Originally designed by Charles Fitzroy-Doll and opened to guests for the first time in 1898, the former hotel Russell in Bloomsbury’s Russell Square is an icon of the British hotel trade. With its striking ‘thé-au- lait’ terracotta façades floor to ceiling windows and filigree cast iron balustraded balconies, it’s an treasure of a bygone era of luxury and impeccable service.
Following a £multi-million refurbishment and re-brand by Principal Hotel Company, the ‘grande dame’ of Russell Square is set to welcome a new generation of discerning guests this summer when it re-opens as Principal London.
World Class Comfort
The tasteful refurbishment has focused on paying homage to the hotel’s heritage of superb service and comfort levels, while reinventing it as a five-star destination for the contemporary hotel connoisseur. Striking contemporary interiors designed by Tara Bernerd & Partners and Russell Sage Studio provide sumptuous luxury wherever you look inside the hotel but that focus on guest comfort and attention to detail goes far beyond the visible and tactile specification in every bedroom, bar and lounge.
Hidden within the service cavities across the hotel is a plumbing installation that will be just as instrumental in delivering luxury comfort levels to guests, regardless of occupancy levels of the time of day.
Explains Dave Lancaster from building services specialist, Uponor: “It’s not uncommon for hotels to struggle with water pressure at peak consumption times, such as when guests all head for the shower when they get up in the morning.
“If the pipework is not designed to cope with the requirements of a large, multi-occupancy building a drop in water pressure not only affects the guest experience it can also impact the efficiency of the heating system.
“In a refurbishment of a historic hotel like Principal London, upgrading the traditional copper piping with PE (polyethylene) and MLC (multi-layer composite) pipe has numerous advantages. Not only can selecting the right pipe system help to maintain water pressure, but it also provides greater flexibility for a faster install and easier future modifications to the plumbing installation. Moreover, fewer joints and press, push or modular fittings reduce the potential for leaks and extend the service life of the installation.”
Leak Free benefits
Delivered by mechanical and electrical contractor, LJJ, the project involved installation of Uponor’s MLC pipe for the hot, cold and heating water risers and main distribution infrastructure. The WRAS-approved five layer composite pipe system has an aluminium core with adhesive either side and a PE inner core and outer layer. This combines the benefits of metallic pipe systems with the flexibility and ease of connection of contemporary PE technology, with safe and fast pipe installation that allows the pipe to be simply cut to length, bent and connected using press fit, push fit and modular fittings.
Dave continues: “Our modular MLC pipe system allows installation teams to create 300 fitting combinations on site with just 40 parts and features a distinctive “click and lock” mechanism that removes the need for overhead pressing.”
This modular system enabled the LJJ team to assemble sections of pipe outside of the service voids and connect sections together in-situ, reducing time on site and enabling them to check the integrity of each join prior to installation. The flame-free jointing method will also allow connections to be disassembled and reconfigured in the future to allow easier maintenance.
To take the main water distribution to individual guest rooms and hotel facilities, Uponor’s Q&E PEX PE pipe was specified for the remainder of the project, offering the same rapid installation benefits, reduced joint requirements and flow rate improvement.
Dave adds: “Our Q&E PEX system goes beyond the capabilities of a standard push fit pipe solution with a more robust joint that eliminates the potential for leaks. A specialist tool rapidly expands the diameter of the pipe to create a full bore connection and our Q&E ring is then used to secure the fitting, becoming water tight in seconds.
The result is a pipe that maximise the flow of water and takes up minimal space in the service void.”
The building services installation at Principal London is now complete, allowing the final finishes to be installed ready for the hotel’s new era of contemporary glamour to begin.
For company information contact Amardeep Dharwar, Marketing Specialist, telephone 01923 927 020
web site www.uponor.co.uk.