Articles & Case Studies

DrainCenter delivers for an icon

Posted: Monday 21st January 2013

Drain Center has worked with DGR Mechanical Services to deliver the pipework package for the UK’s most ambitious and innovative construction project.

With the structure physically completed in July, the Shard is the tallest building in Europe standing at 1,016 feet high. Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano to replicate a shard of glass, the iconic building has transformed London’s skyline and will provide 1.4 million square feet comprising office space, a hotel, residential apartments, restaurants and viewing galleries.

DGR was appointed by main contractor Mace MEP to supply and install the chilled water, condenser water, low temperature hot water (LTHW) heating, hot and cold water, gas, drainage, rainwater and public health services throughout the shell and core of the building. DGR chose Wolseley UK as a supply partner for the public health services; with all of the cast iron and domestic copper pipework and components provided by its Drain Center branch in Brimsdown and the remaining copper and stainless steel pipes provided by the London City Pipe Center branch, which has recently relocated to brand a new site in Surrey Quays.

Andy Dolan, project director from DGR Mechanical Services, explains: “We already had a good working relationship with Drain Center and we wanted to choose a supply partner based on service not just price. With a building of this size, stock availability was one of our key criteria and the main reason we chose Wolseley and Drain Center. We know that we can rely on their specialist expertise and stock when we need parts that are a little bit different.”

The Shard is located in a busy part of London and as well as the space constraints of the site, it is in close proximity to London Bridge station, a hospital and a fully operational bus station.

Andy Dolan continues: “The site has provided a logistical challenge due to its extremely confined footprint. No materials could be stored on site due to space constraints and deliveries had to be planned and booked in at set times because there is only one road in and out. So we needed a supply partner who could be flexible about delivery times and storage. As well as tailoring deliveries to suit the required times, Wolseley was able to offer us a branch just around the corner where we could store materials if necessary.”

Dave Hodgson, southern sales manager from Drain Center, comments: “The significant logistical challenges of building the Shard have required innovation at every stage of the build process. We’re proud to have been involved in such an iconic and successful construction project.

“When DGR spoke to us about the project we were keen to do everything we could to support them, tailoring our deliveries to meet the special needs of one of the largest pipework packages in the country. Materials deliveries had to be co-ordinated very carefully on a strict time frame without disrupting the commuters and hospital visitors. This even saw us making deliveries in the middle of the night and bank holidays.”

Andy Dolan concludes: “We’re delighted that, working together with Wolseley UK, we have been able to deliver such a challenging, exciting and successful project.”

Drain Center is a leading national supplier of drainage products to the professional construction market. With over 80 branches across the UK, Drain Center branches stock a wide variety of products for both above and below ground applications and the utilities industry ensuring customers can get the products they want when they need them. For more details, visit

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