HEATING, VENTILATION & AIR CONDITIONING
8 | BUILDING PRODUCTS
require at least some element of pre-work, there
are now ready-to-use kits which arrive on-site
with pre-cut lengths of wire rope and fused end
fittings, eliminating much of the preparation
work usually carried out in-situ, cutting down
installation times significantly.
The industry is increasingly moving towards
more off-site manufacturing and pre-prepared kits
leading to leaner working as much of the labour
associated with these installations has already been
done by the manufacturer.
For example, HVAC systems can quickly and
easily be installed with the use of single channel
hangers that spread loads across its fixing points
and allow for speedy adjustment through a locking
mechanism. This new generation of suspension
system is perfect for all mechanical building
services, with load capacities of up to 250kg that
arrive on-site as a ready-to-use kit.
All these elements come together to create a
system which is quicker and ultimately safer to
install than its predecessors.
Hot works and the risks associated with cutting,
filing and deburring are also eliminated with the
use of kits and which are significantly easier to
handle and safer to store.
In a tight spot
Tackling awkward angles can also pose a safety risk
when length of time at height, and positioning
become an issue. Look for ways to make tight and
awkward installations quicker and easier to avoid
extended time at the top of a ladder or scaffolding,
trying to install into small and difficult areas.
If access is restricted, look for a system which
can be easily accessed and adjusted. For example,
rectangular ducts and plenum boxes may benefit
from systems which utilise vertical adjustments
and can be altered before the load is applied,
allowing maximum preparation on the ground and
minimising time spent at height.
With industrial looks becoming more popular in
modern builds and featuring heavily in interior
designs, there has been an increasing awareness
of aesthetics amongst specifiers. Bear in mind that
fittings are likely to be visible and form part of the
overall design scheme of a project. Opt for fittings
which come in colour options, such as black or
matt options, to fit in with design specifications.
Consider that lighter weight ropes can be almost
invisible and easily replace heavier alternatives.
There are two millimetre ropes on the market
which, using modern technology, can hold the
same weight and do the same job as M8 threaded
rod. These wire suspension systems have become
a popular option in ‘on-display’ HVAC systems
in open roof spaces where every detail of services,
ductwork and pipes can clearly be seen.
Technology in design
With BIM being used more and more frequently
in the design and specification processes we
recommend sourcing devices that can be used with
the latest design technologies such as BIM. A good
supplier should be able to work with specifiers,
engineers, contractors and consultants to design
bespoke systems specific to each project, using the
tools they use day-to-day.
As well as time, labour and money savings, there
are opportunities to create greener ways of working
with some consideration for the products used.
Threaded rod and chain systems can create a lot
of on-site waste with lengths cut to size on the
spot. Pre-cut materials reduce the amount of waste
amassed, taking away the headache of disposing of
waste material from each project.
Off-site solutions such as wire rope suspension
kits are compact products that require less vehicle
movements and smaller lorries than transporting
greater lengths of threaded rod. This has a positive
impact on a company’s carbon footprint as well as
being more easily stored on site.
Ask your suppliers if they can calculate the ECO2
savings to be made from switching to lightweight
wire rope suspension systems. Quantifiable data
can be used as evidence in BREEAM assessments to
earn BREEAM credits.
There will be those reluctant to stray from tried
and tested systems but with so many reasons to
embrace the latest innovations and technology
available, specifiers and construction companies
need to consider the benefits of modernising their
practices. Pre-prepared, stronger, lighter and more
versatile products are reducing installation time,
minimising health and safety risks and providing a
greater range of solutions which all have a positive
effect on efficiency and the bottom line.