The major £64m project to construct a new state-of-the-art food and health research facility on Norwich Research Park has utilised Vulcathene Chemical Drainage extensively throughout the laboratories in the new centre.

The Quadram Institute will bring together scientists, clinical researchers and a healthcare clinic under one roof to develop solutions to worldwide challenges in human health, food and disease. Integrating research teams from the former Institute of Food Research (now Quadram Institute Bioscience), the University of East Anglia and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s gastrointestinal endoscopy facility, the Quadram Institute will accommodate 300 research scientists and 100 clinicians.

Working alongside main contractor, Wates Construction, leading national engineering specialist SES Engineering Services (SES) was responsible for the installation and commissioning of all MEP services across the project.

At 13,900 square metres, the new facility will house more than 20 laboratories across two floors, and so a reliable pipework system was required to cater for the chemical drainage requirements.

SES tasked sub-contractors, Gowing and Hunt, with installing the Vulcathene Chemical Drainage pipework system from Durapipe UK to meet the demanding capacity of laboratory waste that would be produced from the many laboratories.

An extensive range of Vulcathene Enfusion pipe and fittings, in sizes from 38mm up to 102mm, has been installed across the two floors to transport chemical waste from the fume cupboards and sinks in every laboratory, through to the drainage stacks before being disposed of off site in the main underground sewer.

Commenting on the project, Nick Reeve from Gowing and Hunt said: “There was a large amount of Vulcathene pipe and fittings to be installed on this project and the support we received from Durapipe was excellent. The technical team came down to site and demonstrated the product jointing with our installers to ensure the installation went as smoothly and quickly as possible.”

Experiments in science laboratories often lead to unknown combinations of chemicals being created, therefore it is imperative that the drainage system can safely transport any chemical concoctions. Vulcathene offers health and research establishments the reassurance that it has a proven pedigree over many decades in dealing with all manner of chemical waste cocktails from laboratories across the world.

Available in sizes from 38mm – 152mm, Vulcathene is a purpose designed chemical drainage system available in two easy jointing methods; Mechanical for demountable joints and Enfusion for welded joints, offering complete flexibility for designers and installers of chemical waste systems.


For further information on Vulcathene or any other products within the Durapipe UK portfolio please call 01543 279909 or log onto


A leading manufacturer of plastic pipework solutions, Durapipe UK has seen its systems successfully installed for building services and industrial applications in projects worldwide for 60 years.

Durapipe UK is a proud member of the British Plastics Federation (BPF) Plastic Pipes Group (PPG), the leading trade association representing manufacturers and material suppliers of plastic piping systems in the UK.

PPG Member companies have a responsibility to the industry to ensure products manufactured meet the needs of the application they are intended for, in addition PPG members fully support compliance with standards so installers and end users can assume BPF membership is a sign of quality assurance and compliance with these standards.

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