What is Construction Products Regulation and what does it mean for your network?

When Construction Products Regulation, or CPR for short, was introduced in 2017, it was considered the biggest change for the cabling industry in decades. What is it all about and why should you care? 

CPR 'lays down harmonised rules for the marketing of construction products in the EU'. What that means in layman’s terms is that all cables used in permanent installations within buildings must come with a fire rating in accordance with the CPR’s classification system.

It means that when you’re deciding which cables to install, as part of boosting your IT infrastructure, you can make informed decisions according to the environment as well as the level of risk. The safer the cabling, the safer the environment.

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT SAFETY GROUPS?

The regulation classifies products into one of seven classes known as ‘Euroclasses’. These are: 

   Aca: Does not contribute to the fire

   B1ca: Minimum contribution to the fire

   B2ca: Combustible, low flame spread & heat release contribution to the fire

   Cca: Combustible, moderate flame spread and heat release

   Dca: Combustible, moderate flame spread and high levels of heat generated

   Eca: Combustible, limited fire spread of less than 425mm

   Fca: Combustible, fire spread of more than 425mm

Euroclasses B to D will also be classified according to smoke production (classified as s1 to s3), flaming droplets (d0 to d2), and smoke acidity (a1 to a3). That’s why you might see a classification like Cca s1b d2 a2.

Manufacturers are required to send their cables off to be tested by an authorised test house, known as a Notified Body. Once the tests have been made, the cable will be given a Declaration of Performance, which is the official certificate showing how it was classified.

At Euroclasses Cca and above, the factories manufacturing the cable will be regularly audited and cables retested by an approved third party. It is unlikely that many cables will adhere to Class B1ca and Aca requirements, simply because of the materials used in their manufacture.

DO NETWORK CABLES NEED TO CONFORM WITH THE CPR?

In short, yes. No network cable can be placed on the market for permanent installation inside buildings without first being tested and given a Euroclass rating.

As per British Standard BS6701:2016+A1:2017, all network cabling used in new installations or for the refurbishment or extension of existing data cable networks within the external fire barrier of a building shall, as a minimum, meet the CPR compliance requirements of Euroclass Cca s1b d2 a2.

Due to the construction of data network cables, and the way they are routed, fire can rapidly spread through a building should a cable alight. Given the growing bandwidth demands – with a large number of devices now being networked in the case of most systems – it’s crucial that cabling is manufactured to minimum standards.

Now, you can assess what cabling you might need in line with your networking demands, and minimise the fire hazard. At least, in theory…

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO?

Attempting to understand what exactly it is that you need when expanding your IT infrastructure can be difficult. That’s where Whitestar Solutions comes in.

Initially, we’ll come and carry out a commitment-free site survey. By visiting the site, we can work out your exact requirements and help you understand your safety risk.

From there, we’ll provide you with a number of options – explaining how each one fits in with the CPR – so you can make those informed decisions which will impact you and those people who work in the building.

Whatever option you go with, you can rest assured that our in-house qualified network infrastructure design will create a system to keep your company’s network safe and secure.

To find out how Whitestar can improve your network cabling infrastructure in line with the CPR, get in touch with our team today.


