectly carefully positioned to accept all that’s thrown at it and channel it out to the below ground systems outside the building.

“We’re always pleased when a prestigious project such as this features one of our products but when one features products from three different areas of our business, it’s even more rewarding,” says Polypipe’s Building Products Darren Cockayne. “ It’s clear from the project to date that this will be a landmark project for the Plymouth seafront and we’re all looking forward to seeing the finished building.”

‘The Grand’ should be complete and ready for occupation by summer 2011 and the first sales of apartments have already been completed: “Interest levels are already very high as you would expect from new apartment development with a location like this,” says Devington Homes Lawrence Butler. “It’s the incorporation of quality products like those from Polypipe, within the renovation, that make this the exceptional opportunity it is for potential purchasers of these apartments.”

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