Offices

Whitestar Solutions are specialists in the supply of data and electrical solutions to the office sector. We use our expertise to advise on the best systems for your unique environment.

Safe and reliable

We understand that safety and reliability are paramount in the office. We guarantee this by committing to never compromise on quality and providing the best qualified people for your project. Keep your staff safe and your business running with the most compliant electrical installation on the market.

Benefits

Whatever the project, we promise a number of key benefits. These are designed specifically for your sector.

Here’s what you can expect from working with Whitestar Solutions.

minimal-disruption

Minimal
Disruption

We will endeavour to install your system without any downtime on your existing infrastructure, therefore ensuring minimal disruption to office staff.

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Qualified
Engineers

We invest in our team of engineers to make sure they are all qualified and up to date with the latest regulations and standards.

whitestar icons_complete transparancy

Complete Transparency

We operate transparently by communicating openly and with sincerity.

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Fully Compliant

We are able to provide all the electrical services to ensure you remain compliant, giving you peace of mind that there are no health and safety issues.

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Sustainable
Solutions

We provide sustainable solutions for the long-term success of your business.

Office Installation

Related case study

Baskerville House

Prestigious Project at Baskerville House in Birmingham.

Blog

Cat5 or Cat6 – Which is the best for your data cabling

Cat5 or Cat6 – Which is the Best for Your Data Cabling Installation? Internet network installation can be a daunting process, especially if you’re a business that relies heavily on data transfer and networking. We know that Ethernet cables aren’t the most exciting topic to research, and it’s all too easy to get tangled up in all the technical jargon about performance and specifications, but it’s important to be well informed on the differences between Cat5 and Cat6 cabling.  Not understanding the difference may have an impact on your business, costing you time and money.  That’s why our experts have put together this concise guide to help you to make the best decision for your business.  Cat5 & Cat6 Ethernet cables are used for computer networks, connecting your computer to your server or modem and allowing it to connect to the internet. Your entire IT infrastructure relies on Cat cables, so making the right choice is crucial! WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CAT5 AND CAT6 ETHERNET CABLES? Cat5 cabling used to be the highest standard for Ethernet cabling and has been since 1995. Most businesses have Cat5 cables installed, and chances are that the PC you’re currently using is connected using a Cat5 cable. There is nothing wrong with this, as Cat5 cables can cope relatively well with current levels of bandwidth and data transfer. However, as bandwidth technology has advanced, Cat5 installation has become obsolete.  While Cat5, or it’s sub-variety, Cat5E, are perfectly capable of performing well for data transfer requirements, businesses who are installing entirely new networks are advised to choose Cat6 cabling.  The reason behind this is that Cat6 cabling has a much faster bandwidth capability, making it possible to transfer significantly higher levels of data.  While Cat5 and Cat6 cables have a similar construction of tightly wound copper wiring, Cat6 cables also feature a nylon spline, to reduce ‘crosstalk’ or signal interference. WHICH IS BEST, CAT5 OR CAT6? Cat6 installations cost around 10-20% more than Cat5. While this may seem like a steep increase, you’re paying for higher quality wires.  Not only are the performance specifications impressive, but as higher bandwidth use becomes more widespread, every business will require Cat6 in order to stay ahead, making Cat6 installation a way to future-proof your business.  And yet, even though Cat5 is an outdated form of cabling, it can still handle adequate internet speeds for a low cost.  If you are a smaller business, with a minimal need for transfer speeds, there is no necessity to opt for Cat6. It is also easy to upgrade your cabling from Cat5, to Cat5E (the ‘e’ stands for enhanced), so if you are looking for a little boost, the Cat5E is the perfect alternative.  It is less expensive and adequately capable depending on your required internet speed. Cat5E also features backwards compatibility, making the overall transition to upgrading your cabling easier. The defining differences between the two types of cable are their data transfer capabilities.  Overall, the choice of Cat5 or Cat6 depends on the unique requirements of your business and your budget. WHICH BUSINESSES SHOULD USE CAT6 CABLING? Generally speaking, most businesses will need to upgrade to Cat6 cables (or faster) in the coming years. You’ll likely have to upgrade to Cat6 soon, so we highly recommend opting for them now. Despite their higher initial cost, it’ll be more expensive to have all of your Ethernet cables replaced in a few years’ time, so it makes sense to upgrade once to Cat6.  If you’re a business that uses anything, from a VOIP telephone system to a POE (power over Ethernet) device, Cat6 cables are required to handle the data needed to operate them.  Cat6 cabling is suitable for any business with a computer network that reaches a GB or one GBPS of data transfer. DATA CABLING AT WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS At Whitestar Solutions, we believe in providing honest advice and recommendations for all of our clients. Rely on our data cabling installation experts to provide tailored data cabling solutions for your business, from Cat5 & Cat6 installations through to fibre optics and structured cabling systems; whatever you need, we’re here to advise on, and handle, it all.   For more information on our services, or advice on your business’ data cabling needs, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our installation experts today. 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

