December 2019


Care homes across Britain look after the country’s elderly, providing assistance and shelter to some of society’s most vulnerable. It’s critical that the people residing in these homes are kept warm and comfortable, and they’re safe and protected. When embarking on the fit of a plumbing and heating system for a 60-bed care home in Hampshire, IDC Mechanical & Electrical Engineers turned to leading plastic pipe manufacturer, Wavin, for a solution that would meet all of the project’s, and residents’ requirements.

The state of play
As the UK deals with an ageing population, more and more care homes are being built to provide 24/7 care and nursing assistance to the elderly and disabled. Efficient heating of these spaces is critical to ensure the wellbeing of the residents. But, with so many care homes being built, engineers and installers are looking for systems that are quick and easy to install to meet demand and deadlines. Contractors are also dealing with copper being increasingly sought-after by criminals, meaning more are turning to plastic plumbing and heating systems to reduce the threat of theft.

With all of this in mind, Jon Husselbee, director of IDC Mechanical, looked for a plastic solution that would be quick to install in a care home development in Denmead.

Ticking the boxes
Having worked together on other projects, the IDC Mechanical team had previously spoken to Wavin’s expert team about its award-winning press-fit system, Tigris K1. This solution is ideally suited to commercial developments of this nature, so when the engineers were awarded the work on the Denmead care home, they knew the solution they needed.

Designed for potable water and heating applications, the Tigris K1 press-fit system negates the need for time-consuming and potentially dangerous hot works on site. Should works such as soldering of pipes need to take place, contractors would need additional health and safety certificates which can be costly and take time to organise. Tigris K1 joints are created through the use of a mechanical clamp, and, thanks to the flexibility of the pipe, can be kept to a minimum to save further on installation time and cost.

The aluminium layer in the plastic Tigris K1 pipes reduces thermal expansion, making them comparable to copper in terms of performance, while the cross-linked PEXc inner layer gives the pipes their flexibility. All Tigris K1 components deliver long-term performance under the most demanding conditions and temperatures. They are certified by major European agencies including WRAS, KIWA and DVGW.

Jon Husselbee said: “We hadn’t used Tigris K1 before but we knew of its benefits so it seemed a natural fit for the Denmead care home. We knew we needed a plastic system so it would discourage thieves, and in turn, ensure this site and its residents were kept safe and the heating system protected.”

On site, the team reported no failures in the system while pressure testing thanks to Tigris K1 connections being made from high performance PPSU. The patented sculptured nose on the product ensures a secure connection with minimal force, and, if the connector is not pressed properly, they are designed to show immediately visible leakages for instant repair to take place. The reliability of the system meant no time was needed to do any rework or fixes.

Jon added: “Wavin supported with training for the installation team and were a great help whenever we had any questions or issues – they were on site almost immediately to resolve anything we were having trouble with. The product itself has been a great choice for the project, so much so we’re also looking to use it in a primary school development later this year.”

To enable a smooth process from product specification to installation, merchants PVC Building Supplies provided the supply of Wavin’s Tigris K1 direct to IDC Mechanical and supported the team throughout the installation process with product expertise.

Chris Jones, technical sales manager for above ground at Wavin, said: “Working with the IDC Mechanical team on this project has been a great opportunity for us – we’re always keen to support our installers with on-site training promoting the installation benefits of Tigris K1.

“Plastic pipe solutions are the way forward for developments like this where the final system is absolutely critical to the health and wellbeing of those inside the building, and with the time savings added on top of this, Tigris K1 is leading the way.”

Read more about the Tigris K1 range.