Modular Build Can Save Over 19% on Sprinkler System Fit Out 

 

Introduction

Firepod, designed and manufactured by Project Fire, is the first fully-modular

sprinkler zone valve/alarm valve and test assembly in the industry. The product has

been specifically created for architects, designers, contractors, building developers

and owners to offer a solution for the procurement, installation, operation and whole

life cost of sprinkler systems in the built environment.

 

Project Fire commissioned an in-depth and independent cost study by the Building

Services Engineering Cost experts, MEPQS. The report details both the cost,

staffing and convenience benefits for Firepod, a pre-fabricated, plug-and-play,

compact fire sprinkler solution with integrated smart testing and monitoring

facilities. The report is based on a new high-rise construction in Canary Wharf,

London.

 

This a summary of the independent report offering a comprehensive study of

modular components assembled in factory conditions as well as a comparative

analysis with traditional sprinkler zone valve assemblies. Further analysis of the

wider construction benefits is also presented as key points of argument for Firepod’s

tangible added-value in the design and procurement phase of sprinkler installations.

 

 

Prefabrication

Off-site prefabrication is an established, and proven option for cellular builds for

bathrooms, bedrooms or larger scale buildings, e.g. hotels, apartment blocks and

the modular implementation of larger single builds, such as Terminal 5 at Heathrow

airport. Factory assembly provides consistency, accuracy and the ability to factory

test units, which increase assurance and dependability once installed on site.

However, our study has found that Firepod’s standardisation and factory-detailed

assembly means the Firepod is able to offer a range of benefits from design,

procurement to assembly and final commissioning. Furthermore, the composite

package is offered at a discount to the traditional site installation of materials, which

is calculated using defined cost modelling methods, and so the collective intangible

benefits provide a compelling case for its specification.

 

 

Analysis of costs (on-site vs Firepod)

The original standard installation was created from its original design to ensure the

quality and integrity normally expected within the context of a competitive tender

process, extracted and illustrated in figure (i). This assures the expected integrity

for normalised feedback from more than one site installation, given that the project

sample used in this cost model originates from a Firepod installation, which was

carried out by a sprinkler contractor for the first time.

 

The actual site feedback of Firepod installation costs were also aggregated against

the delivery, installation and commissioning costs, estimated by contractors and

based on the design details included with a Firepod.

 

 

"We have saved around 70-80% of installation time by using the Firepods on this project. They get delivered to site and are in position, ready to be connected within a couple of hours. As a project manager, using Firepods certainly takes away a lot of the stress and hassle usually associated with high-rise projects."

 

Nicky Levine, Senior Project Manager, Eton Fire

 

 

 

 

Product selection, particularly when using multiple sources, provided another area

of risk to the assimilation of costs on a fair and equal basis. To mitigate this, the

original design engineers were provided with details of components in order to

validate the comparison. The cost model contrasts a working example installing 3no.

zones to each floor of either (figure i) a standard component site installation or; the

prefabricated modular Firepod installation.

 

Space savings and increased rental yields

The parameters in table (i) show the additional yield from space that the Firepod

saves. The amount of space the Firepod saves is equal to the gross additional rent of

£166,827.51.

 

 

Total potential savings

The requirements for builder work and/or recommendations for specific projects by

Building Control and regulatory bodies, who provide fire protection advice, cannot

be factored in as predictable elements for cost. The data above does not empirically

define the wider benefits of specifying Firepods.

 

Cost feedback from previous and similar installations was obtained from a range of

sources including contractors, consultants, component suppliers as well as historical

project cost data. This was obtained without an identical parallel block, which was

constructed using the standard zone valve installation.

 

The report has found that the cost savings a specified Firepod provides means that

the entire installation fee will be paid back in full within its lifecycle, without taking

into account any Zonecheck testing and cost benefits.

 

During the design phase, a pre-modelled Firepod can be dropped into a Level 2 BIM

model as a preconfigured item and will help reduce time spent on CAD preparing

detailed construction designs. In addition, Firepod will lower the risk of design

failure, due to the fact that sprinklers are commonly a design and build package.

Reduction in site wastage, as well as the reduction in man-hours and management

hours required on site, contribute to reductions in carbon footprint and BREEAM

points when contrasted with multiple site deliveries for individual components.

 

This report finds that Firepod is a well-suited solution to control project schedules

and budgets while increasing quality and reducing environmental impact. The

Firepod’s off-site construction is especially effective when employed to shorten

building cycles, on repetitious or unique projects, and with teams that are prepared

to embrace the challenges and opportunities associated with its delivery.

 

 

"The commercial advantage of specifying Firepods pays for the entire installation within its life-cycle even without taking all the Zonecheck testing benefits into account.'

 

Lionel Hives, Senior Quantity Surveyour, MEPQS Ltd

 

 

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