Blog

The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care

The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care To rewire or not to rewire is the big question when it comes to an older – or what we refer to as ‘legacy’ – building. The short-but-inconclusive answer is: it depends. When wiring a new building – be it school block, hospital ward or office block – the process is relatively straightforward. You need to build to regulations, with cables which are up to the job and don’t pose a fire hazard. As per our blog post on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), every power, data and telecommunication cable that is intended to be permanently installed in a construction works now must display a CE-marked label and have a Declaration of Performance (DoP) drawn up and made available. SHOULD YOU REWIRE YOUR LEGACY BUILDING? Legacy buildings aren’t subject to the CPR in the same way that new buildings are. If the cabling in the building isn’t posing any health and safety risk – and isn’t hampering operations in any way – it doesn’t have to be ripped out and rewired with CE-marked cabling. But that isn’t to say you shouldn’t do a complete rewire anyway. As we said, it depends. So, what does it depend on? If your building has undergone any recent damage, or there are lights and sockets that have ceased to function as normal, then these are signs that the building needs to be rewired. Damage to the casing of wires can be a serious hazard. So, if you find any exposed wires then the best thing to do is get in touch with a contractor who can assess the full extent of the issue and advise on the next steps. WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?   If you’re not sure when the last rewiring of the building took place, or the electrics are showing signs of damage, then it could be time for a complete rewiring. From a health and safety point of view, it’s your safest bet. But it’s not your only option. After all, a complete rewire doesn’t tend to come cheaply. Whitestar Solutions can carry out electrical testing and inspection which will reveal the condition of the electrics throughout the building. Deficiencies found during the inspection and testing might then be remedied such that the installation may continue to be used in safety. We offer a complete range of electrical testing and inspection services for commercial and industrial premises. We test 100% of your installation, providing a true reflection on the safety of the installation. From there, you will be provided with a number of options depending on your unique environment. For example, as a school your decision making might be different than if you are a business. But at the end of the day, you want to know that your electrical system is safe and reliable. HOW CAN YOU ENSURE SAFETY GOING FORWARD?   Whether you opt for a complete rewire of the legacy building or not, you should seriously consider implementing a robust planned preventative maintenance (PPM) programme which will ensure that safety issues are rectified before they pose a risk. We work closely with businesses across a wide range of sectors to initiate a PPM programme so that our clients have peace of mind in terms of compliance and budgets to ensure their building, their school, their hospital, their shop remains safe for staff, students, visitors and contractors alike. Get in touch with Whitestar today so that we can begin to evaluate your building project. How can our AV solutions be useful within the education sector? How can our AV solutions be useful within the education sector? A classroom is intended to be a place where pupils can be educated and can intellectually develop. Ensuring the right tools and processes are available to teachers is vital to providing a high-quality experience to students of all ages. As in all industries and sectors around the world, technology has a major impact on traditional working methods and the way organisations operate, and the field of education is no exception. Research has shown a positive and direct correlation between the provision of AV (audiovisual) features in classrooms and boosted academic achievement for students at different levels. HOW CAN AV SOLUTIONS BE USED TO IMPROVE CLASSROOMS? Smart AV solutions can be used to create an engaging and interactive setting for student learning while endowing teachers with the features they require to add depth to their lessons and enable students to achieve more academically. There are many ways that installing audio and video technology can help students and teachers at your educational institution, including: Improved behaviour during tasks and concentration Reduction of vocal fatigue of teachers Increased student participation Improvements in student behaviour Reduction in the number of distracted students THE IMPORTANCE OF AUDIO IMPROVEMENT Smart AV solutions used in classrooms vary according to the specific needs of your educational setting, but school sound systems are widely sought after and used. Classroom audio systems are intended to enrich the classroom learning environment by allowing all pupils to clearly hear the teacher during lessons, students during university lectures, audio while watching films and more. Many studies support the great importance of audio enhancement for the modern classroom, showing results such as: School skills test scores improved in reading, math and science A 34-year study found significant improvement in student achievement for a group of students in KS2 Speech comprehension scores are higher under conditions where amplification is present in primary school students VIDEO IN THE CLASSROOM At the same time, the installation of video in classrooms has been shown to significantly improve the learning strategies used by teachers, leading to a more interactive and engaging experience for students. What are the actual benefits of video cameras in the classroom for teachers? Apart from the well-known advantages of increased safety for staff and pupils, video technology in the classroom offers numerous benefits. Staff can benefit from peer to peer observation of recorded lessons for
construction regulations

