PROJECT: KCH Endoscopy Steam Pipework

Project Outline:

When King’s College London NHS trust at Denmark Hill decided to divert the current steam services to the Endoscopy area in order to improve the visual experience for patients and to provide a better clinical environment, they put the contract out to competitive tender

Artic Building Services won the £420,000 contract and started work in October 2012. The estimated completion date was early January 2013. The project involved fabricating risers from the basement boiler room to the roof level then distribute out to other services and facilities. There are 4 risers in total, with diameters of 200, 150, 100 and 50mm, rising to an elevation of some 20m. At the roof level there are 150m runs in 200, 150 and 100mm pipework to services and plant rooms.

A 48 tonne crane was employed to lift the pipe sections onto the roof. Access restrictions meant that the risers had to be fabricated in position. To fabricate the risers, sections of pipe were hoisted down from the roof on block and chains, by no means an easy feat as each 3m length had a mass in excess of 160Kg. The pipefitters prepared the butts in place, working on purpose built scaffolding that held the pipework in place whilst giving the welders access to the butts.

Due to the age and complexity of the building the original design specification had to be altered on numerous occasions. Artic reacted to these changes with the minimum of fuss, taking everything in its stride, to the complete satisfaction of King’s Estates team. The presence of existing pipework generated some difficult access problems for the welders, all of which Artic managed to encompass.

100% Non Destructive Testing was employed on the pipeline; x-ray radiographs of the welded pipe butts enabled the pipe to be thermally lagged prior to pressure testing, safe in the knowledge that the coded welders had performed to the stated specification. The pipeline was hydraulically tested to 15 bar pressure (220 psi), which is twice the normal working pressure, to prove the structural integrity of the system. The final test on the system will be to check the functionality of the expansion bellows with a live steam test prior to handing the system back to King’s College London NHS trusts estates team.

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