REHAU provides Thermally Activated Building Structure system for Warwick University

  • 17 Jan 2018

REHAU has provided a Thermally Activated Building Structure system for the University of Warwick as it works on a new Mathematical Sciences Building.

The development of the six-storey building is due for completion in September 2018. With a number of lecture rooms and office spaces throughout the building which requires a supplementary cooling system, REHAU was approached to design a Thermally Activated Building Structure (TABS) system suitable for the requirements of the University.

The REHAU TABS system uses the large thermal mass of concrete in a building’s structure to adjust the environment inside the building throughout the day by running heated or chilled water through a network of pipes within the concrete slabs.

REHAU’s EVERLOC compression sleeve joints have been used to guarantee a leak-free pipe connection. 3,700m2 of pipework was installed within every concrete slab over five floors to provide supplementary cooling. In addition, separate circuits were laid within each lecture room to provide background cooling which is controlled via service ducts through the spine of the building.

Couch Perry Wilkes recommended REHAU’s TABS system, having previously worked on successful TABS installations for other universities. 

Wakefield-based installation company Dragon Heating was appointed to fit the TABS system – its first TABS assignment with REHAU.

Dan Gill, Estimating and Sales Manager at Dragon Heating, said: “The install of the TABS itself has been very straightforward so far. Although it’s a new kind of installation for the Dragon team, our installers are already familiar with REHAU pipework and connections from working on underfloor heating installations, so it’s very easy for them to pick up the technical knowledge required.”

The in-situ TABS pipework installation at the University of Warwick has been very quick to fit when the site is clear and Dragon Heating is laying up to 400m2 of pipework a day with a two-person team.

Dan concluded: “The pipework has to be very accurate in a TABS installation. If there are pipes in a block where they shouldn’t be, other trades could come along after us and accidentally drill into one of our pipes which is difficult to rectify and will inevitably cause delays in the building programme. I knew we also needed to be mindful of the additional sign off procedures with the site manager, as we would be working on a live construction site. TABS is not difficult to install, you just need to be more aware of what’s going on around you and how what you are doing impacts it.”


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