WRc plc

Improving Awareness for Self-Lay

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Courtesy of WRc plc

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At the Network 2004 conference, OFWAT’s Elaine Chatham started her Presentation by saying “House-builders, … you can lay water pipes”. At WRc, we think this is an important message for all developers of housing and commercial sites. It is also an important message for all the companies that provide products and services to developers – those that lay water mains and services, that design water networks, that manufacture or distribute pipeline materials and those that provide training and consulting services. With over 200,000 new houses being built each year in the UK, the market in self-lay is estimated to be worth around £35 million in materials and £65 million in construction. These new households will also be new customers for the water companies.

It is not a market to be ignored. Developers have had for many years the ability to exercise choice of contractors for the laying of gas mains and other utility services and they now have that same choice for water services. This offers opportunities for innovation and efficiency in the procurement of water services. In particular it brings closer the real prospect for a better integration of infrastructure services for a multi-utility approach to be adopted by developers.

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