Selecting the Right Draining System for a Building Project

It’s easy to overlook the importance of drainage within a building project. Too often, it is an afterthought or not given the consideration it deserves. A poorly performing draining system can cause a catalog of issues for the building’s residents going forward, including foul odors and health risks. It’s important to get it right the first time

In this article, we focus on selecting the optimal system for large building projects, particularly high-rise constructions. We also explore the significant advantages of selecting HDPE pipe fittings. Read on for plenty of expert tips for selecting the best drainage system for your building project.

Selecting your draining system: The challenges 

When you select your drainage for your project, you are looking for it to fulfill three main objectives:

  • To remove used water effectively
  • To do so safely
  • To do so cost-effectively 

You need to choose an underground and above-ground drainage system that is certain to fulfill these requirements. Choosing the wrong type of pipes will set you up for ongoing problems, costly maintenance, and loss of profits. 

In a large building, particularly in a high-rise project, the major challenge is to properly manage the flow rates. Because separate apartment or office spaces interconnect into one single drainage system, the potential issues are magnified. The draining system for a high-rise building must protect inhabitants from cross-contamination. 

Another significant challenge is determining how the draining system will connect to the wider pre-existing infrastructure that takes foul water away from your site. Mistakes made here can cause very serious problems, including damage to pipes belonging to other parties and related access issues, environmental damage, flooding and poor damage. 

These challenges should be addressed by careful research, especially on the right type of pipe to use, and making sure you are aware of common mistakes so that you can avoid making them yourself. 

Commonly made mistakes

Common mistakes made by property developers include:

  • Selecting a pipe material unable to cope with the flow rate
  • Wrong pipe sizes
  • Incorrect pipe gradients
  • Cross-connections that are not fit for purpose
  • Installing pipe materials that fatigue quickly, rust, have a short lifespan, or have weak joints

All the above can cause costly issues and frequent maintenance.

What to consider when choosing pipes

There are various options when it comes to drainage pipe material on the market today. When you are making your comparisons, you need to consider the following:

  • Upfront costs that are balanced with projections for long-term maintenance costs
  • Ease and convenience of installation
  • Ease of maintenance
  • Flow efficiency and capacity
  • Sustainability and eco-friendliness of the material 

When you factor in the above considerations into your decision, you are best placed to make the right choice.

The advantages of using HDPE pipes

HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) pipes are similar to the cheap, commonly available PE pipes, but are much denser. The stronger molecular bond and high impermeability standards mean they are an excellent choice for high-pressure applications. They are very well suited to provide the draining system for construction projects, including high-rise developments. 

Here’s why:

1. They are resistant to corrosion and many abrasive materials

Metal pipes are prone to corrosion, reducing their performance and shortening their lifespan. HDPE pipes are resistant to corrosive materials without any additional coatings or treatments needed. 

HDPE pipes will not be affected by fungi, bacteria, fuel, solvents and other harsh chemicals, all of which can cause problems in other pipe materials. All in all, HDPE pipes are likely to require little maintenance. 

2. They are not prone to fatigue and have joints as strong as the pipe itself

HDPE pipes are lightweight and therefore more flexible. Sudden or recurring surges of water are less likely to cause damage to metal or plastic pipes. 

HDPE pipes are joined using heat fusion, which creates an incredibly strong bond between the components. HDPE joints are far less likely to leak, and this makes them ideal for creating a strong pipe infrastructure in a high-rise building or any other large-scale project where maintenance would prove awkward. 

The use of HDPE pipes is likely to create a very long-lasting system. The lifespan of HDPE is around 50 to 100 years, at least double that of metal pipes. 

3. They can cope with high flow rates

HDPE is a very smooth material, which means it can cope better with high volumes of water at high pressure than other materials like steel, iron or concrete. They also create less drag and turbulence. What this means in practice is that you can have smaller HDPE ducts than you may require for other materials. This can save you valuable building space. 

In high-rise buildings, it is important to ensure the drainage system is as quiet as possible for a pleasant environment. This can be achieved with HDPE. 

4. They are easy to install

Because HDPE pipes are lightweight and flexible, this makes them simple and cost-effective to install. They do not require heavy lifting equipment and the coiled pipes or straight lengths can be flexed into place. 

5. They are a more sustainable option

It is vital to consider the environmental footprint of your project. HDPE can offer a more sustainable option because its closely bonded joints prevent water leakage. The manufacturing process also causes less strain on the planet because less energy is required than for the manufacturing of non-plastics. Similarly, transportation also requires less energy because HDPE is a lightweight material. 

What’s next?

For more expert advice on the best pipe fittings to take your project forward, get in touch with our friendly, helpful team today.


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