How can wire suspension systems help building services contractors achieve the government’s Net-zero 2050 target?
As the government sets out their vision to deliver better, faster, and greener solutions to help to encourage the continued growth of the construction industry (The Construction Playbook, 2020) we ask; how can building services contractors make small changes to their purchases to build ‘net zero’ carbon buildings.
What is the Net zero 2050 commitment?
The World Green Building Council describes their commitment as – “The Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment challenges business, organisations, cities, states, and regions to reach net zero carbon in operation for all assets under their direct control by 2030, and to advocate for all buildings to be net-zero carbon in operation by 2050”
How does the Net zero 2050 commitment affect building services contractors?
The Net-zero 2050 commitment encourages all stakeholders within the construction sector to look to a more sustainable carbon-friendly approach, and for all new buildings to be producing net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Therefore, building services contractors need to take into consideration carbon-friendly initiatives, such as reducing material waste and minimising deliveries onto the site. In most cases building services contractors have two main priorities;
- To deliver the electrical and mechanical packages on time and to the highest standard, without incurring a fine.
- To deliver the electrical and mechanical packages within a set budget
How can a building services contractor choose a carbon-friendly outcome?
One of the fundamental services that need to be addressed before mechanical, electrical, and HVAC services carry out work on-site is to specify the right suspension method to support services.
This is one of the biggest initial outlays, considering the large number of products required for secondary suspension and consequentially deliveries onto site, a carbon-friendly approach can be taken, without any further costs or delays to the project completion date. The first place to start, is, transport; how can I reduce the number of deliveries on-site whilst ensuring the suspension method is fit to support the working loads.
Wire/rope suspension systems v threaded rod
A wire/rope suspension system is an alternative to the traditional threaded rod, in its most basic form, the wire/rope secures the load of a product which is suspended from a ceiling or iron girder. On the face of it, the wire/rope suspension is lighter than a threaded rod, usually manufactured from pre-galvanised or stainless steel, and holds up favourable when comparing the length of wire/threaded to rod to its safe working load.
When comparing both suspension types, it is important to note that both have their place and ultimately it will come down to product performance data, price, and the client’s preference. Outlined below are the key cost and product performance differences between the Zip-clip range of wire/rope suspensions systems and a non-branded threaded rod.
- 33% saving in components
- 50% saving in installation time
- First prime cost is reduced
- Guaranteed weight loadings from 10kg to 500kg per support
- 100 metre coil of wire is equivalent to 33 x 3 metres of threaded rod
What are the environmental benefits of specifying a wire rope suspension system?
When specifying a large quantity of wire across a construction project, there are clear environmental benefits;
- Faster installation times. Approx. 6 times faster to install than traditional systems
- Requires less materials, system comes complete, reducing material waste
- Carbon footprint reduced as it is easier to store and transport onto site
As Tim Brown (Zip-Clip) illustrates below, specifying a wire-based suspension system is not only effective in reducing the amount of deliveries on-site, it also offers a better load bearing capacity in far less quantity than the equivalent in threaded rod.
“One container of 2mm wire with a total length of 1.44million, in order to get the same length and load bearing capacity you would need 32 containers full of 10mm rod”
Let’s look at a recent case study from Zip-Clip – A typical retail park uses approximately 1200 drops at 2m (2,400 metres in total)
M8 rod would weigh 748.80kg and use 1344kg of CO2 to produce the 2,400 metres required.
The Zip-Clip wire system would weigh 37.86kg and use 96kg of CO2 to produce 2,400 metres.
Save on weight: 710kg
Save on CO2: 1245kg
Therefore, there is 92.6% reduction in C02 emissions when utilising a wire/rope suspension system in comparison to the M8 threaded rod.
Overall, the reduction in C02 is significant for wire, if more building services contractors specified a wire system it would make good progress and help to move the construction industry closer to the net-zero 2050 target.
Will introducing carbon-friendly practices reduce overall project costs?
The bottom line is clear, putting in place carbon-friendly initiatives is cost-effective. Why? because you are constantly questioning the efficiency of practices across the lifecycle of a construction project.
Fewer products purchased = fewer deliveries on-site resulting in a reduction of wasted materials and efficient cost savings.
MIDFIX are a distributor of the Zip-Clip product range, we keep stock of the complete range and most of the range is available for next day delivery.
Listen to our recent podcast, where our technical sales manager Jake Lyons discusses how M&E contractors are turning to wire/rope suspension systems for supporting building services.
https://www.worldgbc.org/thecommitment (World Green Building Council)
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-construction-playbook (Construction Playbook 2020)
MIDFIX are experts in onsite and offsite supports for the mechanical and electrical industries, delivered through design, engineering, fabrication, and industry training.
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