Construction National

Magazine, Online Directory and Web Design Service

Mon27092021

Last updateThu, 16 Sep 2021 8am

Construction sector surges ahead – and will ‘build back better’ with Clark-Drain

With almost sixty years’ experience in the construction industry, at Clark-Drain we’ve learnt to anticipate what our customers and the market are telling us, and respond with innovative products that are ‘grounded in expertise’.

And the current burgeoning demand for drainage products clearly demonstrates that - pandemic or no pandemic - construction of all kinds is undergoing a bullish resurgence.

The industry analysts bear this out. Tim Moore, economics director at IHS Markit, for example, said of the month of March, ‘Total activity expanded to the greatest extent for six-and-a-half years as residential spending remained robust, commercial projects restarted and infrastructure contract awards moved ahead.’

Of course, whatever goes up above ground relies ultimately on drainage below it, so it’s hardly surprising that demand for drainage products for housebuilding and landscaping is high. But why Clark-Drain’s products in particular?

Construction: an industry looking for new solutions

The answer, we believe, is that when an industry resets and restarts, what it wants and needs is absolutely not ‘more of the same’, but rather the opportunity and means to do things differently in order to achieve a more positive outcome – to ‘build back better’, if you will.

This is where forward-thinking, innovative drainage products come into their own. To an industry in the throes of regeneration, they offer solutions that are lighter, stronger, cheaper to transport, easier to install, longer-lasting, and environmentally more sustainable – now and into the future.

And as drainage is set to become an ever more critical asset, with climate change likely to increase both the volume and frequency of rainfall (10% more per year on average by the end of this century, compared to 1986 – 2005), we at Clark-Drain are at the forefront of an industry-wide evolution.

So, are we confident that we’ve got what’s necessary to change the game? 

Doing drainage differently

What we’ve proven at Clark-Drain is that compromise isn’t necessary. With the right combination of design and manufacturing expertise, savvy choice of materials, and a keen eye – always – for what works best for the customer in terms of sourcing, transporting, and installing the product, it is possible to deliver on all fronts.

Let’s start with the raw material. For our linear drainage solutions, we use 100% recycled polypropylene, which is not just an environmentally sustainable material – it’s also about 38% less dense and weighty than concrete, resulting in lower transport costs, less on-site labour to handle it, and a quicker installation.

But it cuts no corners on the resilience front, either. Heat-resistant (so ideal for tarmac edging), these polypropylene structures can comfortably withstand loads of 1.5 tonnes to 12.5 tonnes, making them suitable for use in anything from a domestic driveway to a car park, shopping centre, or rail station. This resilience makes for a longer life, and therefore a lower life-cost. 

Now let’s consider capacity (a critical measure of drainage efficiency as rainfall increases). An average shallow drainage channel, for example, has an internal depth of about 75mm, which results in a hydraulic performance of about 88mm per hour. The CD-422 solution, on the other hand, has an internal depth of 105mm and a hydraulic performance of some 172mm per hour.

The key to this outperformance is the combination of the exceptionally tough and strong polypropylene construction, and an intelligent structural design that enables a much larger internal width relative to the external dimensions.

Of course, this gain extends across all the drainage profiles – not just shallow channels – enabling a maximum throughflow of anything from 2.2 litres per second for the 410and430 model, up to 4.3 litre per second for our 422, 425, and 434 model

Ease of installation is also high on Clark-Drain’s agenda, because it’s such an important issue for our customers. Aside from our linear drainage products’ inherent lightness, they are also supplied in manageable 1m sections that can be connected instantly (channel to channel, male to female) enabling several metres of channel to be laid in one manoeuvre, and by fewer workers.

At every turn, this is about delivering the highest possible drainage performance, with the shortest possible project lead times, and the minimum operational and financial risk.

Current and future challenges: we’re on it

But there are other powerful drivers conspiring to add urgency to this tide of change.

On the one hand, the Government’s ‘Build, Build, Build’ strategy to level-up the UK’s infrastructure implicitly requires more construction, at greater speed.

On the other, the same Government’s ‘Green Industrial Revolution’ and its ambitious new carbon targets for 2030 and 2050 mandate far stricter green credentials for homes and public buildings – including, of course, the materials used in their construction and drainage. 

Taken together, it’s a big ask. But at Clark-Drain, we stand ready with at least some of the answers.

For further information visit www.clark-drain.com