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

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 data cabling infrastructure in line with the CPR, get in touch with our team today. Is It Worth Investing In Electrical Vehicle Charging Point Installation Services For Your Business? Is It Worth Investing In Electrical Vehicle Charging Point Installation Services For Your Business? EV or hybrid vehicles are regarded by many as the future of motoring. An increasing number of people are choosing to buy new electric cars – over two million electric vehicles are now being driven around the world – and approximately 14,000 charging stations are in the UK alone. Clearly, it is not a fleeting trend and business’s that want to adapt to this and stay one step ahead of their competitors should be considering the installation of EV charging point stations on their premises. ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND BUSINESSES ARE THE FUTURE Awareness of the devastating environmental impact of diesel and petrol vehicles has finally hit the mainstream. Electric vehicles are the future and for savvy companies, the benefits of adopting the facilities of the new technology are plain. MAKING YOUR BUSINESS MORE ATTRACTIVE TO CONSUMERS As well as reflecting your company’s core values as an environmentally friendly business, the improved service offering of EV charging stations will appeal to your consumer. As the electric vehicle industry continues to burgeon, the impetus to provide your customers with added services so that they are more likely to choose you over your competitor is vital in these times. Offering EV charging solutions increases customers “dwell time” and subsequent spending, simultaneously meeting their demands of EV drivers arriving at their destinations. If your business is the type of company that stands to benefit from an increase in footfall, investing in electrical charging point stations is worth it to upgrade amenities and future-proof your premises. MAKING YOUR BUSINESS MORE ATTRACTIVE TO EMPLOYEES AND CLIENTS Attracting and keeping the right employees is also vital for your business. Employers must start to think seriously about supporting those that are choosing EV. Your staff will enjoy instant peace of mind as they will no longer have to worry about finding the nearest charging station or the worst-case scenario of their
Construction regulations

How to ensure your construction or building project is compliant with the latest legislation and fire safety standards

