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Bissett praises radical DW/144 revision

Bruce Bissett B&ES
Bruce Bissett: “ductwork group should be proud”

UK: B&ES president Bruce Bissett has praised the association’s ductwork members for their timely and “radical” revision of DW/144.

The revision to the 50-year-old specification, which has come to be regarded as the industry standard for sheet metal ductwork, was published at the end of May.

Writing on the B&ES website, Bruce Bissett said that everyone associated with the document “should be very proud that they have produced a publication fit for the modern era”.

Bissett maintains that including provision for reducing the thickness of the sheet metal used in some sizes of rectangular ductwork, it addresses an issue that has been argued over long and hard.

“For years ductwork specialists have argued that some ductwork gauges were over-specified and, therefore, thicker than they needed to be,” he writes.

“The new DW/144 puts that right and supports the new thinner gauges with in-depth test data and validation that provide the right level of reassurance to end clients and specifiers.”

He also recognises that reducing the thickness of sheet metal in certain applications brings environmental, cost and resource benefits.

“The significance of this move will not be lost on the wider construction industry in the light of new research by the University of Cambridge, which has revealed that buildings contain double the amount of steel and concrete they actually need.

“The construction industry uses half of the 1.5bn tonnes of steel produced every year for UK consumption, but according to the researchers, this could be reduced by more than half without any detrimental impact on safety. Although the research was primarily concerned with structural steelwork, its conclusions about reducing materials to minimise the carbon footprint of buildings and cut construction costs would equally apply to the steel used in ductwork.”

The Cambridge research insists that avoiding over-design could provide the same amount of built space with just 20% of the materials and, therefore, 20% of the carbon emissions.

“The B&ES Ductwork Group technical committee has captured this new awareness by focusing on resource efficiency. Reducing steel gauges in certain types of ductwork will make our industry more competitive and more efficient and will cut the cost of manufacturing and transportation.”

Bruce Bissett also congratulated the ductwork group for bringing the new DW/144 specification into the digital age by better reflecting modern working practices and aligning it with the emergence of BIM.

“Again the group should be congratulated for ensuring our most important reference work is fully in line with growing demand from the supply chain that project and product information is provided in digital formats.”


Further reading:

Ductwork-DW144smallB&ES updates DW/144 – 27th May, 2014
UK: The Building & Engineering Services Association (B&ES) has published important updates to its ductwork specifications DW/144 and DW/143. Read more…

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