A single source solution for de-risking commercial projects

min read time
2023-07-03 07:49:11

We spoke to Chris Jones, Commercial Technical Sales Manager at Wavin about how a single source solution can help to mitigate risk on commercial projects. In this article he explains how carefully planning at the design and build stage can help to reduce risk through out the life of a build to rent property. 

In the UK, build-to-rent is booming. Increasing rental prices and high demand for property, particularly in urban hubs like London, is fuelling a sharp rise in purpose-built, rental housing projects. By 2033, the British Property Federation expects the number of build-to-rent homes to increase five-fold, with the sector set to be worth £170 billion.

Accelerating this evolution in the market, large-scale developers are pivoting their business models to design, construct and then professionally manage high-rise residential properties. Unlike traditional build-to-sell developments, where liability is handed over to the purchaser, the developer retains responsibility for all future maintenance and facilities management.

Returns on these projects can be significant, but so are the risks; particularly as UK regulations tighten around rental properties. It’s vital developers work to mitigate these early in the design and build process. Specifiers in particular should be proactive, specifying robust, high-quality single source solutions where possible to ensure integrated and effective systems. 

To de-risk the build even further, developers should select suppliers who offer technical and design advice, so they can make the most of a wealth of specialist knowledge and experience. This guidance will help specifiers identify solutions that safeguard both the building and tenant comfort, without driving up costs. And, when coupled with installation support - including on-site assistance - a single source solution provider can help ensure products are used correctly and that all systems are optimised for real-life conditions. Look out for long-term warranties and service agreements, too, for long-term piece of mind. 

A single support solution streamlines build-to-rent projects

Here at Wavin, we’re committed to providing the products and services the commercial market needs. With full product integration, and market-leading support from design to installation, we’ve got risk covered across our extensive portfolio of drainage, Pipework and heating solutions. 

We’ve created our suite of single source products specifically to support commercial builds and it comes with end-to-end project support. Our engineers will review the designs to achieve optimum efficiency and economy, using value added engineering and an in-depth knowledge of all our products to help specify the most robust, economical and easy-to-install option for the build. 

And, from there, we continue to offer consultancy, advice, onsite support and installation assistance; ensuring every solution is efficient, securely integrated and meets all relevant regulatory criteria. Our products are market-leading, designed and manufactured to work long-term – so they’re also backed-up by robust warranty agreements and industry certifications. 

Build on digital foundations to de-risk and reduce costs 

Offering the best support to the market extends to the latest technology. That’s why we’ve invested in BIM Level 2 – setting our service apart from others by offering this free-to-use software to our clients. With integrated clash detection, intelligent assistance and design automation, our BIM Revit package speeds up the design process and reduces the risk of error. Our engineers use this innovative, collaborative technology to ensure efficient design – drawing on value added engineering to substitute products where we can in order to provide a more economical or effective option. All our products are compatible with BIM, so it can be used to harness our entire range of integrated solutions, and we’re the only BSI kitemarked drainage package in the UK – reflecting our emphasis on accuracy and detail. 

BIM also offers benefits for ongoing facilities management. Having a full scale detailed 3D design with integrated product data, ongoing maintenance can be streamlined, reducing the cost of labour and materials for ongoing maintenance.

Supporting and promoting BIM in this way is part of our broader aim to reduce the environmental impact of the construction industry. It helps to minimise waste, reduce delivery requirements to site, improve ordering and component accuracy, drive down installation resources, and identify economies through leaner and more modular construction methods. For developers, this means more sustainable buildings in the long-term, with cost and time savings today. 

Join us in supporting sustainable construction 

The responsibility of meeting Net Zero 2050 targets is significant, and something the entire construction industry must work together to achieve. Our sights are firmly set on sustainability, and we’re proactively working with customers, users and suppliers to design carbon out of our products and processes. We’re already using 100% recycled energy to power our UK manufacturing plants and 30% of our entire range is made from recycled material. Thanks to these efforts, we’ve been awarded the status of Construct Zero Industry Business Champion by the Construction Leadership Council.

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) are now available on Wavin products. They are a way of transparently communicating the performance or impact of a product over its lifetime. They can also help to achieve EPD and LCA credits in certification schemes like BREEAM and LEED.  

How to deliver sustainable living solutions

Beyond the construction process, there are plenty of ways developers can ensure builds are environmentally friendly in the long-term. With 42% of UK renters now considering the environmental impact of a property before renting, sustainable build-to-let properties will be able to charge a green premium. At the same time, these rental properties will stay one step ahead of government targets like the 2028 EPC ‘C’ rating requirement – helping developers avoid fines of up to £30,000. 

Integrated indoor climate solutions are a key way of ticking off tenant sustainability expectations, maximising indoor comfort and driving down energy costs. Proactive developers are opting to install energy resilient and effective mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems (MVHR) to futureproof their builds. By filtering heat from outgoing air and recycling it, MVHR (Mechanical ventilation with heat recovery) reduces total energy consumption, delivering energy savings of up to 50% while simultaneously improving indoor air quality and controlling humidity levels. This will prove to be a clear win with the significant 85% of UK tenants who rate indoor air quality as the most important aspect when choosing a premises. MVHR solutions also pave the way for future environmental gains, with European trials already underway to deliver fossil-free heating by recovering waste heat from premises like data centres. 

To achieve optimum efficiency, these systems should be combined with underfloor heating and heat pumps, while design and construction should take into account air tightness, insulation, seasonal temperature changes, potential damp hotspots and fumes / heat given off by appliances. They should also incorporate regular maintenance access and individualised room temperature control for resident comfort. 

