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Updating the system

The pace of advancing technology and the diversification of educational establishments have changed the electrical needs of colleges beyond recognition over the past ten years, with increasingly complex requirements for both data and power. For contractors completing an installation in this type of environment, therefore, it is not only vital that they address the college’s current needs but also that they offer future proofed solutions that will accommodate advances in technology still to come.

At Epping Forest College in North East London, completion of a £26 million redevelopment scheme will see the further education college rejuvenated as a 21st century campus, offering state-of-theart IT and data transfer facilities. The redeveloped site will not only be able to offer better services to staff and students but be better prepared for the commercial realities of contemporary education.

As with any education sector installation, the schedule of works at Epping Forest College was determined by the academic term and, for electrical contractor, Aqua Mechanical Services, this meant that the project had to be completed within a very tight time frame, with the college due to open for the autumn 2008 term.
When specifying the installation, therefore, Aqua Mechanical Services not only had to consider the current and future needs of the college but also needed to select products that would be both durable and fast to install.

Aqua Mechanical Services turned to electrical wholesaler, Edmundson’s, to supply MITA’s aemsa steel wire cable tray which was installed for both power and data cables in the ceiling voids and under the floor. Based on a double transverse wire design, aemsa offers greater overall strength and loading capacity, making it
ideal for applications with multiple cable requirements. In addition to offering a robust solution, aemsa is fast and simple to install, reducing installation times. One of the challenges of the installation at Epping Forest College was the shallow under floor voids, which had a nominal clearance of just 62mm. However, MITA supplies aemsa wire tray in 3 depths – 70mm as standard, 35mm and 105mm and in widths ranging from 60mm - 600mm with a standard tray length of three metres, so there was enough flexibility within a single product specification to adapt to this requirement. As a result, Aqua Mechanical Services was able to use 400mm aemsa for the heavier power cables, 300mm for data cabling and 35mm tray for the shallowest
areas of the under floor voids.

The shallow under floor voids also forced Aqua Mechanical Services to change the original floor box specification and, instead, the company used MITA desk management units. The contractor did not feel that the aesthetic of MITA’s standard black desk management units was right for the design of the building and
commissioned 190 bespoke units instead, each providing four socket outlets in an aluminium-clad unit. MITA’s 63 amp power track busbar system was installed to provide the under floor power distribution
system for these desk management units and they were connected via grommets in the floor. This meant that there was no need for any wires on the floor, enhancing health & safety as well as providing convenient sockets at desk level.

Throughout the building, the contractor also used MITA’s Cat 6, twocompartment dado trunking to provide
wall mounted power sockets and data points. The building has been designed to comply with the latest Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) legislation and, as a result, the dado trunking was supplied with a grey lid to help visually impaired students and staff to identify the white sockets more easily, ensuring the building meets the most rigorous accessibility standards.

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Electrical Products