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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 At Whitestar, we pride ourselves on our unique, human approach to data and electrical services. While, on the surface, we may seem just like any other data and electrical installation company, but look a little closer and it’s clear that we’re much more than that! OUR CORE VALUES 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. Hertfordshire Police A comprehensive site survey conducted by Whitestar in preparation for redevelopment at Hertfordshire Police HQ. A Guide to PPM (Planned Preventive Maintenance) Plans A Guide to PPM (Planned Preventive Maintenance) Plans An organisation’s premises may well be the most valuable asset that you own. So, it stands to reason that you’d like to keep your property in good shape. The solution? Planned preventive maintenance! Without effective PPM measures, your maintenance schedule will likely be more reactive. While reactive maintenance is often necessary, being proactive in your approach helps to stop things from going wrong in the first place, allowing your organisation to operate safely and effectively for extended periods of time. WHAT IS PPM (PLANNED PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE)? PPM (planned preventive maintenance), or scheduled maintenance, is a proactive approach to the maintenance of electrical, gas, water, heating and fire safety systems. Key maintenance jobs are scheduled to regularly take place, with detailed notes taken once it’s finished to ensure consistency. This is done to ensure that your systems are in optimum condition at all times. Fail to do this, and you’ll find yourself rushing around trying to fix issues that could have been spotted and sorted months ago. Types of PPM PPM covers the whole spectrum of property management: Electrical safety standards Boiler servicing Gas safety certificate Roof inspections Network maintenance Energy performance certificate (EPC) Fire risk assessments Lifting operations and lifting equipment regulations AOV servicing Emergency light testing Cold water storage tank chlorination Regular PPM will likely require the input from a variety of specialists, which might seem like a large investment at the time, but the costs of regular PPM are dwarfed by the costs of a disaster caused by a lack of PPM.  It’s always more expensive to fix a major error, versus paying to prevent it. Take electrical PPM, for example.  Example of PPM Business A choose not to implement a PPM plan, while Business B have a comprehensive, regular maintenance schedule. Business A suffer from a mild electrical fire. Their sprinkler system dealt with the blaze, but damaged many of their systems in the process. Business A now have to spend a lot of money rebuilding their electrical systems, and carrying out further surveys in their building to ensure nothing else is going to imminently go wrong. Business B, on the other hand, spotted a small fault during their regular PPM. This fault would have eventually caused the same fire, but their maintenance team spotted the fault and have rectified it before it has a chance to become an issue. Business A spends thousands replacing their systems and endure a lot of downtime, Business B spends a little, and remain safely in business. 5 KEY BENEFITS OF PLANNED PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE In addition to the above, there are a whole host of great benefits of PPM. Electrical, gas and water failures can all result in severe harm. By maintaining your systems, you’re proactively ensuring that you’re fully compliant and in adherence with the law. Regular maintenance spreads costs over the course of the year, rather than being lumped with a sudden, unexpected (and often large) sum. Many manufacturers require PPM in order to maintain warranties. Should you fail to maintain your systems, manufacturers may void your warranty. A well-maintained property will always be far more desirable to potential buyers over one that’s in disrepair. By showing a clear history of PPM, you’re demonstrating that the building has been properly cared for. Unplanned repairs are frustrating, and can take a fair while to rectify. It could take days for an engineer to finally get around to seeing
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.
customer service data

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 that – Whitestar employees who are committed to delivering comprehensive, top quality solutions. Being a subcontractor-free zone makes life simpler. We understand what you need and you know the work is going to be tailored to your business and easily scalable for future business growth. Our customer service promise At Whitestar, we pride ourselves on our work ethic, track record and quality of service. Our six core values – respect, honesty, commitment, teamwork, empathy and integrity – help us deliver the level of customer service you expect from an infrastructure service provider. We value each and every business we work with. From simple cabling projects to complete building refits, we always work to the highest industry standards and take a customer-centric approach to each job. Our focus is on solving problems, not creating new ones. We work hard to understand the challenges you face, and create bespoke solutions to help you overcome them. That’s our promise to you. WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS: YOUR STRATEGIC PARTNER At Whitestar, our customer service is focused on building strong relationships with our customers and crafting tailored solutions and experiences. We never under-estimate the power of positive impressions, and are confident we can give you the level of service you and your business deserve. Hoare Laboratory Whitestar provide electrical and data cabling solutions to Hoare Laboratories, a long-established family firm who are specialists in laboratory products and services. 4 Business Benefits of Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Points 4 Business Benefits of Installing Electric Vehicle Charging Points Now, more than ever, people are aware of making eco-conscious consumer choices. This includes the materials and technologies they use, as well as the businesses they support.  For this reason, we’ve seen a growing number of electric vehicles (EVs) on UK roads, a trend we expect to see continue well into the future.  As of April 2022, there are 858,000 plug-in cars in use, a 92% increase since 2020. Couple this with the government’s recent announcement that they intend to accelerate EV infrastructure, making the installation of charging points for all new homes, offices, and supermarkets mandatory by 2030, it’s no wonder that business owners are weighing up the advantages of early installation.  There are currently more than 42,000 public charging points in the UK, and this is predicted to rise to 145,000 following the government’s announcement. Electric vehicles are not a trend, they are part of a communal shift and with the government making their ambitions clear, adapting your premises to support EV infrastructure is becoming essential when looking to ensure the longevity of your business.  In this article, we’ll run through the business benefits of having electric vehicle charging points installed on your premises.  A charging point is a unit capable of charging the battery of plug-in electric vehicles.  Currently, an EV can travel roughly 300 miles before its battery needs recharging. On average, and depending on the speed the driver is travelling at, the battery of an EV holds up to 4-5 hours of charge.  Roadside EV recovery is not a simple matter. Electric cars that have ‘broken down’ due to flat batteries cannot be towed or pushed, they must be charged.  Breakdown cover companies such as the RAC and Green Flag do offer flat battery charging, but the miles are limited and will only get
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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.

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