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Manchester goes Alpine!

Combining a 180m long ski slope with all the après ski bars, restaurants and retail outlets you would expect to find in a genuine Alpine village, Manchester’s Chill Factore has been a challenging construction project. The £31 million Chill Factore opened in November 2007 and is the first indoor ski slope in the north west of England. It covers an area of 250,000 square feet and features two areas: Ski Slope and Mountain Village.

Electrical contractor, Connect 2 Ltd, chose to install Cablofil’s steel wire tray cable management system to house mains cabling, voice and data services, and fire and security alarm systems.

Connect 2’s Mark Barry explained: “Cablofil is the cable management system of choice for us. It is easy to use, fits together quickly and gives us the flexibility we need to adapt it to our needs on site, without having to order bespoke components or use specialist tools.”

“The design of tray means it’s 90% free air, which prevents the snow from getting stuck on its way down.”

A key feature of the Chill Factore is that real snow blasted out from the ceiling, which constantly refreshes the slope and adds to the ‘outdoor’ skiing experience. “With traditional cable management systems, surface mounted trays could have represented a potential health and safety hazard,” commented managing director of Cablofil, Paul Courson. “That’s because perforated steel tray would have caught snow as it was blasted from the ceiling. The design of Cablofil wire tray means that it’s 90% free air, which prevents the snow from
getting stuck on its way down.”

To help create the illusion of being outdoors, the walls and ceiling of the Chill Factore’s cold room have been painted to create an Alpine scene and a fabulous blue sky. Cablofil’s open mesh design made it much easier to camouflage the tray against the painted backdrop and the finished installation is barely visible against the scenery.

“The adaptability, lightweight structure and open mesh design of the Cablofil system has helped to ensure cable management is completely unobtrusive,” Paul Courson added, “helping to fulfil the developer’s goal of creating a genuine ski resort experience in the North West of England.”


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