With offsite methods dubbed as the future of the construction industry, fabrication services, such as that offered by Aliaxis UK, are a key part of Offsite’s delivery. I-MEX M&E Ltd, a specialist building services contractor active across London and the East of England, is one of those making extensive use of Aliaxis UK’s fabrication service for its Marley HDPE systems, as part of its innovative, offsite-focused offering to customers. More recently, this has been a strategy that proved of additional benefit as the coronavirus pandemic imposed limitations on traditional site working practices.

I-MEX M&E Ltd has partnered with Aliaxis UK on a number of new-build and refurbishment projects for residential clients, combining scanning and CAD technologies with the fabrication service in delivering project-specific, pre-engineered building services packages.  Amongst the successful collaborations are a residential development at Greenford in West London and two high-specification apartment blocks being constructed on industrial land at the former Shredded Wheat factory in Welwyn Garden City for Higgins Partnerships.

The Contracts Manager for I-MEX, Jamie Cullum, commented: “Predominantly we cover multi-unit residential contracts, such as the construction of blocks 10 and 11 on the old Shredded Wheat site. However, our approach is very different to our competitors in that we have our own prefabrication business called I-FAB, meaning that when we turn up to site our operatives can install a large quantity of services in a short period of time.

“In respect of Marley and the building’s HDPE soil and waste drainage system, we first produce drawings for the standard bathroom, shower rooms, en-suites, kitchens & utility cupboards with the height of the access panels, the height of the pan, etc, including the handing. This allows for creating standard fabrications which will be repeated multiple times throughout the building. For example, the two blocks we’ve been working on at The Shredded Wheat Factory feature 30-40 different fabrications. Marley then does its own CAD drawings and produces each fabricated stack according to our bespoke specification, for supply in line with the on-site installation schedules.”

Available on its Marley HDPE and PVC soil systems, Aliaxis UK’s fabrication service is renowned for its time and labour-savings on MEP projects. With all stacks fabricated and pre-assembled in a controlled factory environment, including pressure-testing as standard, the on-site install process is made both quicker and easier.

Jamie continued: “In addition to the speed and accuracy enabled by the fabrication service, another clear benefit is the minimal waste generated on site - other than the 100-200mm excess, which is simply cut off each stack as it is installed.”

The stacks are then all connected down to the basement or ground floor car park area and into the below ground drainage.

Jamie concluded: “Our ability to employ these offsite methods, where we don’t need to have workers on site full time, has been a really attractive proposal to our repeat clients, such as Higgins Construction, and has certainly been a very real advantage under the recent Covid-19 conditions.”

The Marley HDPE soil range is certified to BS EN 1519 and is an ideal alternative to cast-iron. Particularly suited to commercial applications, the range will cope with temperature variations of -40°C to +100°C, making it ideal for external as well as internal installations.

The 208 mixed tenure dwellings at “The Wheat” apartments will be ready for handover next summer, while Aliaxis UK is scheduled to provide similar packages featuring its Marley HDPE fabrications for other ongoing I-MEX projects.