Victaulic plays key role in fitting out new plant room at Amsterdam Zoo

Published:  03 December, 2015

Victaulic, pipework, maintenance, refurbishment

Victaulic’s Construction Piping Services team (CPS) played a key role in installing equipment in a new plant room to serve two historic buildings at the Natura Artis Magistra Zoo in Amsterdam, known as Artis. The work was completed within the one-year timeline — despite a number of major problems. And it was use of Victaulic installation-ready mechanical couplings and pre-cut pipe lengths of pipe that made this feat possible.

The initial plan was to replace equipment in the existing mechanical plant room, but the owner’s decision to use that space for another purpose led to a small basement being allocated. It was just 8 m square and about 2 m high and was also required to accommodate a second heat pump to serve the Micropia micro-organisms museum.

To provide more space, another area below ground level was excavated, adding to the delays.

Victaulic’s CPS team had set about positioning equipment and designing the pipework for the space originally allocated, only to discover that it was too small.

Although the new space solved that problem, working in two separate areas added complications to an already complex project.

New drawings were produced to create a model where everything fitted, and the job was split into four sections — two in each basement. Work was started in the first area while the extra space was excavated.

The small size of the original basement area made both design and installation difficult. Restricted access to the basements was another problem — through a space only about a metre square.

Space above ground for deliveries was so restricted that it was not possible for all materials to be delivered at once. CPS addressed this problem by producing a bill of materials for each zone, with items bagged and tagged for delivery to the correct area when needed. As installation work progressed and working space became smaller, the bag-and-tag system became even more vital.

Ground-water problems due to flooding would have made welding impossible but posed no problem to the installation of grooved-end products. Installation-ready couplings reduced installation time, and 90% of the pipe was pre-cut off site.

Ronald van Haasteren, project leader with Imtech, which entrusted the work to CPS, said, ‘There was no alternative to get this job completed than installing Victaulic products. Welding in such confined spaces and access constraints was impossible, and we wouldn’t have been able to meet the tight deadline.

Hans Bongers, lead engineer with Imtech, added, ‘The biggest benefit was their extra input on the engineering side, which gave us a workable design and helped us deliver the project on time.’

For more information on this story, click here: December 2015, 86

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