Interview with Wavin: Launch of Wavin Tigris K5/M5 pipe fitting
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Wavin, a world-leading solutions provider for the building and infrastructure industry, has expanded its line-up of innovative pipe and fittings solutions with the launch of the Wavin Tigris K5/M5. Freek Crum, President of Wavin APAC tells SEAB what sets the product apart and why they decided to launch the product in Southeast Asia first. 

SEAB: Congratulations on the launch of the Wavin Tigris K5/M5. What kind of response has it received so far?

FREEK: The newly launched Wavin Tigris K5/M5 improves on the past generation of our highly rated K1/M1 solutions, and the Tigris portfolio in general has been well received by the building and construction sector across Asia Pacific and Southeast Asia. We have heard onsite feedback from infrastructure engineers, contractors, and installers that the Tigris K5/M5 reliability is greatly appreciated, having been backed by lifetime simulation tests that go above and beyond industry certification requirements.

The Wavin Tigris K5/M5 has also been instrumental for the completion and success of France’s first-ever wooden residential building tower, the award-winning 58 metres tall Hypérion Tower. Located in the city of Bordeaux, France, the Hypérion Tower is the highlight of the municipal authorities’ recent effort to drive sustainable urban renewal and decreased carbon impact during building development. The Hypérion’s wooden structures, while more sustainable than traditional materials, are also more susceptible to humidity and water damage. With Tigris M5, the Hypérion’s engineers and installers were able to ensure an efficient, safe, and uninterrupted building during the installation phase. As they could execute leak- and pressure tests with air, they were not depending on water supplies and could avoided messy workspaces. Above all, they could avoid stagnant water that could have resulted into bacterial growth afterwards. Having been completed in May 2021, the Hypérion is designed to save 14.7 tons of carbon emissions per apartment, and this milestone for cleaner building environments continues to be maintained with the Tigris M5’s Optiflow, an improved flow performance that reduces pressure and energy losses.

SEAB: The Wavin Tigris K5/M5 are the world’s first fittings with an ACOUSTIC LEAK ALERT. How did you come up with this innovative idea? Why do you think the Wavin Tigris K5/M5 is a game-changer?

FREEK: Designed with the needs of contractors and built installers in mind, the innovative Acoustic Leak Alert in the Wavin Tigris K5/M5 enables quick, efficient detection of leaks in any construction and built environment during the required leak and pressure tests.

If an un-pressed fitting is present, the Tigris K5/M5 helps nearby construction professionals identify the issue via the air pressure testing method which will produce a loud whistle in case of a leak.

From an industry perspective, building contractors and installers around Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific should consider switching to air pressure testing for their pipelines, not only to protect their facilities for the longer term from moisture and environmental damage, as well as risk of Legionella bacteria, but also to create more secure, efficient building processes.

It is important to be mindful that the air pressure method has advantages over water pressure testing, along with these additional features of the Tigris K5/M5:

(a) No risk of bacterial growth (e.g., Legionella), as water stagnation in the period between testing and final use of the installation is eliminated

(b) Air pressure testing with the Tigris K5/M5 lowers the risk of slippery workplace hazards or water damage, and eliminates the need for using leak sprays

(c) Quicker, cleaner, and safer.  Tigris K5/M5’s air pressure testing requires 0.15 bar of pressure, making the method ideal for checking prefabricated installations

(d) MULTIJAW functionality of the Tigris K5/M5’s fittings makes it easy for installers to switch to the Tigris without buying new equipment, changing tools, and also retaining their system warranty as it suits most common pressing jaw profiles

(e) OPTIFLOW increased inner bore of the Tigris K5/M5 offers an up to 50 percent greater flow area than that of a regular fitting, which mitigate pressure and heat losses

SEAB: In which countries is the Wavin Tigris K5/M5 available and why do you choose Southeast Asia region as the launching pad for the product?

FREEK: First introduced during 2019’s ISH, a leading international trade fair in Germany, the Wavin Tigris K5/M5 has gone on to receive several European Innovation and trade awards. The Wavin Tigris K5/M5 is now available across Southeast Asia, specifically Singapore and Vietnam, as well as Australia from 8 October 2021 onwards.

Water scarcity is particularly acute in Southeast Asia because of rapid population growth, industrial development and urbanisation and rapid climate change. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in fact estimates that by 2050, up to 3.4 billion people could be living in water-stressed environments in the wider Asian region. Exacerbating this mounting pressure for Southeast Asia’s water issues are aging infrastructure and increasing water leakage, particularly in major urban and metropolitan centres.

We chose to have Southeast Asia as a priority market for the Wavin Tigris K5/M5, as we believe the Tigris solution portfolio offers a new approach for the region’s governments and construction industries to better manage water networks and infrastructure under the current challenging market conditions.

SEAB: What’s next for Wavin?

FREEK: With over 60 years of experience in the building and infrastructure industries across Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region, Wavin’s launch of the Tigris K5/M5 reinforces our commitment to meet the water supply needs of the world’s largest, and fastest-growing, region.

Wavin remains committed to ensuring safe and efficient drinking water supply, and better sanitation and hygiene to accommodate emerging Southeast Asia’s rapidly increasing urban population and continued economic growth, especially in priority markets like Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

The expected momentum will require greater demand for construction projects in the commercial, industrial, and residential sectors, and must incorporate solutions for sustainable, clean, and accessible water and sewer facilities – crucial, basic human requirements. Wavin’s portfolio of innovative solutions will be introduced to these markets, ultimately aiming to enable the following sustainable pillars for the future of the region’s built, construction and infrastructure economies:

(1) Safe and efficient water supply: Enabling safe and easy access to clean water for all.

(2) Better sanitation and hygiene: Improve accessibility to sanitation for all communities.

(3) Climate-resiliency: Help mitigate the negative effects of emerging Southeast Asia’s storms, riverine flooding, coastal erosion, drought, and saltwater intrusion, through Wavin’s climate adaptation solutions.

(4) Better building performance: Help reduce carbon and energy footprint, through deployment of Wavin’s products which can be used as integrated systems – linked to new smart technologies – that can significantly reduce energy use and carbon emissions of buildings.