TCS and Whitestar

Total Cabling Solutions and Cable Dynamics Rebrand to form Whitestar Solutions

Total Cabling Solutions and Cable Dynamics Rebrand to form Whitestar Solutions Exciting new name and look signals start of next chapter for Whitestar Solutions. Monday 2nd March 2020: Total Cabling Solutions and Cable Dynamics, specialists in supplying data and electrical installation solutions to B2B clients, have completed a major brand refresh and launched under a single new company name – Whitestar Solutions. The two companies merged in 2018, but continued to work under their respective brands. The new launch aims to give them a more unified, stronger, and recognisable presence. Together they have over 47 years of industry experience.  Since the merger, they have continued to grow and develop and have now come to the stage where they need the brand to connect with what services they are offering. This brand refresh serves to better visually represent the company’s established market position, as well as its core values of respect, honesty, commitment, teamwork, empathy and integrity, in every aspect of its operations. “At a stage where we want to accelerate growth and are often competing with larger companies, we felt we had outgrown the current image,” says John English, CEO of Whitestar.  “We’re continually looking to build a robust management team, growing the skillset within and we felt the time was right to update our original branding to something that better reflects who we are today, rather than who we were at the beginning of our journey. Our new company name and brand refresh gives us a powerful new platform from which to launch the next chapter in Whitestar’s history.” University of West London St Mary’s Road Campus Project Rail Operating Centre Brand Rex 10GPlus F/FTP (Category 6A) Cabling Solution installed at newly built Rail Operating Centre in the Midlands. London Business School Whitestar keeps students, staff and visitors safe at London Business School with comprehensive electrical testing, maintenance and certification. Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you There are lots of buzzwords in business. ‘Core values’ are not among them. Company values matter. They support an organisation’s purpose, enforce its culture, and encourage positive employee behaviours. This sense of purpose is key to business success. Corporate core values impact not just the internal workings of an organisation, but also how it interacts with its clients, stakeholders and the world around it. According to research, 73% of purpose-oriented people are satisfied with their jobs, compared to 64% of those who are not purpose-oriented. In terms of the bottom line, the same study found that 58% of companies with a clear purpose experienced growth of more than 10%, compared to 42% of companies without one. In short, strong company values help a business grow, thrive and be a success. OUR CORE VALUES To the untrained eye, Whitestar might seem like any other electrical installation company. But look a little closer and it’s clear we’re much more than that. We continually work to be the most ethical, trustworthy business partner to our clients and pride ourselves on our strong work ethic. Central to our purpose are our core values: – Respect: We treat everyone with dignity and respect. We value differences and encourage others to express themselves. We work hard to nurture long-lasting relationships with our customers, colleagues and communities. – Honesty: We speak the truth. Our team acts with integrity, honesty and reliability. We operate transparently by communicating openly and with sincerity. – Commitment: We always deliver on our commitments and hold ourselves accountable to them. We make quality our priority and seek solutions to problems. – Teamwork: Our company is made up of incredible people, but it’s only by working as a team that we achieve greatness. We foster teamwork and collaboration across the whole team and with our customers. – Empathy: We understand the importance of listening and understanding different perspectives. We put ourselves in other people’s shoes, because in the competitive corporate world, empathy and kindness go a long way. – Integrity: Integrity is our default and we do what’s best for our customers and our company. We’re honest in all our dealings – building trust, acting honourably, and being our true selves. OUR PROMISE TO YOU Just as every business has core values, they also have a mission. The common goal that all employees – from the boardroom to the frontline – work towards. Here’s a summary of our mission and our seven key promises to you: We never cut corners We never compromise on quality We provide the best qualified people for your project We put people before profit We use our expertise to advise on the best solutions We add value to your business We provide sustainable solutions for the long-term success of your business At Whitestar, our friendly and highly skilled team of experts takes pride in designing and delivering quality solutions. Yes, we’re expert network installers, supplying data and electrical installation solutions, but we’re so much more than that. Get in touch to find out how we can help your business grow. How to make your infrastructure project a success Ensuring that your infrastructure is reliable and secure is essential to your business’ productivity. Read more to see how Whitestar can help. Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Any business worth its sale knows the importance of providing a quality customer experience. And the best way to achieve that? Providing great customer service. Actually, not just great customer service. Exceptional customer service. Happy customers mean loyal customers. The better their experience working with a company, the more likely they are to come back. Anything less than amazing customer service and businesses risk losing customers forever. MAKING THE BEST IMPRESSION It’s more than just meeting the needs and expectations of customers – businesses need to exceed them. First impressions matter. But so too do second, third, fourth and fifth impressions. In fact, every customer service interaction is key to future success (and sales). The stats prove it: according to research, 96% of consumers say that
Data infrastructure

How to make your infrastructure project a success

Ensuring that your infrastructure is reliable and secure is essential to your business’ productivity. Read more to see how Whitestar can help.
Baskerville House

Baskerville House

Baskerville House In Birmingham - Wired IT Data Networks, Wi-Fi, Telephony, Printing Devices, Digital Signage, and Audio Visual installations.
smart cabling

