Founded in 1999 by Steve Leigh, Groundbreaker Systems is one of those firms who you just wonder why “no-one thought of it before” ….
The systems are designed to eliminate the age old problems of either providing new water supplies or replacing existing problem pipework without the trauma and inherent problems of digging up floors.
Having formerly worked in the Water Industry for over 20 years including works associated with new building, Steve took (relatively) early severance to set up his own company to deliver perhaps what some developers considered the “utopia” of being able to remove the problem of arranging new water connections without incurring a load of “challenges” from their local water undertaker.
Taking advantage of new developments in insulation materials Groundbreaker Systems has re-written the text books regarding the protection of water service pipes and that the age-old problem of locating water pipes under floors could be a thing of the past.
Using the acquired knowledge and experience within the water industry, Steve and Groundbreaker Systems has designed and patented a range of products that will not only meet the stringent demands of the water industry, but also the pressures in time and resources that any developer faces.
For example it becomes a simple matter to run replacement water pipes up the external face of a wall and to enter the structure of the dwelling via an insulated duct rather than to leave holes in the footings that have to be sealed to meet legislation for insulation requirements.
The water meter (required for all new properties) is located within the safe and secure environment of the Groundbreaker unit, which also incorporates a stop valve to control the water on to a property, the whole unit tucked away inconspicuously at the footings of a property as will be seen in the attached images.
The fact that the water meter is accessible means that instead of groping around in a footpath (the traditional location for a water meter and control device) the home owner has instant access to his or her water meter and can cross check just how little water they actually use.
Applications for Groundbreaker Systems are only limited by the imagination of the installer, a few examples are as follows:~
- For new developments.
- To eliminate “street furniture” as required by the new Highways Act and Design Guides
- As part of a lead pipe replacement programme – required under EU Directives.
- Replacement of leaking pipes
- As part of a “secure by design” procedure implemented by all UK police forces.
These features may also be a particularly important requirement to housing association housing stock managers and home occupiers in urban regeneration projects.
Throughout the UK, major developers have used the Groundbreaker system to facilitate quick and simple water connections to properties for direct sales and for “social housing” ~ these include well known names such as Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Group, Bryant / Taylor Woodrow, Bellway & Persimmon to name but a few.
Incorporating facilities for future technology, Groundbreaker Systems has provided a platform for the water companies to read these increased number of water meters cost effectively to the satisfaction of the water regulator – OFWAT and indeed to the home owner.
As mentioned above, the water meter is left in accessible position (compliant with Building Regulation Part M) and available to host the latest remote reading technology based on SMS text messaging, since the unit is above ground, signals are more easily received and transmitted than the old fashioned “hole in the ground” that would otherwise have been the option.