Plastic Ductwork Solutions – Project Overview

Our client asked Roperhurst to supply and install a comprehensive PVC/GRP ductwork system fully compliant with DW154 (Fabrication and Installation of Plastic Ductwork), serving new laboratories installed as part of the Tinbergen Building Extension, a new facility in the heart of Oxford.

The Tinbergen Building was the largest teaching and research building in the University, accommodating almost 800 people and providing a base for undergraduate studies in Experimental Psychology, Zoology, Biological Sciences and Biochemistry.  

At the time this formed part of the largest ever construction project of the University of Oxford, with a budget over £200 million.

Not surprisingly given the research being undertaken, the client wanted quality assurance that this safety critical plastic ductwork would be fully compliant with DW154.  This meant that in addition to specifying DW154 as the fabrication and installation standard, they saw the importance of using a specialist plastic ductwork member of BESA like Roperhurst to deliver the project.  Only BESA specialist members are audited by BESCA against BESA standards.

Critical elements

The extraction project saw 60 Fume Cupboards with associated storage cabinets, served by four large independent large systems, with duct sizes that ranged from 850mm Ø to 1250mm Ø circular and up to 2200x2200mm rectangular.

More than one tonne of heat coils are located in the plantroom and large dedicated centrifugal fans were installed to extract the contaminated air.

From the plant room the exhaust stacks rise up the side of the building, discharging vertically via accelerators.

Roperhurst was asked to design, fabricate and install the 12 metre long pre-loaded galvanised steel stack modules.  These were fabricated at our Barry premises and had to be fixed to a lift shaft wall with no bottom leg support, which was a real challenge for our design team.

An escorted transport was required, including coordination with the traffic office. Bespoke bracketry was developed to secure the stacks and additional temporal bars were fitted to guarantee safe lifting of the sections over existing buildings using a 300-tonne crane.

The installation went smoothly, having more than 10 fitters working on site for months to comply with the programme deadlines and completed to budget.

Keys to success

As with any project of this size, success is driven by:

  • planning to ensure that all aspects of the project are understood and shared across the project team
  • regular on-going communication between Roperhurst and other members of the project team
  • early coordination with supply chains
  • effective project management within our factory and within our installation team.

Our preferred size of project

Project manager Angel Ramos said “Although these are big units, this is typical of the size of project that Roperhurst can deliver.  There are very few UK plastic fabrication companies with the capacity to design and manufacture to this scale, in-house.  Our infrastructure and experience, alongside our commitment to training, BESA membership, ISO9001 certification and SSIP accreditation, means that we can offer a turnkey solution where others can’t.”

Roperhurst has been leading the way in safety-critical plastic ductwork to DW154 for more than 45 years. Our experienced factory and site personnel have completed projects nationwide in PVC, PVC/GRP and PPs, and a variety of reference sites and customers are available.

Contact us

If you are looking for a plastic solution, you’re in the right place. Our team will be happy to assist with your enquiry.

+44 (0) 1446 732555