Cabling for Smart Buildings

Cabling for Smart Buildings Modern buildings must adapt and change to the ever-increasing amounts of device usage and occupancy. Designing new structures, or modifying existing ones, requires careful planning to allow the building to expand seamlessly as more devices are added, or more people are employed. Since every building is only as strong as its foundations, designing and installing proper cabling infrastructure creates the ideal foundation for your building to grow while still keeping up with new technologies and challenges. WHAT MAKES YOUR BUILDING SMART? Smart building solutions help make life better for employees, so they can focus on their work and not mundane tasks that could be automated. If your building is set up correctly, powerful interactions can occur throughout the network. Imagine a building that works around your personal schedule, from turning on lights for you as you enter a room, to adjusting heating settings to accommodate your tastes. It realises when you are on the move to another location and can alert others that may need to be aware of your movements. Think of a smart building as your own PA, that also happens to communicate with everyone else’s PA constantly. Safety protocols such as checking the health of fire extinguishers can be done in real-time by your smart building, alerting you when they require maintenance. Automating manual tasks like this can greatly increase the productivity of staff, saving large amounts of time while reducing energy costs. THE BEST SOLUTION FOR YOUR BUSINESS There is no one-fits-all solution to making your building smart, but planning ahead is key since there is no point in being smart today if this does not continue into tomorrow. As your business grows, so too will the need for more bandwidth and increased flexibility. In the past, this meant adding more cables and access points, but it is not always possible to employ this method economically. Simply adding more cable may help you reach more areas, but this may put extra strain on your available bandwidth and lead to connectivity issues. You might not be able to place the access points where you would like, and you end up making compromises in your design. Installing more cables and components after the event can be a major headache and turn out quite costly, and even then you may be just patching a hole that will need to be fixed again later anyway. WHAT TO CONSIDER IN SMART BUILDING DESIGN? In the past, connecting devices used to mean pairing a laptop to a phone. Nowadays, connectivity extends across a vast range of devices. We are connecting more and more devices each and every day and can only dream of what device may need to be incorporated into our network further down the line. This means planning ahead for power solutions and data transmission. Now, more than ever, we need a reliable infrastructure that can guarantee constant uptime and deliver the performance required to keep productivity as high as possible. Recruiting an expert who knows how to design a structured cabling system as early in the process as possible is key to achieving a high-quality smart building that can cater to your individual needs. Careful planning to overcome the issues and challenges for your particular location is what will determine if your building will be truly smart or not. WHERE TO START Smart building solutions need to support all of today’s devices, as well as all future generations of every device, without the need for additional restructuring. Any latency or bottlenecks that arise from overloading existing networks can be detrimental to the productivity of the company as a whole. If your choice of cabling is not able to meet these ever-increasing demands, it may turn out to be too late or too costly to fix it. It is important to future-proof our building so that we can expand without worrying about whether our network can handle it. This is where expert network installers come into their own and save us numerous headaches further down the line. Experts in smart building solutions, Whitestar Solutions provide a fully tailored networking solution to ensure that you not only meet today’s demands but also get the future-proofing necessary to ensure your building will remain smart. Contractors can provide expert advice on what is required for your individual network to keep up with new technologies and help overcome challenges. Enlisting an expert for advice on how to design a structured cabling system will save you time and money in the long term while ensuring that your employees get to enjoy the many benefits that smart building design brings. Consult an expert as early in the design process as possible in order to achieve the best results. To find out more information, get in touch with a member of our team here. Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you Our core values and promises are what makes us stand out from the crowd. Read on to find out how Whitestar can help your business grow. How to make your infrastructure project a success Ensuring that your infrastructure is reliable and secure is essential to your business’ productivity. Read more to see how Whitestar can help. Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Any business worth its sale knows the importance of providing a quality customer experience. And the best way to achieve that? Providing great customer service. Actually, not just great customer service. Exceptional customer service. Happy customers mean loyal customers. The better their experience working with a company, the more likely they are to come back. Anything less than amazing customer service and businesses risk losing customers forever. MAKING THE BEST IMPRESSION It’s more than just meeting the needs and expectations of customers – businesses need to exceed them. First impressions matter. But so too do second, third, fourth and fifth impressions. In fact, every customer service interaction is key to future success (and sales). The stats prove it:
connectivity enhance business