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 a driver so far before they need to find a charging point to fully charge their battery.  The best way is to avoid these issues completely is by ensuring that EVs are always charged – that’s where you come in! 1. Shift to make your business eco-friendly Drivers are choosing EVs because they are (currently) the most environmentally responsible option.  Ecologically minded customers are also likely to make decisions on where they spend their time and money based on how green your business is.   Having charging points installed at your business premises cements your standpoint on environmental awareness, and proves to customers that you are embracing climate-positive options. With EVs becoming more and more common, facilitating this choice by offering a charging option ultimately makes you more accessible than you would otherwise be, encouraging more people to visit your business. 2. Increase footfall and customer visit duration.  Installing charging points on your premises is an effective way to increase visibility of your business, because your location will feature on apps that show drivers a map of charging points, such as Zap-Map or PlugShare.   Customers are more likely to choose your business as a destination over a competitor if they know they can charge their cars while they are there, choosing to spend their time (and money!) at your store.   Depending on the size of the car battery and the speed of the charging point, it could take your customers somewhere between 30 minutes to a few hours to charge their electric cars. This extends customer visit time, and more time is more money spent on your business. 3. Improve employee relations  Considering the statistics for 2022, it is likely that a number of your employees will drive electric cars, if not now, then certainly by 2030.  The acceleration of EV infrastructure means that ease of transport will eventually become a factor that effects who wants to work for you.  People aren’t going to apply or work for a job they have daily issues travelling to. Employees want to know that they can drive to work and have enough charge in their cars to make the journey home. By supporting the EV charging needs of your workforce, you are not limiting the kind of candidate who would consider working for your business, and for employee satisfaction, you could even offer free car charging as an additional employment benefit. 4. Boost profits through EV charging points  Not only does it improve the visibility and image of your business, but you can also use EV charging points to generate revenue. Once they are installed, you can make a profit from the price each customer pays for the use of your charging points.  Meaning that when combined with the custom of EV drivers-turned-customers, the installation of charging points can lead to a noticeable increase in income for your business. EV CHARGING POINT INSTALLATION FROM WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS When site projects involve electrics, it’s only natural to be concerned about how the installation might affect the overall operation of your business. At Whitestar Solutions, our EV charging point installation experts swear by dynamic load balance technology, which means that all the capacity in your electrical system can be used for charging, without disrupting the rest of your business.  This works by balancing the energy usage between your charging points and other electrical sources on your premises, so that vehicles will charge in the most efficient way possible.   If you have any further questions, or if you’d like to talk to our friendly experts about getting an EV charging point installed on your premises, get in touch with our specialists today. When Coverage Isn’t Everything: Ditching Your Outdated Wi-Fi Designs When Coverage Isn’t Everything: Ditching Your Outdated Wi-Fi Designs WHY IS MY INTERNET SLOW WHEN I HAVE A FAST CONNECTION? When you experience a juddering connection with lagging Zoom meetings and a painfully slow connection, the first thing you look at is the Wi-Fi icon in the corner of the screen. However, if you want to improve your business network connectivity, there is more to look at than your signal. And if the little Wi-Fi icon is displaying four

