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.