Prefabricated Marley P&D Soil Stacks Speed Canal-Side Build in Birmingham

22nd March, 2021

A development by the Fazeley Canal in the heart of Birmingham has seen leading building services specialist, Lorne Stewart Engineering, making highly efficient use of Marley Plumbing & Drainage's prefabricated HDPE soil system: speeding safe installation while reducing waste on site.

Lorne Stewart is working directly for the developer, St Joseph – part of the Berkeley Group – on the construction of 420 luxury apartments across five separate buildings, and is responsible for the full building services package: including plumbing and drainage, heating, lighting and electrics.

As a well proven and widely specified alternative to traditional cast iron drainage, Marley Plumbing & Drainage's HDPE soil and waste system is far lighter to handle, while remaining robust and virtually maintenance free – making it the ideal solution for this project. By making use of the manufacturer's fabrication service, all of the cutting and pre-welded assembly is carried out offsite under factory conditions, resulting in improved accuracy and speed, while simplifying the control of health & safety on site.

The Senior Mechanical Engineer on the project for Lorne Stewart, Ian Humphreys, commented: "The decision to use Marley's prefabricated soil stack assemblies was made following a visit to our design office by the manufacturer's Key Account Manager, Paul Hullock and his colleague Andy Finch, during the tender process, and was based on the need to achieve rapid installation times on site; helping to keep to the programme's deadlines.

"We are making good progress on the five towers containing a total of 420 apartments – with all of the soil stacks being assembled coming down through the podium level, and out through the basement level car park. Marley Plumbing & Drainage's technical team provided toolbox training talks for our personnel and while, with so many different products on a large job, there were some initial sequencing issues, everything is going well now: calling off deliveries block by block, and floor by floor."

The pre-welded soil stacks have all been supplied on special stillages, via the Smethwick branch of BSS - a national stockist of Marley Plumbing & Drainage products - facilitating time coordinated deliveries to the site in Birmingham.

The stacks feature outlets for the toilet connections, as well as those for the shower pods, washbasins and baths; as well as expansion sockets. There was also a degree of customisation required to some of the HDPE fittings to facilitate connection to the shower pods and other sanitary ware. While the vertical junctions between separate stack sections are being made with push-fit sockets, the horizontal connections are fusion welded by the plumbers.

Marley Plumbing & Drainage's HDPE range is certified to BS EN 1519 and will cope with temperature variations of -40°C to +100°C, making it ideal for external as well as internal installations. The pipes are tempered, having undergone a heat treatment after extrusion, resulting in less shrinkage when cooled down from high operational temperatures. This creates less stress on joints, resulting in a longer life for the pipe system.

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