Why every modern business needs VoIP

Why every modern business needs VoIP Great communication is crucial for any business. It goes without saying that you need clear and frequent contact with your team to run a company with optimal efficiency, and we’ve never seen this demonstrated more than during the pandemic.  Our only option was to meet virtually, and because of that there was a huge rise in the use of VoIP systems.  It suited businesses so well that, even now, as the workforce begins to return to the office, remote working is still popular.  Many industries experienced the benefits of VoIP in time for BT Openreach to announce that analogue telephone services will be switched off in 2025, meaning that all telephone systems will be replaced by IP services.  It is now necessary for any business owner who wants to stay ahead to have a better understanding of VoIP and to make this progressive switch.  We’ve put together a short guide to explain why you should consider installing a VoIP system for your business WHAT IS VOIP? VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a communication system that allows you to make a phone call through an internet connection, instead of through a traditional analogue landline. While the outdated analogue systems rely on a complex network and physical lines, all that your VoIP system needs is a strong broadband connection and high standard cabling, to ensure that all phones connect to the router.  Due to its success, the range of VoIP services now on offer is steadily growing. You may already be familiar with a whole host of VoIP services:  Zoom Ring Central Google Meets Microsoft Team  So what is about this type of software that has driven so many businesses towards VoIP phone system installations? HOW DOES A BUSINESS BENEFIT FROM USING VOIP? Multitasking technology VoIP is not limited to just voice calls. Its technology facilitates multitasking, allowing you to share multiple documents, videos and images on screen with employees and clients. This enables you to collaborate with your team, just as you would in a live conference.  Group calls With VoIP, you can hold an online meeting with as many members of your team as necessary. The beauty of VoIP is in its flexibility; you can hold quick, short meetings to touch base with your team, or hour long conferences with clients. Accessibility A large part of the appeal of using VoIP is portability. Whether you are in the office or away on business, you can link any member of the team into a meeting, at any time and any place – all you need is a supported device, and an internet connection.  Low cost  The cost of having high speed internet installed costs significantly less than a landline.  By integrating VoIP into your daily processes, you can cut down on the amount of commuting, general travelling, and may even wish to downsize to a smaller office space that suits a hybrid workforce – all of which proactively cut your overheads. Speed and ease of use  In an era where time is money, you want a system that enables you to organise a meeting with your team in under a minute. All you need is one phone number and the right access and you can be connected instantly to your team.      High sound quality VoIP systems have come a long way since their early development, and while you may have traumatic flashbacks of crackly voices and frozen images of your team as your signal drops, modern tech means that you have to worry about this far less than you used to. As long as you have a high speed, reliable internet connection, which is easy to obtain now with the right expertise, you’ll enjoy a smooth VoIP experience.  WHAT BUSINESSES WOULD BENEFIT FROM VOIP SERVICES? While the needs of your business will be unique and complex, VoIP systems benefit a multitude of industries, from hospitality to ecommerce. This includes any organisation that: Holds group calls Regularly organises remote team meetings  Has a large contingent of their team working from home Regularly liaises with clients remotely.  Has customer service at the core of their business Has to communicate across various departments It’s our experience that by implementing a VoIP system, you can improve your organisation’s efficiency and effectiveness across the board. HIGH SPEED INTERNET CABLING AND VOIP INSTALLATION SERVICES FROM WHITESTAR SOLUTIONS At Whitestar Solutions, we go above and beyond for our clients. Rely on our team to provide specialist services, from installing high speed internet cables that deliver exceptional internet performance, through to integrating functional, out-of-the-box VoIP systems, ready for you to use.  If you need advice on setting up a VoIP system, or have any further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of our dedicated and friendly VoIP experts. Alternatively, call us on 01442 234808, or email us at welcome@whitestarsolutions.co.uk. 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

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 you, and (as mentioned above) can cost an arm and a leg. WHAT SECTORS BENEFIT FROM PPM? Most organisations who have permanent premises should implement a PPM plan. However, more specifically: Preventive maintenance plan for schools PPM is crucial for schools and other education buildings, especially ones who rely heavily on their IT systems and network(s).  Schools should conduct regular electrical, data cabling, water, fire risk & gas safety checks. Protecting your staff and students should be the utmost priority, and regular PPM is the best way to do so.  Preventive maintenance plan for shared office space owners Unplanned errors often result in downtime in any organisation, which can prove catastrophic for businesses working in shared office spaces. By conducting regular, comprehensive PPM (or encouraging your landlord to do so), you’re working to ensure that your company remains in business at all times, positively impacting your bottom line by preventing all downtime.  Preventive maintenance plan for retail Retail businesses need to be agile and able to react to trends, and should be 100% sure that their customers are safe while shopping.  By keeping your systems maintained, your retail business is allowed the confidence to alter displays, welcome customers and ensure that your stock remains safe from unnecessary damage.  Preventive maintenance plan for hospitals & medical buildings System errors can mean the difference between life and death in hospitals.  It can be easy to presume that everything is working well, especially when there aren’t any obvious faults or issues. This is why PPM is essential in hospitals – it will identify underlying issues and rectify them before they cause harm. HOW TO CREATE A PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE PLAN Before you create a PPM plan, you’ll need to know what type of maintenance you’re after. Time based PPM – This is where you get your systems checked every X months (this will vary depending on the equipment/systems). Engineers might recommend that they give your systems a once over every 6 months, for example. Usage based PPM – This is best when you’re using a system/piece of equipment regularly. This can be something like usage hours (how many hours a network is at full capacity, for example), or distance/other benchmark, such as mileage or production cycles. Condition based PPM – This is the process of looking out for specific conditions in your system before conducting maintenance. Some systems feature key indicators that can be used to determine when maintenance is required (excessive vibrations, rattling, etc.).  You’ll want to talk to industry specialists before making this decision, as every

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ADDRESS

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The Maylands Building,
Hemel Hempstead,
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01442 234808