The ongoing threats to the construction industry have resulted in shortages of building materials. This scarcity is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the enforced changes to working practices throughout the supply chain. With the increase in energy and material costs, construction businesses are facing pricing implications for their projects. In addition to this, there are also transportation challenges, which make it difficult for specifiers, procurement teams, and contractors to find viable alternatives. These challenges mean that sourcing materials has become more difficult and expensive for those operating within the construction sector.


In the past year, fabricated steel has seen a huge price increase of nearly 65%. This was even before the recently announced steel price hikes. Due to this increase, the structural grades needed to make cable management systems and other building services support solutions are sometimes not available in sufficient quantities to meet the demand.


It may seem obvious, but one course of action going forward is to reduce the volume of materials required for a project.


Using wire rope in place of traditional threaded rod for the suspension and bracing of building services, for example, results in considerable materials savings.


Cable management systems have historically been installed in the same way for decades – a system that continues to work but one which often results in an over-engineered solution with far too many brackets holding up very little cable and a lot of fresh air!


Today it is common to see 75% of cable supporting tray or ladder being left empty. These could easily be scaled down, reducing the volume of steel required significantly. Tray has also been traditionally used for carrying small power cables, data cables, etc., where cable basket could be substituted to provide a further material saving of over 50% – Tray is around 65% material content while basket is around 15%.


Whether using tray, ladder, or basket, using wire rope as a primary means of suspension affords major materials savings and is just one reason why today Zip-Clip systems are being specified globally in the construction sector for the suspension and bracing of electrical containment components, HVAC and mechanical services, lighting, signage, and more.


Zip-Clip systems have been developed to provide complete solutions that not only ensure optimum application performance but also, when compared to traditional suspension methods utilising threaded rods, considerably reduce materials usage and waste, whilst simplifying installation and ultimately reducing time on site.  Add to this reduction in the transport burden and other environmental benefits such as reduced CO2 emissions and the advantages really do start to add up.


As the construction sector actively looks for viable ways to reduce costs, remedy shortages and associated difficulties, while at the same time striving to achieve environmental targets such as net-zero construction, there has never been a more important time to be innovative and open-minded to change.


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The use of wire rope has a dramatic impact in reducing not only materials usage and weight of a suspension solution but also the volume of CO2 produced during its manufacture.


For example, a typical retail store uses approx. 1,200 suspension drops of 2 m.


M8 threaded rod would weigh 748.80 kg and produce 1,344 kg of CO2 to manufacture the 2,400 metres required.


A Zip-Clip wire rope system would weigh 37.86 kg and produce 96 kg of CO2 to manufacture the 2,400 m.


Saving on weight:   710 kg
Saving on CO2:   1,245 kg


Therefore a 92.6% reduction of CO2 emission can be realised by utilising Zip-Clip wire rope.


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1 × 40-foot container holds 1,446,000 m of 2 mm wire rope.

32 × 40-foot containers are required to transport the equivalent length of 10 mm rod!


2 mm wire performs at the same level as 10 mm threaded rod.


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Through a free-of-charge ‘Club 35’ learning programme, Zip-Clip offers a range of courses/presentations providing knowledge and know-how developed specifically to support individuals and organisations as they look to explore the options whilst adapting to the times and to current market pressures.


  • Wire Support Solutions – The Alternative to Threaded Rod (CIBSE Accredited)
  • Environmental Benefits of Wire Rope Suspension Solutions (CIBSE Accredited)
  • Reducing Prime Costs of Services Suspension Installations
  • Cable Management Systems


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For Further information contact Zip-Clip Sales or Technical Teams on +44 (0)1686 623 366 or email


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Published 17/03/2022