Grand trunking upgrade for Brighton hotel

An aggressive coastal location coupled with conservation regulations were key challenges for contractors tasked with installing a new air conditioning system at Brighton’s historic Grand hotel.

Ultimately, it was decided that Marshall-Tufflex’s Glass Reinforced Polyester (GRP) cable management system fit the bill perfectly thanks to its corrosion-resistance, long-lasting durability and a heritage sensitive ‘sand colour’ that complemented the building’s Victorian facade.

More than 320 metres of perforated GRP tray with standard covers was installed on the rear of the seafront hotel to hold air conditioning pipes and cables to service all 201 bedrooms. This ambitious project was part of an ongoing multi-million pound investment programme following the Grand’s sale to independent owners in 2014.

Paul Smith, of air conditioning contractor Airtemp, based in St Leonards-on-Sea, explained why GRP cable containment was the ideal solution. He told ECN, “We could not use metal due to the hotel’s position on the seafront, so the GRP provided a robust and saline-resistant solution. The sandy colour of the Marshall-Tufflex product also fitted perfectly with the back of the building and was recommended by planners.

“This was the first time we had used GRP trays, but we modified the product to make it fit nicely and are pleased with the result. The system is of a very good quality and highly robust,” added Paul.

GRP, particularly in locations exposed to extreme weather conditions and high salinity, can often prove an ideal alternative to steel cable management. It is a corrosion-resistant, robust product specifically designed for challenging environments. It is also 40% lighter than steel, making it easier to move around site and fix; another plus point for this project given that The Grand wanted to minimise the impact of renovations on guests. The Marshall-Tufflex GRP trays require fewer fasteners and benefit from interlocking and self-adjusting couplings, making it quick and easy to fit on site and modify without the need for special tools or earth bonding. Additionally, it has excellent fire safety credentials as GRP is a low conductivity, self-extinguishing material that is fully compliant with fire standards and regulations.

The GRP trays were supplied by Phase Electrical, Hastings.

A spokesman for The Grand Brighton said, “Following feedback from our guests we made the decision to install air conditioning throughout our 201 bedrooms. The project was uniquely challenging considering the infrastructure and heritage requirements of working on a Victorian era building, so it was essential that we sourced the best contractor and products that would cause minimal disruption to our guests.

They continued, “We selected Marshall-Tufflex based on its top-quality products and its established reputation. We are delighted with the results so far and the company went above and beyond to deliver the highest standard of customer service.”

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