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Multi-million pound project gets modular wiring

Apex Wiring Solutions has won an undisclosed contract to supply modular wiring systems for two new schools under construction in Kingston-upon-Hull, Humberside.

Hull’s Andrew Marvell Business and Enterprise College is one of two schools being installed with Apex modular wiring systems

The contract will see the Durham-based firm design, manufacture and supply the modular wiring system – featuring pre-wired distribution boards, fully pluggable lighting and small power throughout – for the Northern Academy and Andrew Marvell Business and Enterprise College (AMBEC).

Both are part of the Hull Building Schools for the Future programme, a £465 million public private partnership being delivered by construction and infrastructure business Morgan Sindall, which aims to provide new educational facilities as part of a city wide social and economic regeneration initiative.

The modular wiring fit-out will be undertaken by an Apex-approved contractor who will have thousands of modular wiring components – including more than 30 pre-wired distribution boards and over 25,000 metres of lighting and power pre-wired cables – to install before September 2013 when the schools are due to open.

According to Building Cost Information Service research on behalf of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, only 63% of site-based construction projects are delivered on time and only 49% are delivered to budget. Offsite modular construction represents a change in how buildings are designed and built because they make the process quicker and more cost effective. Apex has used the latest software to design a bespoke system that will cut onsite electrical installation times and waste, providing a quality and highly flexible pre-assembled power distribution and lighting system on time and within budget as part of the overall multi-million pound build programme. All the modular components will be produced and quality checked and tested at the company’s Durham manufacturing facility before being supplied to site ready for installation

Dave Lewis, Apex’s Managing Director, said that the use of pre-fabricated connectors and pre-assembled cables delivers significant improvements over hard wired systems, reducing onsite installation times by up to 70%. He added: “The Hull Building Schools for the Future is another major contract win for us. The time saving and environmental benefits of modular wiring systems are becoming increasingly recognised in the UK, enabling electrical contractors to complete even the most complex installations quicker and more efficient than ever before.”

Overseeing the mechanical and electrical engineering work is Shepherd Engineering Services (SES). National pre-construction Director Jim Marner has said that as part of SES’s pre-construction strategy, he is insisting on selecting optimal build solutions at the front end of all projects. “The strategy is making an evolutionary change to what the construction industry accepts as the norm. We are intent on improving efficiencies, driving out waste and most importantly adding long-term value to our clients. After very close scrutiny, the Apex modular wiring system ticked all of these boxes. Our strategy for this and all other projects is to utilise products and systems delivered to site already pre-assembled and tested because of the improved quality control and reduced installation times provided. Modular wiring is a superb build methodology that we will continue to design and install into our projects. The off-site manufactured wiring solution allows us to carry out smart engineering and co-ordination at the front end, avoiding the problems often associated with installing a traditional hard wired system on a construction site. The end user on both the Northern Academy and AMBEC are the priority, and SES, together with Apex, will give certainty to our installation periods and most importantly leave behind a legacy of a quality installation that can be easily maintained throughout its whole life cycle.”

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