Prefabricated construction – whether an entire building, home or plumbing pipe system – is beginning to increase in popularity and use. Modularity, speed of installation, cost-savings, and sustainability are just some of the key benefits that are attracting customers and developers to prefab solutions. So when Unica, installer on the new Amphia Hospital project at the Molengracht site in Breda (The Netherlands), needed a soil & waste drainage pipe solution, they decided to go with a prefab pipe system.... from Wavin.
The Amphia hospital is one of the largest clinical hospitals in The Netherlands. Amphia is part of an esteemed network of hospitals with a variety of sites, each reflecting different medical specialties. The Molengracht site will be home to this new construction – a state-of-the-art hospital that will offer emergency and complex specialised medical care, as well as some elective care. Designed by architects from the Dutch firm Wiegerinck, Amphia at Molengracht commenced construction in 2016. Unica is the installer for all sanitary installations where Wavin is the supplier for the waste water drainage system. The progression of the construction can be seen via the live webcam – posted on Amphia’s website.
Because a new hospital is much more than some walls and a roof.
Unica hired Wavin to produce, supply and deliver a prefabricated (prefab) waste water drainage solution that will service all bathrooms in this new hospital (total of 514 single person rooms each with a private bathroom). In the meantime the supply has extended to also include all prefabricated PE pipes for crawl spaces and PP/PE parts for the concrete slabs or floors.
We have chosen for Wavin because of their ability to produce prefab systems together with their knowhow on drainage and sewer. On top of that we like the interaction and communication with Wavin.
The prefab piping system consists of Wafix PP (polypropylene). Pieces are not longer than 5 meter in length, 2 meters wide and 1 meter high. So, the total prefab installation must be cut in 3 or 4 pieces. It should be noted that prefab is not restricted to welded materials. Push-fit can also be prefabricated (like here with the Wafix PP).
The prefab for the bathroom (PP) was to be delivered in a later stage, so Wavin commenced with the PE (Polyethylene) – for the soil stack and beneath or inside the concrete floor. As far back as the 1970’s, Dutch hospitals have been using mostly PE because since it’s welded, it doesn’t require a rubber seal and also, it is completely chemical-resistant. In countries outside The Netherlands, PVC is more commonly used in hospitals.
The complete waste water drainage prefab design (31 items) for 1 bathroom looks like this:
Benefits of prefab
Building components of a project off-site is becoming increasingly common in construction, simply because there are so many benefits to prefab. For Unica, the most compelling argument in favour of prefab is cost. Prefabricating materials is more efficient, saves time during installation and uses up less of the labour force. Four to five times more welds can be made in a prefab welding factory, compared to on-site. When faced with the choice of welding/connecting pipes and bends in a repetitive way or having it all prefabricated at an external welding factory, the installer will inevitably take the prefab option! Important to note is that – in the tender phase – these large construction and installation projects are strict when it comes to costs. Having a solution that guarantees efficient installation, will definitely give the contractor/installer an advantage in the bidding process.
The choice for prefab is an easy one. The speed of construction is high so prefab is the way to deliver on schedule. In terms of quality, prefab is even more important. On the construction site weather conditions and dust disturb the welding process. Prefab elements are constructed externally under good conditions, so quality is better and more constant.
Other advantages to using prefab elements are that it will inevitably help speed up the construction schedule. Additionally, construction projects are often located in the middle of the city, which makes it logistically impossible to store all the pipes and fittings on-site. Everything runs much more seamlessly when the supplier (in this case, Wavin) can deliver prefab just in time – as and when the components are needed. This also eliminates site congestion which, in turn, reduces safety concerns.
The Wavin promise
We guarantee all connections. We deliver the complete system, including the couplers to weld the different prefab pieces to each other (these are electrofusion couplers, not butt welding like the pipes). And we are meticulous in how we craft our prefab solution. You see, prefabrication minimises waste, and is therefore eco-friendly. But for Wavin, sustainability isn’t a trend or a buzzword. It’s a commitment, which extends to sustaining relationships with our customers. We help our customers to help their customers. And it comes back full circle. Some call it Karma. We call it best practices.
For more information on Wavin’s extensive range of piping solutions, please contact your local Wavin company office.