BBC Drama Village, Cardiff Bay, UK

The new BBC state-of-the-art studio complex in Cardiff Bay will become the permanent home to BBC dramas such as Casualty, Pobol y Cwm, and Doctor Who. The site hosts nine studios covering 170,000 sq. ft (15,800 sqm). Contractors opted to use Gripple QT Universal Clamp, Standard Hanger, Catenary Kit, C-Clip, Trapeze Plus FR & Y-Fit products on this project.

  • Building Type: TV Studio
  • Location: Cardiff, Wales
  • Main Contractor: Wates
  • Mechanical, Electrical & HVAC Contractor: Whitehead Building Services
  • Suspended Ceiling Specialist: Richard Kemble Ceilings
  • Services: Mechanical, Electrical, HVAC Services, Pipework & Acoustic
“For this challenging job, Gripple systems proved invaluable on two counts. Firstly, providing an innovative solution not only to a construction problem but to the critical acoustics issue and secondly, the speed of installation was key to meeting deadlines.”- Project Manager, Richard Kemble Ceilings


  Gripple Solution Traditional Method
Overview Standard Hanger, Catenary Kit, C-CLip, QT Universal Clamp, Trapeze Plus FR, Y-Fit Strut, Window Brackets, M8 Threaded Rod, washers, nuts, bolts and various pipe clamps
Material cost £6,245 £8,473
Installation time 160 Hours 573 hours
Labour rate (per hour) £20 £20
Total labour cost £3200 £11,460
Total cost £9,445 £20,203

Hampstead School received investment under the government led Priority Schools Building Programme (PSBP), which was launched to help address the needs in the worst condition schools. The Education Funding Agency (EFA), which is the delivery arm of the DfE, is managing the programme. Hampstead School will benefit from refurbishment and re-organisation of a number of existing buildings along with a brand new building.

Wates Construction have developed a way to implement projects that integrate across all areas of the supply chain. This process encompasses design, estimation, delivery and commissioning, giving Wates Construction the ability to self-deliver projects in the same way as a traditional M&E subcontractor. The Gripple products utilised on the Hampstead School project were sourced by Wates Construction, but installed by approved sub-contractors Industrial Power Solutions (IPS) and ACM.

The Gripple Universal Channel and Trapeze Plus provide a quick pre-fabricated alternative to threaded rod and slotted channel, which require “hot works”, cutting and filing on-site. The Trapeze Plus can be pre-installed onto the channel and features an easy-to-use integral release button for finite adjustment. The locking screw can also be tightened for ultimate security.

Wates Construction opted to use the new Low Profile Brackets and QT Compact Clamps to suspend the majority of pipework. The Low Profile Bracket is ideal when pipework has to be mounted close to the soffit or wall. The QT Compact Clamp replaces 11 different pipe sizes and can be fitted to the Low Profile Bracket via a tool-less quarter turn attachment. Using the Gripple solution allowed for the pipework to be fitted less than 35 mm from the soffit and took 50% less lime to install compared to traditional brackets and clamps.

The embodied carbon was reduced by 98%. Over 1.3 tonnes when compared to threaded rod. Saving the equivalent of a seat on a return flight from London to Beijing.

Tags: Building Services

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