High-Rise Drainage: System Designs and Solutions

Steve White
Technical Director DWV
Aliaxis, London

For architects, engineers, and installers, high-rise buildings present new challenges. The density of buildings, the scarcity of land, and a competitive spirit among developers push modern buildings higher. These high-rise buildings push the limits of all the systems involved in creating a healthy and social living environment for their inhabitants. The sheer height of a building changes the physical forces applied to plumbing systems, meaning conventional designs are no longer up to the job. This relates to pressure piping in the water supply system, and more importantly, to the drainage system. In a high-rise building, a well-designed drainage system should operate without the user being aware of its existence.

The presentation covers the three main drainage design systems currently being used today within tall towers. The importance of any of the drainage designs is that they provide a safe, usable, and reliable drainage system, which should remove soil and waste as quickly as possible. The system should be self-cleaning, and there should be minimal water trap seal loss or movement to ensure there is a barrier preventing any ingress of sewer gases and pathogens from entering the living environment. The system should also have minimal noise, both in the noise generated by the wastewater but also the solids within the system, as they discharge through the building. Ideally, the drainage pipe-network should be an invisible building service that removes the wastewater and protects the occupants.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation