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New Housing Connections

Guide to Meter Bank Installations


for New Housing Developers

Contact Information
Planning Requirements
Developer Responsibilities
Acceptable Meter Bank Locations
Ventilation Requirements
Meter Enclosure Guidance
Proximities to Electrical Equipment
Types of Service Entry

www.newhousingconnections.co.uk

November 2009 Copyright British Gas


November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Contents
Contact Information / Work Requests
Our Service Providers contact details and telephone
numbers are supplied in your acceptance pack
British Gas New Housing Connections Contact Details page 4

Planning Requirements
Introduction page 5
Planning page 5

Developer Responsibilities
Important Requirements page 6

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Acceptable Meter Bank Locations
Preferred Locations page 7
Locations to Avoid page 8

Ventilation Requirements

Suitable Ventilators Available


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Tables to Calculate Free Area of Ventilation Required

Step by Step Guide to Calculating Ventilation Requirements


page 10
page 10
page 12
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Important Safety Requirements when Considering the use of
Ducted Ventilation to an Internal Meter Housing/Enclosure page 13
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Ventilation and Access Requirements for Welded Steel Pipework Contained in Duct
within Suspended/False Ceiling or Located in Duct Below Ceiling Level page 14

Meter Enclosure Guidance


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Required Depth of Meter Enclosure & Labelling page 16

Proximities to Electrical Equipment


Locating a Meter Bank Installation in the same Enclosure
as Electrical Equipment page 17
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Meter Bank Configurations


Information and Guidance page 19

Types of Service Entry


Typical Above Ground Entries page 21
Typical Below Ground Entries page 21
Preparation page 21
Technical Considerations page 21
Requirements for Gas Valve Box to be Fitted during Permanent Reinstatement page 22

November 2009 Copyright British Gas


All works and material requests relating to the gas infrastructure construction, installation and
Work Requests metering works on your development should be made via the contact details as indicated in your
developers acceptance pack, which includes the contact name and number of our service
provider and your quotation reference number.

Please refer to the attached contact information card for details of how to contact us or,
alternatively, log onto our website www.newhousingconnections.co.uk

All written communications should be sent to:

British Gas New Housing Connections


4 Callaghan Square
Cardiff
CF10 5BT

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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Introduction
It is vitally important that you the Developer, your appointed Architect and Site Manager
are fully conversant with your responsibilities at both the design stage and during the gas
installation to ensure that the gas meter bank will be installed in compliance with all current gas
safety regulations.

Planning
To assist us with providing a quotation or any subsequent detailed design it is extremely
important for your Architect to provide detailed plans of the building to include the following
information:
Scaled floor plans.
Elevations of the building including appropriate cross sections.
Any cross sectional elevation drawings showing detail of proposed ventilation requirements.
Position of escape routes from the building.

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Indicate the position and location of service entry points.
When determining the route of the pipework to the meter bank installation(s) it is very
important to ensure that all internal pipework, meters and associated fittings can be
ventilated to current gas safety regulations. (Please refer to Pages 9 to 15 for detailed
guidance).

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Planning Requirements
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Important Requirements
Reasonable access must be provided to any enclosure and such access shall be restricted to,
Developer Responsibilities
as appropriate, gas consumers and authorised persons.
Meter bank installations must be adequately ventilated direct to outside air. (Please refer to
Pages 9 to 15 for more detailed guidance).
Any meter enclosure must be sealed to avoid any potential escape of gas entering other parts
of the building.
An acceptable route should be determined for the service entry and any internal pipework
required to connect the meter bank installation.
A valve is fitted externally to the building on the service pipe feeding the meter bank instal-
lation to allow the installation to be isolated externally in the event of an emergency. A valve
cover and sleeve must be installed by your ground workers during backfilling of the service
trench. (Please refer to Page 22 for more detailed guidance).
Meters, associated pipework and fittings must be protected during construction from

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corrosive substances especially soldering flux but also including other construction
damage caused by plaster, concrete and paint.
Smoking and the use of naked flames must be prohibited within or in the immediate vicinity
of the enclosure.


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Each meter and its associated installation pipework must be clearly and permanently
labelled to identify the particular property that it serves before the meter installation is

The outlet supply from each meter will require an Additional Emergency Control Valve (AECV)
within each property as close as possible at the point where the outlet pipework enters, please
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consult your Gas Safe Registered installer for further guidance.
A warning label, supplied and fitted by the British Gas Service Provider must be permanently
displayed at the entrance of the meter enclosure. Further information on the need for this
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requirement is provided on Pages 17 & 18.

BGNHC Responsibilities
This guidance will be explained to your Site Manager by the BGNHC Service
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Provider during any pre-visit prior to construction to ensure all parties are
aware of their responsibilities.
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Choosing a Safe Location for a Meter Bank Installation
A meter bank installation shall be located in a room, cupboard or secured area (collectively
referred to as an enclosure), designed for the purpose and ventilated as per industry standards.
Acceptable locations are dependent upon the construction of the building and the position of
the escape routes.
It is an important requirement to indicate the position of the meter enclosure on drawings
submitted indicating clearly the position of escape routes.

Preferred Locations
Figure 1: Purpose built enclosures external to the structure of the building.

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Acceptable Meter Bank Locations
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Figure 2: Naturally ventilated basement car parks (ideally located in a cage positioned to avoid
damage from vehicles and unauthorised interference).
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Figure 3: Purpose built meter room/enclosure opening onto a naturally ventilated basement car
Acceptable Meter Bank Locations park.

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Figure 4: Purpose built internal enclosures which satisfy ventilation and escape route criteria as
described in this guide.

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Locations to Avoid
Unventilated voids.
Under a stairway.
Enclosed basements and cellars.
Rooms with no outside walls or that cannot be easily ventilated direct to outside air.
Meters are not permitted in cupboards or rooms which open directly onto a common sole
means of escape.
Places which can not provide reasonable access for consumers, meter readers and
maintenance personnel.
It is preferred not to site meter bank installations in the same enclosure as electrical
apparatus.
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Important Ventilation Guidance
An enclosure that contains a meter bank must be ventilated directly to outside air by natural
means. Mechanical ventilation, closable vents or vents fitted with insect mesh are not
acceptable and must not be installed.

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A guide has been produced in the form of the tables on the following pages which indicate
ventilation requirements based on the floor area of the enclosure. The tables provide the free
area required to ensure adequate ventilation for the meter bank installation(s), along with
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suitable ventilators available from suppliers as a reference guide.

Ventilation Requirements
Tables 1 & 2 shown on Page 10 have been derived based on the following:
Height of meter enclosure > 1.5 metres < 4 metres.
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Ventilation provided must be adjacent to the meter bank installation and direct to outside
air.
Ventilation to be split equally between high and low level.
The only electrical equipment allowed within a meter enclosure are a light and switch
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please refer to guidance provided on pages 17 & 18 and your qualified electrical engineer.
Ducted ventilation should be avoided, but where absolutely necessary should not exceed
3 metres in length, the free area of ventilation required must be increased by 20% and
detailed engineering drawings will be required. Please refer to Page 12 for further guidance.

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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Table 1 - Ventilation provided on 2 or more walls
Ventilation Requirements Actual floor area of meter enclosure in Total Free Area of Ventilation in (cm)
square metres (m) required on 2 or more walls
1m 400cm
2m 600cm
3m 800cm
4m 1000cm
5m 1200cm
6m 1600cm
8m 2000cm
10m 3000cm
15m 4000cm
20m 5000cm
30m 8000cm

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Table 2 - Ventilation provided on 1 wall only
Actual floor area of meter enclosure in Total Free Area of Ventilation in (cm)
square metres (m) required on 1 wall
1m 500cm
2m 840cm
3m
4m
5m
6m
8m
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1400cm
1680cm
2240cm
2800cm
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10m 4200cm
15m 5600cm
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20m 7000cm

Please refer to Tables 3, 4 & 5 which provide ventilator sizes available with appropriate free area
(in cm) as a guide. Information has been sourced from BES Ltd and Stadium Building Products
brouchures.
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Table 3 - Example of Suitable Ventilators (e.g. as


available from BES Ltd)
Product Reference Overall Size Hole Size Required Free Area
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7683 254mm x 108mm 231mm x 85mm 100cm


7684 299mm x 120mm 276mm x 97mm 150cm
10369 299mm x 240mm 280mm x 220mm 300cm
7685 376mm x 140mm 352mm x 122mm 250cm

Example of flush fit ventilator suitable for external or internal use on doors, compartments and
partitions.

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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Table 4 - Examples of Suitable Ventilators (e.g. as
available from Stadium Building Products)
Product Reference Size Free Area
BM367 410mm x 240mm 316cm
BM368 410mm x 330mm 445cm
BM369 410mm x 500mm 693cm

Exterior compartment face fit ventilators.

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Note: The ventilators shown in this guide are given as examples of suitable ventilators. Similar

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products may be available from other suppliers and these may be acceptable providing proper
account is taken of the total free area available in relation to the overall dimensions of the
ventilator.

Table 5 - Examples of Suitable Core Drill Ventilators


(e.g. as available from Stadium Building Products)
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Product Reference Product Notes Free Area
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BM416 127mm (5) Core drill 100cm


ventilator -

Ventilation Requirements
Tube length 610mm
BM436 152mm (6) Core drill 161cm
ventilator -
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Tube length 610mm

Suitable for use in external walls of meter enclosure.


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Important notes:
It is possible to consider installing louver doors which would provide sufficient free area as
an alternative to fitting ventilators at high and low level, however unventilated dead zones
above louvre doors should be avoided by fitting a further vent at high level. Please refer to
Pages 17 & 18 for further guidance.
Alternatively a combination of ventilators distributed equally at high and low level must be
considered in order to achieve the required free area necessary to meet with current gas
industry standards for safe levels of ventilation required within the enclosure.
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Step by Step Guide to Calculating Ventilation
Ventilation Requirements Requirements
To ascertain the minimum free area of ventilation required to feed into the meter
housing/enclosure the following steps need to be followed:
1. Determine the floor area of the meter housing/enclosure in square metres.
2. Determine if ventilation can be provided on one or two or more walls.
3. Using Tables 1 & 2 on Page 10 determine the free area of ventilation required.
4. If the ventilation is ducted, use Table 2 and add 20% to the free area determined
in Step 3.
5. Divide the final free area calculated by 2 to determine the cross sectional area of
each vent to be positioned at high and low level terminating within the meter
housing/enclosure.
6. Ventilators fitted through an external wall to outside air must be sleeved and sized

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accordingly based on the free area required. Spacers must be used to ensure the full
free area offered by the vent provided is utilitsed please refer to Page 13 for further
guidance.
7. Appropriate ventilators will be recommended by British Gas on the construction
drawing included in your acceptance pack to provide additional assistance in

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achieving the free area of ventilation required for your installation.
A completed example has been provided below for illustration purposes showing a
calculation for ducted ventilation where the meter room is remote from the external
wall.
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Important Safety Requirements when Considering
the use of Ducted Ventilation to an Internal Meter
Housing/Enclosure
Maximum permissable length of ventilation duct from outside air to the meter housing/
enclosure is 3 metres.
Ventilators must be fitted with spacers to ensure the full amount of free air offered by the
ventilator is utilised as shown by the following diagram.

Figure 5: Ventilation duct passing through cavity wall direct to outside air including
arrangement for the fitting of spacers for external ventilator.

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Ventilation Requirements
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Ventilation Requirements and Access Requirements for
Welded Steel Pipework Contained in Duct within
Ventilation Requirements
Suspended/False Ceiling or Located within Duct below
Ceiling Level
Pipework must not be installed in the ceiling space e.g. false ceiling unless it welded and
contained within an independent sealed duct. This must be accessible and ventilated into the
lobby or corridor. See Figures 6 & 7 for further guidance.
Inspection hatches will be required every 3 metres to allow for future inspection and
maintenance and a suitable clearance provided within the duct as indicated by Table 6 on
Page 15.
Figure 6: Ventilation duct running in suspended/false ceiling in corridor which is permanently
ventilated to outside air in accordance with building regulations.

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Figure 7: Ventilation duct running at ceiling level in corridor which is permanently ventilated to
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outside air in accordance with building regulations.


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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Ventilation must be provided from the duct in the ceiling directly into a permanently/
naturally ventilated corridor.
The corridor into which it vents must be permanently/naturally ventilated to outside air.
Ducts should provide 5 x diameter clearance around the pipe as shown by Table 6 below.
For maintenance purposes inspection hatches must be provided every 3 metres.

Table 6: Required clearance around pipework


contained within a duct
PIPE DIAMETER DUCT DIMENSIONS (5 x D)
D mm
1 - 25mm 125 x 125
1 - 32mm 160 x 160
1 - 40mm 200 x 200
2 - 50mm 250 x 250
3 - 75mm 375 x 375

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4 - 100mm 500 x 500

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Ventilation Requirements
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Required Depth of Meter Enclosure & Labelling
An enclosure door must be self closing and lockable. Enclosures which are large enough for
Meter Enclosure Guidance
persons to enter must be able to be opened from inside without the use of a key.

If the meter compartment is accessible for the purposes of meter reading and maintenance
from the front through fully openable doors (full width of compartment) the minimum depth
must be 500mm.

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If meter room is accessible through a single door then the minimum depth of the room must
be 1300mm providing sufficient access for meter reading and maintenance purposes. The door
must be fully operable from the inside for safe escape purposes.