How to ensure your construction or building project is compliant with the latest legislation and fire safety standards If you are carrying out electrical installation work, as part of a construction or building project, it’s essential that you comply with the rules set out in the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989. It doesn’t bear thinking about if a user of the building you’re responsible for should come to any harm due to a fault in the electrics – that’s why safety needs to be paramount.  The Regulations were set up under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, requiring precautions to be taken by ‘duty holders’ against the risk of death or personal injury from electricity in work activities. Under the rules, duty holders must: have the electrical systems constructed in a way that prevents danger; maintain the electrical systems as necessary to prevent danger (including a five-year fixed installation inspection​); and ensure work carried out on electrical systems is done in a way that prevents danger. BS7671 WIRING REGULATIONS In the guidance document for the Electricity at Work Regulations, the main source of reference is BS 7671 Wiring Regulations. This is the UK’s key electrical safety standard, setting out requirements that detail how to perform electrical installations in a safe manner.  Although not a statutory document, BS 7671 sets the standard for how electrical installations should be done in the UK (and many other countries) and enables compliance with the law. Or, to put it another way, following the guidance set out in BS 7671 when undertaking a building project is likely to ensure that electrical installation work meets the requirements of the Electricity at Work Regulations. And ensure that building users are not put in undue danger. WHITESTAR – YOUR TRUSTWORTHY ELECTRICAL INSTALLATION PARTNER While it’s important that you have an understanding of the regulations ahead of construction, the best way of ensuring compliance throughout the project is to partner with an experienced electrical installation partner.  That’s where Whitestar Solutions come in. We’ve been in the business for as long as the regulations have been in place and service clients across a wide range of sectors including education, sport, commercial, transport and more. All of our electrical engineers are qualified and up to date with the current BS 7671 Electrical Wiring Regulations (18th Edition). So, no matter the extent of your electrical installation requirements, we can design and deliver comprehensive, top-quality solutions. We think compliance with regulations starts with sound workmanship. We will never cut corners and we will always source and use the best materials, meaning that we will not compromise on quality. KEEPING YOU COMPLIANT Once your building project is up and running, it’s important that you periodically have the electrics inspected and tested in order to remain compliant and, more importantly, to ensure that no new health and safety risks have arisen.  We offer a complete range of electrical testing and inspection services for commercial and industrial premises. We test 100% of your installation, providing a true reflection of its safety.  The key to remaining compliant and minimising costs is to have a planned preventative maintenance (PPM) programme in place. We can help you here, too – we can assist in implementing PPM programmes that offer peace of mind by ensuring the building is safe for anyone who spends time in it – be it staff, students, visitors or contractors.  But, let’s take it one step at a time. The first goal is to get your building project up and running with a safe and sound electrical installation. To discuss your electrical installation requirements, get in touch with Whitestar today.  Tackling Enterprise Wireless Demands with Wi-Fi & 5G Tackling Enterprise Wireless Demands with Wi-Fi & 5G Register Now for the upcoming Leviton webinar.  With the rise of IoT, bring-your-own-device policies, and data demands that go beyond gigabit speeds, CIOs and IT managers are now evaluating multiple wireless approaches as part of their enterprise networks In fact, recent studies reveal the majority of executives see both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G technologies as critical for their companies in the years to come. Follow the Leviton playbook as we tackle the topic of wireless coverage head-on. We’ll address:   Enterprise wireless outlook and trends The future of Wi-Fi, including Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) and beyond 5G adoption: current and emerging phases and indoor applications Infrastructure offensive strategy: cabling system design recommendations   Tuesday, November 17, 2020 10:00 a.m. PT / 1:00 p.m. ET 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: 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
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 cabling 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. The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care The key regulation differences between legacy buildings vs new buildings and why you should care To rewire or not to rewire is the big question when it comes to an older – or what we refer to as ‘legacy’ – building. The short-but-inconclusive answer is: it depends. When wiring a new building – be it school block, hospital ward or office block – the process is relatively straightforward. You need to build to regulations, with cables which are up to the job and don’t pose a fire hazard. As per our blog post on the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), every power, data and telecommunication cable that is intended to be permanently installed in a construction works now must display a CE-marked label and have a Declaration of Performance (DoP) drawn up and made available. SHOULD YOU REWIRE YOUR LEGACY BUILDING? Legacy buildings aren’t subject to the CPR in the same way that new buildings are. If the cabling in the building isn’t posing any health and safety risk – and isn’t hampering operations in any way – it doesn’t have to be ripped out and rewired with CE-marked cabling. But that isn’t to say you shouldn’t do a complete rewire anyway. As we said, it depends. So, what does it depend on? If your building has undergone any recent damage, or there are lights and sockets that have ceased to function as normal, then these are signs that the building needs to be rewired. Damage to the casing of wires can be a serious hazard. So, if you find any exposed wires then the best thing to do is get in touch with a contractor who can assess the full extent of the issue and advise on the next steps. WHAT ARE YOUR OPTIONS?   If you’re not sure when the last rewiring of the building took place, or the electrics are showing signs of damage, then it could be time for a complete rewiring. From a health and safety point of view, it’s your safest bet. But it’s not your only option. After all, a complete rewire doesn’t tend to come cheaply. Whitestar Solutions can carry out electrical testing and inspection which will reveal the condition of the electrics throughout the building. Deficiencies found during the inspection and testing might then be remedied such that the installation may continue to be used in safety. We offer a complete range of electrical testing and inspection services for commercial and industrial premises. We test 100% of your installation, providing a true reflection on the safety of the installation. From there, you will be provided with a number of options depending on your unique environment. For example, as a school your decision making might be different than if you are a business. But at the end of the day, you want to know that your electrical system is safe
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.
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They have a ‘can-do’ attitude which, as a customer, puts my mind at ease – I know they will do everything they can to deliver a project for me.

London Business School

Get in touch

E-MAIL

welcome@whitestarsolutions.co.uk

 
ADDRESS

Units 13-15 Binghams Park Business Centre
Potten End Hill, Water End,
Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire
HP1 3BN

 
PHONE

01442 234808