A structured approach makes sense

Mark Redfern of Wieland Electric explains why structured wiring is growing in popularity due to its ability to provide a fast, cost effective but robust installation.

We keep being told that the economy is starting to pick up and that there are more construction jobs in the pipeline, but despite this the cost cutting measures remain and as a result the large project budgets are now a thing of the past.

In many respects this has proved to be a great opportunity for the building services industry because where once we may have just done a job in the same way that it has always been done, we are now looking for alternative methods which are more cost effective but provide the same level of service.

It is this way of thinking which has led to the introduction of many new products because the need for a better and cheaper way of doing something has driven the market to look for new options and it is for this reason that we are seeing a rise in structured wiring solutions.

A new approach

One of the problems which we are seeing as a result of the economic crisis is lack of time, and while many people will argue that they have always been very busy, time has become an increasingly important factor with contractors looking to make budget savings through spending less time on site.

This is one of the areas where a structured wiring solution pays dividends because it allows you to achieve a complete installation for the distribution of lighting and power, from the distribution board through to the farthest point of the circuit by simply connecting a number of system components together. This significantly increases the speed of installation and as a result, the advantages of the plug and play functionality in getting the job done quickly really cannot be ignored

This is one of the main reasons why this type of system is beginning to revolutionise the building services industry and why the numerous features and benefits, which can achieve cost efficiencies both throughout the installation and the lifetime of the building, are playing a major role in the specification process.

Notable savings

Time savings on site are something which we cannot ignore but there is also the question of safety which we must take into account and this is another area where a structured wiring solution will prove to be the installer’s best friend.

I have already mentioned time savings on site, but the significance of these savings is not just in the ease of installation because the major savings come as a result of the fact that the entire system is manufactured off site in a controlled environment. In fact savings of up to 70% can sensibly be achieved as a result of this because when it arrives on site it is in a format which simply requires plugging together. Not only does this reduce the installation time, but it also significantly reduces the margin for error and because it is rigorously tested and approved before it even reaches the site you can be confident that the installation will prove to be safe and robust in the longer term.

The future is structured

Saying that the future is structured is quite a bold statement to make – but it is one which I am hearing more and more on a daily basis because the products are proving to be invaluable in achieving a cost effective but safe installation.

But perhaps the key is in that last phrase – cost effective but safe. The sad fact remains that there are plenty of ‘cost effective’ solutions on the market – unfortunately they are not quite so cost effective when they have to be stripped out of a building six months after it has opened because the cable is faulty. And that is probably best case scenario because it could be so much worse.

Speed of installation

A structured wiring solution provides the speed of installation with the added benefit of being safe. For example our Metalynx² system utilises round connectors which enable a quicker and more accurate installation and the plug and play functionality provides an additional bonus. Metalynx² also meets the requirements of all of the relevant IEC and British Standards including BS EN 61535 ensuring that the building and the occupants are protected from future issues associated with faulty wiring.

So I think the message is clear, cutting costs is great but cutting corners isn’t. It may sound obvious but perhaps it does need saying. As an industry we do have the products which will enable us to make savings but we shouldn’t confuse cost effective with cheap because it could prove to be very costly in the long term.

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