SA Affordable Housing January - February 2019 // Issue: 74 - Page 19

FEATURES Cutting costs on plumbing may cost you more It can be tempting for developers to cut back on the products used for plumbing in an affordable home but industry experts warn it can be disastrous and end up costing much more in the long run. By Warren Robertson Often costs savings may come from simple common sense adjustments that can be overlooked in the grand scheme of planning a development. O ne plumbing product looks like another and it all seems easy enough to install yourself – or is it? Quality plumbing is one of the main factors considered by government when agreeing to support developers in the affordable housing sector. The right of access to basic water supply and sanitation is detailed in the Water Services Act (108 of 1997), which also provides for the setting of national standards and norms and standards for tariffs. “To install quality and long-lasting plumbing and sanitation, quality products need to be considered,” explains the Department of Water and Sanitation director: media liaison and content development, Ratau Sputnik. “Installation of quality products and the work of qualified artisans and plumbers enhance the quality of life of the end users. This is an obvious benefit not just for the good health of the homeowner, but also ensures longevity of the infrastructure where it is installed.” General manager of Calafrica Chris Kyle explains that the need for good quality plumbing supplies is mandatory even in lower cost developments, and that the risks of using non-compliant plumbing parts means that residents (and often rental companies) are liable for any repairs. “The use of compliant materials and the fit-for-purpose materials cannot be overemphasised. Too often substandard non-compliant materials are specified and installed with dire consequences and high mechanical failure rates shortly after completion of the project,” he explains, adding that, “It should be strongly noted that, in order to meet compliance, only materials meeting the requirements of the applicable SABS standards as a minimum standard will be acceptable. Anything less, or the incorrect application of even compliant materials, will not be satisfactory to meet auditory requirements and will have to be removed and replaced with compliant materials before a valid Certificate of Compliance (COC) can be JANUARY - FEBRUARY 2019 17