How Connectivity Can Enhance Your Business

How Connectivity Can Enhance Your Business Here at Whitestar Solutions, we pride ourselves on providing clients with the latest connectivity solutions that modern technology has to offer. From integrated data cabling systems through to high-tech CCTV systems, our solutions can all work together to enhance your business in a multitude of ways. How can connectivity enhance your business? Take a look below to see just some of the ways that these modern solutions can benefit your business. INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY We understand the pressures that businesses face these days and the need for smooth, fast and reliable connections. Whether it’s fast and reliable internet connections which won’t let the team down, or a clear phone connection which sounds professional and doesn’t disturb important calls with incessant crackling and bad connections – in the modern business environment, having great connectivity is everything. Through the use of features such as modern fibre-optic technology, businesses can hugely increase their productivity. This is in part due to the increased speed that fibre-optic connectivity offers, with options available that range from 5 Mbps through to 100 Gbps. With such flexibility and so many options available, there really is a solution for everybody, which will mean employees can get on with the task at hand without worrying about slow internet connections inhibiting productivity. HIGHER SECURITY Whilst connectivity can help to enhance the work produced in your business, it also features many other benefits including increased security on your premises. At Whitestar Solutions, we are proud to provide a range of modern CCTV systems which feature all of the latest technology. These bespoke systems are tailored to suit the needs of each individual premises, designed to deter criminals and keep your business safe. Whether you are looking for fixed cameras or a fully integrated, remote-controlled system, there are a variety of options available which will enable you to maximise your security. With groundbreaking features such as cloud-based storage and remote viewing, this use of modern connectivity can enable you to maximise your security. RELIABILITY Modern fibre internet connectivity has proven to be much more reliable than traditional copper connections, partially due to the fact that fibre is much stronger than copper. Another benefit is that, unlike copper, fibre-optic internet connections are not susceptible to challenging weather conditions, which could cause devastating downtime. With more businesses relying heavily on connectivity, any kind of downtime can be costly and so a reliable internet connection is absolutely crucial. Whether you are working remotely and need to connect seamlessly with your team, require access to cloud-based software to share and collaborate on client documents, or are in need of a fast internet connection to process data – reliability really is vital. Not only does fibre-optic connectivity offer you reliability, but working with a reputable connectivity company can help you to ensure that you only have the most suitable data cabling and connectivity systems put into place. Here at Whitestar, all of our products are built to last, offering you reliable systems throughout your premises which will withstand the test of time. LESS INTERFERENCE We have already noted that increased connectivity can enhance productivity and speed within your business, but we haven’t looked at the financial implications that connectivity, or a lack of it, can have on your business. In business, it’s often said that ‘time is money’ and this is, unfortunately, true. In the same way that increasing your speed and productivity can boost your business, offering you a more efficient way of working, it can also allow you to make more money. The more productive a business is, the more work that can be done in a day. On the other hand, unreliable internet connectivity, interrupted phone calls and other connectivity problems can cause you to experience downtime. Stop-start connectivity can not only slow down the physical process, but also interrupt the ‘flow’ and leave employees feeling exasperated. All of these things lead to work being done more slowly, can often be the cause of mistakes, and ultimately ends in a loss of earnings. Every minute lost due to unreliable connectivity is money not earned and, over a period of time, this can add up to a significant figure. SAVE MONEY Keen to learn more about how increased connectivity can help to boost your business? Get in touch with a member of our team today to discuss which of our solutions might help your business. IMPROVED VIDEO QUALITY Traditional copper cable connections are often sensitive to any electromagnetic interference, which explains those bygone days of experiencing internet issues due to local interference, more often than not being the use of heavy machinery. Construction work goes on all around us and we need internet connections which can withstand this interruption. Thankfully, fibre optic internet signals do not suffer in the same way, offering you seamless connectivity with very little interference. HOW CAN WHITESTAR HELP? Many of us are now embracing the ‘work from home’ life, but even beyond that, businesses rely more and more on video conferencing tools to communicate throughout the working day. Whether it’s a client meeting, internal training, marketing or sales; video meetings are becoming the new normal. Low quality, broken video which lags and is frequently interrupted will not provide the professional appearance you desire. Having a reliable, high-quality internet connection is essential. With fibre-optic technology, you will be best placed to communicate with others across the world. University of West London St Mary’s Road Campus Project Rail Operating Centre Brand Rex 10GPlus F/FTP (Category 6A) Cabling Solution installed at newly built Rail Operating Centre in the Midlands. London Business School Whitestar keeps students, staff and visitors safe at London Business School with comprehensive electrical testing, maintenance and certification. Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you There are lots of buzzwords in business. ‘Core values’ are not among them. Company values matter. They support an organisation’s purpose, enforce its culture, and encourage positive employee behaviours. This sense of purpose is key to business success. Corporate
core values

Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you

Whitestar’s values: Our promise to you There are lots of buzzwords in business. ‘Core values’ are not among them. Company values matter. They support an organisation’s purpose, enforce its culture, and encourage positive employee behaviours. This sense of purpose is key to business success. Corporate core values impact not just the internal workings of an organisation, but also how it interacts with its clients, stakeholders and the world around it. According to research, 73% of purpose-oriented people are satisfied with their jobs, compared to 64% of those who are not purpose-oriented. In terms of the bottom line, the same study found that 58% of companies with a clear purpose experienced growth of more than 10%, compared to 42% of companies without one. In short, strong company values help a business grow, thrive and be a success. OUR CORE VALUES To the untrained eye, Whitestar might seem like any other electrical installation company. But look a little closer and it’s clear we’re much more than that. We continually work to be the most ethical, trustworthy business partner to our clients and pride ourselves on our strong work ethic. Central to our purpose are our core values: – Respect: We treat everyone with dignity and respect. We value differences and encourage others to express themselves. We work hard to nurture long-lasting relationships with our customers, colleagues and communities. – Honesty: We speak the truth. Our team acts with integrity, honesty and reliability. We operate transparently by communicating openly and with sincerity. – Commitment: We always deliver on our commitments and hold ourselves accountable to them. We make quality our priority and seek solutions to problems. – Teamwork: Our company is made up of incredible people, but it’s only by working as a team that we achieve greatness. We foster teamwork and collaboration across the whole team and with our customers. – Empathy: We understand the importance of listening and understanding different perspectives. We put ourselves in other people’s shoes, because in the competitive corporate world, empathy and kindness go a long way. – Integrity: Integrity is our default and we do what’s best for our customers and our company. We’re honest in all our dealings – building trust, acting honourably, and being our true selves. OUR PROMISE TO YOU Just as every business has core values, they also have a mission. The common goal that all employees – from the boardroom to the frontline – work towards. Here’s a summary of our mission and our seven key promises to you: We never cut corners We never compromise on quality We provide the best qualified people for your project We put people before profit We use our expertise to advise on the best solutions We add value to your business We provide sustainable solutions for the long-term success of your business At Whitestar, our friendly and highly skilled team of experts takes pride in designing and delivering quality solutions. Yes, we’re expert network installers, supplying data and electrical installation solutions, but we’re so much more than that. Get in touch to find out how we can help your business grow. How to make your infrastructure project a success Ensuring that your infrastructure is reliable and secure is essential to your business’ productivity. Read more to see how Whitestar can help. Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Why customer service is key in today’s day and age Any business worth its sale knows the importance of providing a quality customer experience. And the best way to achieve that? Providing great customer service. Actually, not just great customer service. Exceptional customer service. Happy customers mean loyal customers. The better their experience working with a company, the more likely they are to come back. Anything less than amazing customer service and businesses risk losing customers forever. MAKING THE BEST IMPRESSION It’s more than just meeting the needs and expectations of customers – businesses need to exceed them. First impressions matter. But so too do second, third, fourth and fifth impressions. In fact, every customer service interaction is key to future success (and sales). The stats prove it: according to research, 96% of consumers say that customer service is an important factor when choosing a brand. And as for those all-important sales: even just a 5% rise in customer retention can boost company revenue by 25% to 95%. Arguably, customer service matters even more in difficult times. During the Covid-19 pandemic, for example, businesses able to give customers the care they deserved also offered them much-needed stability, convenience and value. GREAT CUSTOMER SERVICE, GREAT CUSTOMER SOLUTIONS Of course, knowing that customer service is important is the easy part. Start implementing it into your business and you’ve got your work cut out. At Whitestar, we go out of our way to ensure that we offer exceptional customer service to all our customers. We aim to exceed customer expectations and do that in a number of ways… Dedicated team of contractors Firstly, we approach people as people, not just another job. When it comes to assigning teams, we match them to a particular client. That means however many jobs you need completed over a period of time, you’ll be dealing with the same people from Whitestar. No stream of contractors coming through your doors. Just one team of experts with an in-depth knowledge of the site they are working on – and more importantly an understanding of you, the people they are working with. From a purely practical point of view, this allows our teams of contractors to get on with the job faster and more efficiently, because there’s no need for briefings or client details for each job. While from a customer service point of view, this helps build trust and reliability between us and our clients. No subcontracting We know the score. As soon as you hear the word ‘contractor’, you automatically start wondering whether that also means subcontractors. At Whitestar, we can say: absolutely not. We never subcontract any jobs. It’s just not how we roll. Your team of Whitestar contractors are just