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.


Fiber Optics Future

Are fibre optics the future?

Are fibre optics the future? As the world becomes ever more connected, the future of fibre optics looks increasingly bright. There is a global demand for high-speed connectivity and bandwidth that can cope with vast amounts of data that is rising exponentially, particularly among developing countries. The ability to share knowledge and communications at unprecedented levels means that fibre optic technology lies at the heart of twenty-first-century priorities. WHAT ARE FIBRE OPTICS? Fibre optics are flexible, transparent cables that are used to transmit data, images and audio via the passage of infrared light through thin fibres. And these fibres that are made of glass and occasionally plastic are extremely thin – a typical outer thread has a diameter of 125 micrometres (about the same as a human hair) while the transmitting cylinder is even tinier. In the telecommunications industry, fibre optics have almost completely replaced the copper wires that were previously used. Fibre optics are capable of transmitting light over enormously long distances. WHAT ARE FIBRE OPTICS USED FOR? Fibre optics are an essential part of the telecommunications sector, but they also have several other applications, mainly in the medical and aerospace industries. The world of medicine has used fibre optics for image transfer, illumination, and laser signal delivery for several decades. The fibre optics future in the medical sector is expected to become even more widespread. There is a developing technology that uses fibre optics, for example, that expedites the treatment of tumours and the healing process of wounds. Stringent standards are necessary for the challenging conditions of the civil aerospace industry, and fibre optic cables have recently been used to provide reliable and fast data transmission in a variety of aircraft. You may have noticed this if you have taken a recent flight. There is now no need to turn off your mobile phone, and you can access wifi throughout your time in the air. The use of fibre optics enables a smooth in-flight entertainment experience without risking any compromise to the complicated electrical systems installed in the aircraft. 5G – A CRUCIAL PART OF THE FIBRE OPTICS FUTURE With the recent successful launch of the Starlink satellites, 5G will soon succeed 4G telecommunications which currently offer connectivity to most mobile phones. Although there is a widespread assumption that 5G will replace cabled networks, the revolutionary aims of 5G would be impossible without the terrestrial infrastructure provided by fibre optics. The two technologies will complement each other, and the 5G networks will primarily be used to bridge the gap between mobile devices and fibre cables. Although many are satisfied with the performance of 4G, which was introduced in 2008, there are many parts of the world where connectivity is inadequate or non-existent. 5G will offer virtually 100% connectivity anywhere in the world with ultra-fast speeds. It is predicted, for example, that you will be able to download a three-hour movie in a couple of seconds. Many masts have been erected, the satellites have been launched – it is now only a short time until 5G is widely available and it will have an impact on fibre-optic requirements. The possibilities of 5G are virtually unlimited, but a smart, fibre-deep infrastructure remains paramount to making the vision an actuality. It’s clear that the 5G customer experience will rely heavily on the ground network of fibre optic cables. 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,
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
rail-operating-centre

Rail Operating Centre

Brand Rex 10GPlus F/FTP (Category 6A) Cabling Solution installed at newly built Rail Operating Centre in the Midlands.
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

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.
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