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It is also preferable to display an appropriate no smoking notice internally or externally to the


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meter enclosure.
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Proximities to Electrical Equipment
A standard electrical switch and light fitting may be used in a properly ventilated meter bank
Proximity to Electrical Equipment
room providing that it is a distance of at least 1 metre away from the meter bank installation
and outside any dead zone.
Any electrical equipment that is closer than a distance of 1 metre away from the meter bank
installation or within any dead zone must be suitable for use in a Zone 2 hazardous area. Some
extra precautions are needed for light fittings installed at ceiling level in an unventilated dead
zone above a ventilator please refer to Figure 8 on Page 18 for further guidance.
Please consult with your Electrical Engineer for further guidance about DSEAR (Dangerous
Substances and Explosive Atmospheres Regulations 2002) - Suitable electrical equipment is
available from specialist electrical wholesale suppliers. Table 7 shows examples of equipment
types for use in a Zone 2 area.

Table 7 - Equipment Types Suitable for Zone 2 Area


TYPE TYPE OF PROTECTION ZONE ATEX CATEGORY

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ia Intrinsic safety 0 1G
d Flameproof enclosure 1 2G
e Increased safety 1 2G
ib Intrinsic safety 1 2G
ic Intrinsic safety 2 3G
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Explaination of Hazardous Areas


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Type of protection n 2 3G

The Zone number is described as being a measure of the likelihood of a flammable gas/air mix-
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ture being present in a particular area, known as a Zone.
The definition of Zone 2 is an area in which an explosive gas/air mixture is not likely to occur in
normal operation and, if it occurs, it will exist only a short time.
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Extent of Zone 2 Hazardous Area


The extent of the Zone 2 hazardous area is shown in Figure 8 and extends 1 metre around the
meter bank installation.
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As a guide where a light fitting and switch is 1 metre away from the meter bank installation then
it is permissable for a standard light and switch fitting to be installed, however confirmation
must be provided in advance to British Gas to ensure that this requirement can be met.
Please refer to Figure 8 for further guidance when determining distances for a light or switch
taking account of the Zone 2 hazardous area shown. Where a dead zone exists above the high
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level ventilation proposed, for example in a bin store with a high ceiling, then the following
options shall be considered:
Install a Zone 2 rated light fitting suitable for use in a Zone 2 area - see Table 7
above.
A standard light fitting may be acceptable if hung on a chain or fitted on a wall in line with
the existing high level of ventilation installed taking it below the dead zone.
A standard light fitting may also be considered on the ceiling providing the dead zone is
removed by suitable further high level ventilation installed as close to the ceiling level as
possible. British Gas will determine the additional level of ventilation required.

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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Figure 8: Cross Sectional diagram showing meter bank installed within bin store with high
ceiling indicating proximity to light fittings.

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Proximity to Electrical Equipment
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Required Labelling
A label to ensure compliance with regulations will be attached by the British Gas Service
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Provider. This provides important safety information, a contact number in the event of a
gas escape and meter owner details - an example of which is shown below.
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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Meter Bank Configurations
Pages 19 & 20 provide a sample of meter bank configurations available from British Gas New
Meter Bank Configurations
Housing Connections including dimensions for both the meter bank installation and minimum
size of enclosure required. Further information and guidance is available on request.

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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
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Meter Bank Configurations


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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Types of Service Entry
Typical above ground entry
Types of Service Entry

Gas Valve
Box

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Typical below ground cellar entry

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External gas
isolation
valve
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Preparation
It is the Developers responsibility to drill the hole for the service entry.
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The entry tee for above ground entry must be a minimum of two brick courses above the damp
proof course and no more than 2 metres above ground level.
The fittings can be supplied to fit through walls with thickness from 150mm to 500mm.
For 63mm services a core hole size of 100mm is required.
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Technical considerations
Where the building has a concrete raft it is important to leave a minimum of 375mm clearance above
the raft and finished ground level. If this is not possible a slot or vertical channel in the raft must
be provided by yourselves to allow the safe installation of the gas service pipe.
If this has not been done it is not the responsibility of British Gas or its Service Providers to break
the concrete to provide a slot for the gas service pipe.
Service entry tees cannot be positioned directly over drains or other utility entry points.

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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
Requirements for Gas Valve Box to be Fitted during
Permanent Reinstatement
The gas service pipe feeding your meter bank installation(s) incorporates an external isolation
valve (indicated by the BGNHC construction drawing included in your acceptance pack) and will
require a gas surface box. This is supplied by the BGNHC Service Provider, and it is the Developers
responsibility to install as part of the permanent reinstatement.

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Types of Service Entry


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November 2009 Copyright British Gas
New Housing Connections
A Centrica Business.
British Gas Trading Limited. Registered in England No. 3078711.
Registered office: Millstream, Maidenhead Road, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 5GD

www.newhousingconnections.co.uk