Innovative solution for a prestigious project

(Source: Cambridge Assessment)

Cambridge Assessment, a department of the renowned University of Cambridge (UK), opened the doors of its new headquarter building in early 2018. The requirements of the building were high, especially with regard to innovation and sustainability. This made COOL-FIT 2.0, the pre-insulated piping solution of GF Piping Systems, the perfect choice.

Brian Brewis, Senior Building Services Manager at construction company Bouygues 

“A benchmark for new buildings”

Brian Brewis is Senior Building Services Manager at Bouygues and responsible for “The Triangle”. He speaks about the special requirements of the project and why COOL-FIT 2.0 was chosen for piping.

Mr. Brewis, what were your considerations with regard to the piping system?
Our specifications were originally for a traditional piping and insulating system. But because it is extremely heavy and difficult to work with, we knew we had to come up with something completely different. We needed a manufacturer to help us.

Is that where GF Piping Systems came in?
Yes. When we were introduced to COOL-FIT 2.0, we knew it was the right solution. One of the biggest advantages is the fast installation. But before we could change the specifications, we had to get approval from Cambridge Assessment. You have to keep in mind that we wanted to introduce a product that was completely new to the market. We got approval right away. The good reputation of GF Piping Systems played a big role in that.

What experiences have you had with COOL-FIT 2.0 so far?
Itʼs amazing how easily the installers have been able to so leisurely lift the piping, even sections that are up to six meters long. Without COOL-FIT 2.0 the project would have been much more challenging. It is definitely a benchmark for new buildings. Where previously copper or steel were used, I believe weʼll be seeing many more buildings moving to COOL-FIT 2.0 in the future.

The Triangle, the distinctive headquarter building of Cambridge Assessment, was one of the biggest construction projects ever in the British university city. The new building complex provides space for more than 2’000 employees – rising to around 3’000 by 2025. For the development of the pioneering project, innovation and sustainability had top priority. This, of course, extended to the piping systems for the supply of cold and warm water: they should not only contribute to the energy efficiency of the building but also – due to the tight time schedule of the project – had to be installed quickly and easily on site.

High energy efficiency

That was why the construction company Bouygues opted for COOL-FIT 2.0, the pre-insulated, lightweight and corrosion-free plastic solution from GF Piping Systems. “Thatʼs the solution we want”, the Bouygues representatives exclaimed. The company was looking for an innovative and economic solution for distributing chilled and hot water (37ºC) in the office spaces as well as in ancillary buildings. Thanks to the insulating qualities of COOL-FIT 2.0, temperature fluctuations are minimized both for chilled water and for warm water which leads to remarkable savings. For the cooling function alone, the savings are up to 30% per year compared to an insulated steel piping system.

Long lifetime

Moreover, COOL-FIT 2.0 offers outstanding durability. More and more metal solutions are being substituted with plastic as building owners seek to avoid rusty, corroding pipes that result in leaks and maintenance issues. Bouygues therefore stipulated that the piping systems in the Triangle building should have a life cycle of at least 25 years. COOL-FIT 2.0 meets this requirement easily and significantly exceeds the durability of conventional solutions made of metal. “As it turned out, we offered the right solution at the right time”, says James Chandler, Project Manager at GF Piping Systems.

“As it turned out, we offered with COOL-FIT 2.0 the right solution at the right time”, says James Chandler, Project Manager at GF Piping Systems in Coventry (UK)

COOL-FIT 2.0 was especially conducive to the installersʼ strategy: the time needed to set up the system is up to 50% lower in comparison to conventional solutions

Thanks to its lightweight properties the installers can easily carry meter-long pipes on their shoulders

Fast installation

The schedule for the realization of the project was ambitious. To expedite on-site work, the installation team followed a modular approach. The team of GF Piping Systems in Coventry (UK) provided valuable support by cutting the pipes to predetermined lengths and prefabricating custom bends for unique angles in the building. “This way, completed modules could easily be installed and connected with electrofusion jointing technology on site”, explains James Chandler. Thanks to its lightweight and pre-insulation properties, COOL-FIT 2.0 was especially conducive to this installation strategy: the innovative system was set up in just half the time that would have been required for a conventional solution.

The Triangle

The Triangle is the new headquarters building of Cambridge Assessment, a department of the renowned university that provides assessments for over eight million students in more than 170 countries. The distinctive building complex consists of five-story office blocks in a triangular shape as well as a 39-meter-high tower. Since early 2018, 2’000 employees have been working on the 33ʼ500 m2 area – and this number is set to rise to around 3’000 by 2025.

Promising market potential

COOL-FIT 2.0 has only been on the market for a short while, yet the list of projects is already impressive and includes prestigious buildings such as the London South Bank University, the Eden Project in Cornwall, or the Left Bank Residential Tower in Birmingham. And thatʼs just in the UK. The worldwide market potential for COOL-FIT 2.0 is even more promising. After all, GF Piping Systemsʼ latest innovation is not only perfectly suited for maintaining temperatures in larger buildings such as shopping malls, hospitals, hotel and office complexes, but also for cooling large data centers with their special requirements in terms of safety and efficiency.