A compact way to achieve this in multi-occupancy premises is via an easily accessible control panel housed in a purpose-build cupboard. Integrated control panels like Wavin Sentio enable occupants to monitor, adjust and maintain temperatures across various rooms within their apartment. Combined with other products from our tailored range of market-leading indoor climate solutions, they can be deployed as part of a single source solution for indoor climate control. Robust, low carbon and easy to use, they create a healthy, comfortable home environment for tenants, minimising costly retrofits, maintenance and upgrades for build-to-let developers. And, our integrated indoor climate solutions come with specialist expertise and advice - enabling developers to explore design options that optimise energy performance, maximise space and are compliant with UK regulations

Build in effective flooding and stormwater management

It’s clear that climate change will continue to fuel more extreme rainfall events and severe droughts for years to come. These intense weather events pose intense risks for buildings, including high-rise apartments, and specifiers need to prioritise robust rainwater drainage and flooding strategies. 

Cities like London, where the build-to-let market is the biggest, are a lightning rod for rainfall-related issues. Overpopulation and overdevelopment are key contributors to the rising problem of storm overflows from public sewage infrastructure. To tackle this, Schedule 3 of the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 is expected to be implemented in 2024, meaning developers will be obliged to implement Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) on all new builds. Because these must be signed off by the local SuDS Approval Body before construction begins, enlisting expert help to ensure designs are right-first-time will help to avoid significant delays and related costs.

At Wavin, our long history of developing storm and rainwater products means we’re able to provide experienced design advice to support our single source SuDS and stormwater solutions. We work with developers to create a unique roof plan and determine optimal possibilities for water storage. Our experts guide specifiers and developers through project variables like draining areas, allowable discharge, storm return period, soil type, available space, loading type and cover depth – developing ‘roof to river’fully integrated systems that tackle a build’s unique conditions. We then help to deploy, operate and maintain these fully integrated systems, with plenty of assistance around installation and training on how to properly utilise any reporting and monitoring systems. Designed to last and engineered to handle one-in-a-hundred-year rainfall events, we offer a wide range of plastic rainwater and stormwater harvesting drainage pipe systems

Take the headaches out of plumbing and drainage 

For internal drainage systems, the risks of extreme rainfall events are just as high. Within high-occupancy premises, drainage infrastructure can come under considerable strain. Leaks are one of the most obvious plumbing issues, creating major structural, financial and safety risks, with the escape of water costing UK insurers £1.8 million every day. For high-rise apartments, pressure issues, freezing, blockages and loose fittings are also common problems, while noise pollution created by underfloor or concealed pipes can disrupt tenant comfort. 

It’s a major challenge to locate and repair these problems across a complex system of pipes and joints spanning numerous private properties and high-footfall communal areas. It’s therefore important plumbing design considers factors like easy access for routine maintenance and emergency shut off, as well as safeguarding the system against malicious interference and water contamination.

To safeguard drainage infrastructure, durable fittings and pipework, along with an effective maintenance strategy are essential. The larger the property, the bigger the risks – so it’s vital proper installation and smart design choices are deployed proactively to mitigate future failures.  

An integrated solution can be the single most effective choice to guarantee fault-free performance and a seamless installation process. Alongside minimising labour requirements, driving down costs, preventing delays due to incompatible fittings and helping to create economies of scale - a customised, all-in-one system can optimise drainage to suit a project’s unique specifications and sustainability commitments. 

Understanding this, we offer thorough design and installation support across our entire above and below ground portfolio. Our long-lasting components, lifetime warranties and full regulatory compliance mean developers can rely on an end result that effectively mitigates a host of risks, guaranteeing safe discharge of wastewater, protection against flooding, blockages, leaks and even noise pollution.

Our award-winning drainage portfolio includes a wide range of products – all of which can be combined in unique configurations to create an integrated solution. Our innovative solutions deliver: 

Robust leak prevention

Designed for commercial environments, our PVC-U soil solutions have tighter waste connections than any other soil system on the market and are engineered using our specialist Recycore material which is over 50% recycled. Compliant with BS EN 12056, these pipes use a unique ‘locked-in’ connection that’s both airtight and flexible so it can’t be dislodged during installation.

Peace and quiet for tenants

Ideal for high-density and multi-occupancy environments, the Wavin AS+ is a low-noise waste water system. It’s made from mineral reinforced polypropylene for optimal sound reduction. Its optimised three-layer pipe structure with push-fit connections and pre-lubricated elastomer seals enables quick, easy and reliable installation.

Lightweight, heavy-duty performance

Our lightweight draining components are designed to have exceptional temperature, vibration, impact and chemical resistance. During installation, these hermetic joints can be formed by both electro-fusion and butt welding.

Optimal leak detection

The Wavin Tigris K5 is a multilayer pipe system designed for potable water and heating applications in apartment blocks and other large properties. They’re also the very first of their kind to feature the innovative Acoustic Leak Alert function which means that any un-pressed fitting will make itself known by producing a loud whistle.

The simple way to de-risk projects

Sustainably manufactured, built to last and backed by expert guidance at every stage of development, our single source solutions are the smart, sustainable choice to de-risk build-to-let projects. 

By working with us, developers and specifiers can streamline procurement and reduce complexities. Our innovative range of certified products are guaranteed to work together, so there’s huge scope to customise a solution that addresses the unique challenges of any project.

With experienced industry professionals on hand, the latest free-to-use BIM technology at your fingertips and confidence in our built-to-last products, developers can drive down costs, safeguard construction and ensure optimum returns.

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Wavin Commercial Solutions

Specify and install with confidence when you partner with Wavin for commercial plumbing and above ground drainage solutions

•    Sustainability  - Helping you to build better with EPD certificates for products
•    Mitigate risk - Single source supply and compliant range of certified products that are guaranteed to work together
•    Add value - Innovative solutions with enhanced performance and installation

How can we help with your next commercial project?
Request a consultation with our technical professionals or call us today!