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What is DW154?

DW154 is the UK standard for fabrication and installation of plastic ductwork. It focusses on circular and rectangular fabrication using PVC and polypropylene, reinforced with GRP as necessary, and installation requirements.

DW154 was published by HVCA in 2000. The HVCA is the trade association now known as BESA, the Building and Engineering Services Association.

A number of industry specialists constituted the DW154 technical panel:

  • Graham Handley (Chairman), founder of Roperhurst Limited, one of the UK’s leading plastic ductwork fabricators and installers since 1976
  • Mel Clarke, a specialist in fan design
  • Melvyn Sargent, a specialist in fume cupboard commissioning and validation
  • Bernard Coates, a specialist in fume cupboard manufacture and installation
  • John Howes
  • Keith Elphick (drafting panel secretary)
  • Gareth Keller (HVCA Ductwork Group secretary)

Choosing the right partner for your project

The key criteria to look for when appointing a DW154 plastic ductwork fabricator and/or installer are:

Are they a member of BESA?

BESA membership means that their core operations are audited for quality by BESCA. BESA members can be found here – we recommend that care is taken to ensure that they have in-house credibility in plastic ductwork fabrication and installation

Do they have the requisite experience?

Your target fabrication company should be able to provide details of reference sites similar to your project, both in terms of physical size of ductwork and overall project value, and be able to demonstrate many years of success.

Do they have the requisite infrastructure?

We would always recommend that, where projects of scale are being considered, you arrange a visit to a target fabrication company in advance of making an appointment to assess their in-house capabilities and infrastructure. Plant and machinery to look out for would include CNC routers, hot line benders and butt fusion machines.

Additionally, where ductwork is to be reinforced with fibreglass, an in-house GRP capability would be important.

Do they have the financial scale to take on your project?

It might sound obvious but giving a £1m order to a company with a net worth that is a fraction of the contract value, and a typical turnover that’s also considerably less may expose you to considerable risk.

Cheaper is definitely not better if deadlines are missed or financial difficulties experienced.

Anything else?

As with any procurement, it’s worth remembering that a very professional website can sometimes mask reality.

We would always recommend that you visit your target fabrication company to satisfy yourself as to whether website claims have a basis in fact.