Cast Iron: Leading The Way For Public Health Engineering
Amanda Stanley – Senior Public Health Engineer
As a public health engineer, I have often found myself frustrated at the limitations of products and systems. To me, the true job description of an engineer is to problem solve, face challenges and create new, dynamic and innovative ways to overcome these, with lessons learnt as positive tools for future projects.
As cities expand, the development of high-rise buildings is at an all-time high, with many residential apartments now residing above commercial and mixed-use spaces. Last year I was involved with a project designing public health services for one of these luxurious high-rise apartment blocks, but as I’m sure all construction professionals can relate to, maximising space became an issue.
Clients and developers are often keen to squeeze more floors into buildings, resulting in less space between floor and ceiling voids to fit building services. Combined with the trend towards walk-in showers and wet rooms, there is simply less space for the necessary waste water connections.
This lack of space, combined with my client’s aspirations to achieve a first class, high end residential building, forced me to tackle this challenge head on over-coming this repeated problem in a quick time frame. Here, I introduce you to cast iron; Cast iron is perfect for tall buildings, meeting all the requirements of high-rise living, making it a solid first choice material for an effective, quiet, drainage system. In September 2017, the opportunity to work with Saint Gobain PAMS R & D department arose to develop a cast iron level shower installation fitting, which in-effect would create a means in which to optimise floor voids – hopefully eliminating one of these problems that we public health engineers face day to day within our working lives.
This new product is now tried and tested, going beyond the British Standard requirements. The cast iron draining system allows for easy fitting, optimising space – fitting the unit directly to the floor void – and effectively stopping transfer noise to a potential of 5db system using the PAM’s Ensign and EZEE-Fit products from drains into other living spaces. http://www.saint-gobain-pam.co.uk/catalogue/our-solutions/soil-drain-rainwater/above-ground/ensign-soil.htm
I am continuing my working relationship with Saint Gobain, with the product released to the general UK market in January 2018. As an engineer, it always gives you great pride realising your work has made a positive effect and reassures me I am the problem solver I set out to be at the beginning of my career.