>B< Press helps modernise Belfast landmark

Conex Bänninger’s >B< Press fittings have become a part of Northern Irish history having been specified by Braid Mechanical & Electrical on the city’s famous Customs House building.

The 19th century B-listed structure, now owned by Straidorn Properties, was designed by one of the city’s finest architects, Sir Charles Lanyon, and sits on the north bank of the river Lagan, across from the Titanic dockyard. The building is revered by the people of the city, often being described as ‘one of the finest architectural features’ in Belfast.

The 58,000 sq ft property has a rich heritage of serving the people of Belfast since it first opened in 1857 and has since been used as a post office and HMRC office before its recent renovation. The new, circa £6million refurbishment now sees the historic building accommodate ultra-stylish and flexible multi-sized office spaces that intend on replicating the hustle and bustle of trade experienced in the building’s original years.

“Belfast Customs House is an architectural landmark in the city and is steeped in historic tradition. It has been a pleasure working with Straidorn Properties, BE Offices, Todd Architects, SCC MEP, CMC Consulting, PJG M&E Services and Hollis Global on the project. We are now entering the commissioning stages of the project it will be superb to see the building come to life again and thrive for many decades to come,” explains Adrian Campbell, Director, Braid Mechanical and Electrical Ltd.

“With the multi-million-pound redevelopment taking place to bring the structure in line with more modern facilities, it was only right to specify the most innovative technologies to futureproof the systems in place.” continued Campbell.

Braid Mechanical and Electrical specified Conex Bänninger’s innovative >B< Press fittings based on its robustness, leak path technology and ease of installation, with the flamefree fitting being faster, safer and easier to use than traditional methods, while providing a secure and leak-free joint, thanks to its 3-point press design. In particular, the flame-free approach was imperative while working on the historic building to dramatically reduce the risks on accidental fires, with the structure possessing large amount of timber in the roof.

>B< Press can be used on hard or half hard copper pipe conforming to EN 1057 and is ideally suited for hot and cold-water services, heating systems, chilled water, and oilfree compressed air applications. The pipework connections are designed for a maximum operating pressure of 16 bar with a temperature range of -35°C to 110°C. Press-fit technology has grown exponentially in popularity and is now the preferred copper jointing system in markets around the globe.

As a purely mechanical joint, >B< Press avoids any fire risk and requires no hot works permit or the carrying of heavy gas bottles and other hazardous materials. The fittings have the benefit of a 3-point press, with one press either side of the bead and a third compressing the O-ring.

WRAS approved, it also has unpressed joint indicator feature which is designed to leak at low pressures to highlight any joints that have not been pressed, ensuring optimal installation.