Southern Housing Group is one the oldest and largest housing associations in the UK, managing over 28,000 homes and 66,000 residents in London and the South East. They have been a customer of Lynx Networks since 2014 and we have completed over 60 projects together.
Southern Housing Group (SHG) decided to refurbish one of their existing buildings in Maidstone. Half of the space was already occupied by a local business and the other half vacant. SHG planned to eventually take over the whole building for their own operations. As part of the refurbishment SHG wanted to expand and upgrade the cabling network to provide additional outlets and bandwidth.
As part of the office space was already occupied, the project would have to be planned in phases that would allow the existing tenants to continue operating their business but also benefit from the refurbishment. This presented a challenge as the two businesses had different cabling requirements; the existing tenants needed Cat5e data outlets on the perimeter walls, whereas SHG required Cat6 outlets positioned centrally on power poles.
The building in question was an older building without modern features such as false ceilings, so our design and the installation would have to be mindful of this.
After a site survey conducted by Lynx Networks and discussions with SHG, the following requirements were outlined:
- Removal and disposal of old cabling on Ground Floor and 1st Floor sublet office
- New Cat5e cabling in the Ground Floor and First Floor sublet office
- Removal of redundant Cat5e cabling from the SHG offices
- New Cat6 cabling throughout entire office, half of which was to be left above the ceiling ready for future use.
- Supply of a new 42U 600mm (w) x 600mm (d) cabinet for the Central Comms Room with cable management accessories
- A new OM3 fibre cable from the Main Comms Room to the Annex Building across the service road
- Full testing and standards compliant certification of the new cabling systems
It was agreed that the project would run in two phases. The first phase focused on removing all redundant cabling and preparing a new office space for the existing tenants. This included Cat5e data cabling on perimeter trunking that fed back to a cabinet provided by the tenants.
The second part of Phase 1 was pulling in new Cat6 cabling from the central comms room to be left in position above the ceiling for future use by SHG once they eventually reclaimed the whole building. Leaving a hundred Cat6 cables above a solid ceiling with a view to pulling them down at a later date created its own challenge but our engineers overcame this by laying them in a fashion that would allow them to be drawn without accessing the ceiling void and without creating knots in the cables.
The existing tenants then moved into their newly refurbished office space and work could begin on Phase 2, refurbishing the now unoccupied half of the building for SHG’s use. This phase included the installation of Cat6 cabling on newly installed power poles back to a new 42U cabinet in the central comms room and an OM3 fibre link to the annex building across the road.
“Lynx are our go-to company for cabling having worked on other major office refurbishments and their work at our new office did not deviate from the high standards we expect, being easy to work with and keeping us updated as work progresses.
With this particular project we had challenges with the initial site surveys, followed by the stop-start nature of integrating with building construction, yet everything was completed, tested, and handed over within the allotted time boundaries.
As a business we were very pleased with the dedication and commitment from all of the team involved as it continues to show that Lynx are the right company for us to deal with.”
– Jeff Blunsdon – Southern Housing Group
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