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Victaulic regional manager Middle East Rami Mahmoud outlines the increasing demands on pipework in the region's buildings and what steps can be taken to ensure sustainable and reliable systems.

INTERVIEWS, Projects

Victaulic regional manager Middle East Rami Mahmoud outlines the increasing demands on pipework in the region's buildings and what steps can be taken to ensure sustainable and reliable systems.

What products and services does Victaulic offer?

Pipe joining system manufacturer Victaulic was set up over 80 years ago in the USA. The firm offers easy to install grooved-end couplings, fittings, valves and accessories that range in size from 15-600mm as standard. Through strategically placed manufacturing and operating facilities, it has gained market leading status worldwide.

 

 
The heights of some buildings are creating issues with building sway and they require seismic considerations.

In which countries of the Middle East do you operate?

Victaulic began to expand into the UAE in 1999. The firm's regional offices are in the Jebel Ali Free Zone, Dubai where it has offices and warehouses that serve the Middle East. The products are sold through a network of distributors throughout the region and directly to end-users in UAE.

Our technical service support team is available to anyone who is installing Victaulic products, whether they were purchased directly or through a distributor.

How do the products meet the region's environmental and construction conditions?

The Victaulic grooved system is increasingly being chosen for its thermal expansion, equipment noise attenuation and seismic capabilities, as well as its ability to compensate for pipe deflection.

With such extreme temperatures in the Middle East, pipe installations need to be able to cope with large variations in temperatures or withstand settlement. In addition, the heights of some of the towers being built throughout the region are creating issues with building sway from wind load and require special seismic considerations. To avoid any long-term stress in the pipework that could lead to equipment damage and system failures, contractors are increasingly opting for a combination of rigid and flexible couplings to accommodate the system needs for high-rise buildings.

As in the case of the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, seismic and settlement issues had to be considered when building these high-rise structures. The Jumeirah Beach Hotel posed unique design challenges, by Using Victaulic flexible couplings, ranging from 60.3-762mm the pipework follows the contours of the building's wave shape and allows for any seismic movement or settlement that the structure might experience.

How do the products meet other needs of the market?

With the construction of large high-rise buildings, the pipework needed to support these structures has increased in size. Victaulic also offers large diameter solutions.

The firm's large diameter Advanced Grooved System (AGS) is proving popular in the UAE. Designed for pipework from 350-600mm, with a wedge-shaped groove that delivers pressure ratings of up to 24 bar, the AGS product line is being used on chilled water pipes for large installations like the Index Tower and Limitless residential and commercial project in Dubai.

In addition, Victaulic has implemented its Construction Piping Services (CPS) and Bagging and Tagging service in the UAE to meet the increasing pressures being placed on MEP contractors for speed and product availability.

CPS provides the contractor with a set of drawings that show all the couplings, fittings and valves needed for the job and a value calculation based on the cost of the product and man hours to complete the work.

The Bagging and Tagging service offers more speed onsite, allowing the contractor to have products delivered on a floor-by-floor basis, ready for installation when and where they are needed.

On which projects are Victaulic products being used?

The products have been used on projects such as the Burj Al-Arab and Jumeirah Beach Residences in Dubai and Abu Dhabi Convention Centre.

They are also currently being installed on The Burj Dubai; Limitless' Downtown Jebel Ali development; and Multiplex's Index Tower in the Dubai International Financial Centre.

Victaulic's complete system is also being used for the King Abdul Aziz Endowment project in Saudi Arabia. This includes couplings up to 1,500mm, fittings, valves, accessories and sprinklers for the fire protection, hvac and water systems.

How can the products help meet building sustainability demands?

Victaulic grooved-end piping system solutions help designers and contractors meet accepted green building practices in a variety of ways. The system requires no welding to install, which is a major contribution to reducing toxic fumes and energy consumption during installation.

In addition, the ductile iron castings are made from 90% recycled scrap metal recovered from internal manufacturing processes and scrap metal bought from others.

The flexible couplings accommodate seismic movement, reducing the possibility of ruptures and leaks and Victaulic products can reduce overall energy consumption through more efficient water flows and higher Cv values, which help to increase the operational sustainability of the building and reduce utility costs.

Finally, the products are manufactured and assembled as close as possible to the markets they serve and at the end of a project's life the couplings can be demounted and reused.

What are Victaulic's future plans in the region?

The popularity of AGS in the Middle East means that further product research and development is being carried out at present.

In future, even bigger solutions will be brought to market to meet the demands of new projects.

There will also be the continued development of bespoke UAE products such as the Quick Riser Package, which enables contractors to place an order for a group of products that are commonly used on high-rise builds, with the assurance that all the items needed for the job will be included within that package.

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