Designed by Charles Fitzroy-Doll and first opened to guests in 1898, the former Hotel Russell in Bloomsbury is an icon of the British hotel trade.
Following a multi-million pound refurbishment and re-brand by Principal Hotel Company, its now set to welcome a new generation of discerning guests when it re-opens as Principal London this summer.
World Class Comfort
The tasteful refurbishment reinvents the hotel as a five-star destination, with striking interiors by Tara Bernerd & Partners and Russell Sage Studio providing sumptuous luxury. The focus on guest comfort goes far beyond the visible and tactile specification, however. Hidden within the service cavities is a plumbing installation that will be just as instrumental in delivering comfort to guests.
Explains Dave Lancaster from building services specialist, Uponor: “It’s not uncommon for hotels to struggle with water pressure at peak consumption times. “If the pipework is not designed to cope, a drop in water pressure not only affects the guest experience; it can also impact on the efficiency of the heating system.
“In a refurbishment of a historic hotel like Principal London, upgrading the traditional copper piping with PE (polyethylene) and MLC (multi-layer composite) pipe has numerous advantages. Not only does it help to maintain water pressure, but it also provides greater flexibility for a faster install and easier future modifications. Moreover, fewer joints and press, push or modular fittings reduce the potential for leaks and extend the service life of the installation.”
Leak Free Benefits
Delivered by mechanical and electrical contractor, LJJ, the project involved Uponor’s MLC pipe for the hot, cold and heating water risers and main distribution. The WRAS-approved five layer composite pipe system has an aluminium core with adhesive either side and a PE inner core and outer layer. This combines the benefits of metallic pipe systems with the flexibility and ease of connection of contemporary PE technology.
Dave continues: “Our modular MLC pipe system allows installation teams to create 300 fitting combinations with just 40 parts and features a distinctive ‘click and lock’ mechanism that removes the need for overhead pressing.”
The LJJ team assembled sections of pipe outside of the service voids and connected sections together in-situ, reducing time on site and enabling them to check the integrity of each joint prior to installation. The flame-free jointing method will also allow connections to be disassembled and reconfigured to allow easier maintenance.
Uponor’s Q&E PEX PE pipe was specified for the remainder of the project, offering the same rapid installation benefits, reduced joint requirements and flow rate improvement. Dave adds: “Our Q&E PEX system has a more robust joint that eliminates the potential for leaks. A specialist tool rapidly expands the pipe diameter to create a full bore connection and our Q&E ring secures the fitting. The result is a pipe that maximise the flow and takes up minimal space in the service void.”
The building services installation at Principal London is now complete, allowing the final finishes for the hotel’s new era of contemporary glamour.