ADAM TURK, commercial director of Polypipe*, highlights the company’s expertise in designing solutions for the arid climate of the Middle East, and the prestigious projects with which it has recently been involved.
WATER conservation, and the responsible use of this precious resource, is of growing importance to developers worldwide. The demand for sustainability within new buildings – commercial and residential alike – is driving innovation in energy and water management and in the Middle East in particular, water usage, treatment and re-use is essential for continued growth and prosperity.
Despite far lower annual rainfall, water use in the GCC region is far higher than in other nations such as the UK: a 2009 study showed that typical usage is 1,200 litres per person per day in the region, compared with only 150 litres in the UK.
Coupled with a rapidly growing population and the demands of increased tourism to the region, it’s clear that efficient water management will stay on the Middle Eastern agenda for some time. Current methods of topping up freshwater supplies, such as desalination, are increasingly seen as too expensive and inefficient to be long-term solutions to the challenge of providing water to the region, meaning that water management and conservation is being considered far earlier in the planning process.
Polypipe Gulf was set up to help address some of these issues, providing a local source for the complete Polypipe and Terrain range of plastic piping products for drainage, plumbing and water attenuation. Its locally-based technical experts work closely with contractors, consultants and municipalities, as well as their research and development colleagues in the UK to create solutions that are ideally suited to the region’s climate, as it does worldwide on projects with particular environmental challenges.
Polypipe’s philosophy is to take a holistic approach. With its expertise in water management for residential, commercial, sport and infrastructure projects, it offers both the systems and knowledge to incorporate water conservation as an integral part of new developments, covering capture, treatment, reuse, soakaway, attenuation and drainage to sewers.
It is Polypipe’s track record in designing bespoke water management systems for large- and small-scale projects as well as its technical expertise which has led the organisation to be selected as both a scientific partner and supplier to prestigious projects in the Middle East, including the groundbreaking Qatar case study Passivhaus ‘Baytna’ sustainable villa project.
Working closely with the key instigators of the project, Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) and Barwa Real Estate (BRE), Polypipe was able to provide unique heat testing data from its Ukas-accredited UK laboratory, capturing data on the performance of its products under typical Qatari temperature and humidity levels.
Following this in-depth testing, Polypipe was able to recommend the use of several of its water management systems for the Passivhaus ‘Baytna’ project, including Terrain PVC-u (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) above- and below-ground drainage products, used with the Terrain Pleura ventilation system, and PolyPlumb pipework for the hot and cold water distribution systems. A key feature is the use of Permavoid geo-cellular units to provide a sub-soil irrigation system.
The Passivhaus concept originated in Germany and focuses on energy efficiency, looking to reduce overall energy consumption, while in the Middle East water preservation is also a priority. Installing Permavoid at the Passivhaus enabled highly efficient use of the black and grey water recycled on site, reducing the project’s overall water demand. Recycled water or TSE (treated sewage effluent) is far cheaper and uses less energy than potable water from desalination, and therefore its efficient use for irrigation provides a truly sustainable model for future developments.
Polypipe’s close working relationship with Barwa Real Estate has continued with the supply of Polystorm geo-cellular tanks for Barwa City, a development of around 6,000 apartments within 128 buildings, spanning an estate of 1.35 million sq m. Again, Polypipe’s testing capabilities and data were key to winning the contract, and a total of 1,400 cu m of Polystorm have so far been supplied to the city with Polypipe additionally providing design recommendations and technical support, as well as installer training.
With Qatar hosting the Fifa World Cup in 2022, and with the rapid expansion promised under the government’s 2030 vision, the next 10 to 15 years will no doubt be challenging for Qatari real estate and construction firms. Tight timescales and budgets will not necessarily lead to compromise in areas such as innovation and environmental considerations, as long as supply partners are carefully selected to ensure the products and solutions used are suited to the demands of Qatar’s climate, as well as being easy to install and maintain.
Polypipe has developed its water management solutions for the Middle East region as a trusted partner to local governing bodies and contractors. Other notable projects in the region include Bin Twar Mall, College of Media and Communication and MKH Office Tower, all in Qatar, as well as several upcoming transport infrastructure developments.
Using a combination of local knowledge and experience together with its technical capabilities, testing facilities and system design expertise, Polypipe provides service beyond just product supply; it can assist contractors through every stage of the planning, design, installation and maintenance process.
Polypipe’s approach in the Middle East is an adaptable model, suitable for application worldwide. Its Ukas-accredited test laboratory can be configured to replicate both typical and extreme conditions for any climate worldwide, assessing the performance of Polypipe products under varying temperatures and providing vital data for its in-house product designers and construction partners alike.
Water management is already high on the agenda in Qatar but it is not an issue for the Middle East alone to contend with. Worldwide, construction and infrastructure planners are considering the efficient use and conservation of this precious resource ever earlier in the design process. Close collaboration with expert partners such as Polypipe will ensure that water management and environmental targets are achieved, with the additional benefit of British-made products for guaranteed longevity.
Polypipe is committed to providing design suppport to consultants, technical support to contractors and training for its distribution partners worldwide, with local teams in place in many regions including the Gulf. As part of this commitment to global distribution, Polypipe is currently seeking new distribution partners worldwide.
*Polypipe is one of Europe’s largest and most innovative manufacturers of plastic piping systems. With a presence in more than 100 countries and in excess of 20,000 product lines, the company has achieved an international track record in delivering efficient and effective water management solutions to high-profile projects.