Siphonic Drainage Favoured by Modular Construction Contractors Across Ireland and the UK

Construction image with crane

Modular Construction and Siphonic Drainage share several key attributes including a focus on quality-of-build, faster completion times, and decreased costs. Both disciplines also share commercial values like superior engineering, project flexibility, and an appreciation for expertise.

Project Expertise

Capcon Engineering is a leading Siphonic Drainage organisation across the UK, Ireland and is at the forefront of growing partnerships with modular construction companies. Our project track record demonstrates proven expertise on key modular projects in several sectors.

Gridserve, Braintree, Essex​

In Braintree, Essex, the UK’s first Electric Forecourt was opened by Gridserve in December 2020. ESS Modular chose Capcon as their Siphonic Drainage contractors for this ground-breaking project. The system was 90% built off-site in factory conditions, and all piping designed within the structure cavity.

We prefabricated 90% of the pipework in advance in the ESS facility. Factory conditions consistently deliver a higher quality and better performing solution compared with producing the same piping on-site. All work was kept within the cavity on the superstructure as required, with our largest pipe just 56mm in diameter. As the majority of the installation work was completed off-site, just 10% of the project required on-site installation, which was completed in one day.

Spectrum House, North London

For Spectrum House, a 4-storey apartment block in North London, we delivered a larger-scale Siphonic Drainage solution. ESS Modular chose Siphonic for one very specific reason. There existed only a 75mm cavity through which all rainwater had to drain and with a building footprint this size, gravity drainage was not viable. Our team designed 19 x independent systems with a maximum pipe size of 56mm to work within the cavity, installing over 300m of pipework in total.

The drainage outlets themselves sat in the lowest point of the roof but we installed a section of pipework within the roof build-up so there would be no internal pipework present. This focus on space-saving as illustrated in this project shows how Siphonic Drainage can work in areas that a gravity option simply cannot. In this context, it demonstrates how it is a natural fit with the Modular approach.

Engineering Compatibility

Space is maximised on projects of this scale due to a combination of detailed design and off-site fabrication. This delivers millimetre-accuracy, which is significantly more difficult in on-site conditions. Siphonic Drainage is typically half the size of gravity drainage which allows a drainage specialist to reduce the space needed for rainwater drainage. A siphonic system is also designed with greater flexibility than a traditional gravity system, as roof outlets can be located further apart than its gravity counterpart.

Modern Project Suitability

Modular buildings work seamlessly with Siphonic Drainage. If there is repetition in the build, like data centres, pharma sites, and apartment blocks, projects are highly likely to be significantly enhanced from this drainage method.

Modular sites also offer speed-of-build. Similarly, the siphonic approach benefits from this too – because having the drainage up to 90% installed in factory conditions before it goes on-site, is a major advantage to the contractor. In addition, any projects where space savings are important are also a natural fit for siphonic.

Siphonic Drainage and Modular Construction share the same appreciation for design, accuracy, and smart engineering. At Capcon Engineering, we look forward to working with our Modular Partners for many years to come.