We catch up with the team at Gripple to discover more about how the brand has been able to meet deadlines on two significant projects through the use of pre-assembled systems.
Many electrical containment projects are carried out under strict timelines, which can be a challenge when it comes to the current industry-wide skills shortage. These projects are often in the public sector, on behalf of schools, colleges or hospitals, where there may be a short window of opportunity to complete, therefore requiring maximum efficiency and time optimisation.
EXAMPLE 1: WELSH MEDIUM PRIMARY SCHOOL
A recent example of this was the building of the new two-storey Welsh Medium Primary School in Rhydyfelin, Wales. The school is being constructed on the site of the existing Heol y Celyn Primary School, on behalf of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, by main contractor ISG, working with electrical contractor Whitehead Building Services. The school, which is due for completion in January 2024, will provide modern, purpose-built facilities for 540 pupils.
Gripple’s Fast Trak M&E trapeze bracket system was specified for the project, along with its QT Compact Clamps, Universal Brackets and accessories to suspend electrical containment and pipework services throughout the building. Fast Trak is a versatile, prefabricated, off-site solution that simplifies the installation of building services. It consists of a pre-fabricated slotted channel, with a patented ‘Track’ and ‘Cartridge’ which allows contractors to safely install a complete trapeze bracket up to six times faster than traditional systems.
Whitehead Building Services chose to use Fast Trak and Trapeze Plus FR as the company required a quicker M&E installation method to meet project deadlines, rather than using more time-consuming traditional systems. In addition, all suspensions needed to be F60 fire rated.
Gripple’s Trapeze Plus FR kits are independently tested and offer fully compliant, fire-resistant suspension systems, which are suitable for a range of applications.
Dan Trott, Site Supervisor from Whitehead Building Services, explains: “In the past, we’ve used traditional rod and channel and have cut everything down to size on-site. We like the fact that Gripple’s systems are easy to use, allowing us to eliminate hot works and plant hire for cutting, giving us considerable cost savings. The fact that the Fast Trak range and Trapeze Plus FR are fire rated was also essential on this project.”
For ease of installation, Gripple Cable Basket Clips, Cable Tray Clips and QT Compact Clamps were specified as these accessories have been engineered to easily slot into brackets during installation by simply turning them 90˚. Gripple QT Compact Clamps are suitable for pipe diameters ranging from 15 mm (1/2”) to 152 mm (6”) allowing contractors to stock one clamp size instead of having to store various pipe rings on-site.
The Gripple UK Technical Services Team worked closely with Whitehead Building Services to provide an installation design service, creating detailed drawings to further assist with the installation.
EXAMPLE 2: PETER BILSON HOUSE, WOLVERHAMPTON
When a project requires significant savings to be made in labour, material weight and embodied carbon, contractors are increasingly looking for alternatives to threaded rod and channel for their cable management suspension systems.
On this particular project, M&E subcontractor Orton Group and main contractor, Wates Construction, worked together to create a three storey residential hub for the City of Wolverhampton Council. Due to project timeframes, the suspension system had to be carefully considered.
The project involved the creation of a new residential development by transforming an existing building for Wolverhampton Housing and Homeless Service, which would be used by the local council for housing 34 vulnerable people.
Gripple’s pre-fabricated bracket solution Fast Trak was chosen for the installation of electrical containment and pipework services in the renovated building. The four-sided bracket provides a suspension point on every face; ideal for installing combined bracketry and multi-tiered configuration to accommodate additional services.
Orton Group chose to use Gripple’s solutions to suspend M&E services on this project, known as Peter Bilson House. Gripple provided Orton Group with significant benefits in terms of reducing labour costs and lowering the weight of materials delivered to site which also led to embodied carbon savings.
Andy Lowe, Managing Director of Orton Group, said: “We trialled Fast Trak and it was so easy to use that we decided to use it for this site. We’ve been very impressed with the speedy installation and the small number of components needed to install the M&E bracketry.”
During the pre-construction stage, Gripple provided a toolbox talk to Orton Group staff on the use of its products and carried out a pull test on-site to verify the suitability of the hollow core soffit prior to any M&E bracketry being installed.
Gripple was then able to submit a pull test report, alongside the technical submittal, to provide Orton Group with key information on the company’s product specifications including load ratings, safety factors and safe working loads.
Gripple Area Sales Manager, Andy Riley, explained the pull-test process: “Our Technical Services team conducted on-site pull tests as Orton Group were first-time users of Fast Trak and we wanted to give their installers full confidence that we could deliver a value-engineered solution that was much less labour intensive than traditional systems.
“As part of the design process, our in-house team was able to identify areas in which services could be potentially moved so that Orton could utilise single tier Fast Trak brackets to suspend both electrical and pipework services.”
Gripple’s Fire Rated Clips were also specified to provide direct fixing of cables to ceilings and walls, because of their 30 minute fire rating. The clips are available in two sizes (single or double) to suit various amounts of cable and are supplied with fire rated concrete screws as standard.
Get more details on the Gripple Fast Trak range here
Get more details on Gripple’s Fire Rated Clip range here