Case Studies

Support Services

Communications - Edinburgh City Council HQ

  • Client:
    City of Edinburgh Council
  • Value:
  • Duration:
    XX months
  • Completion:

Waverley Court, the flagship headquarters for the Edinburgh City Council, is a shining example of the City of Edinburgh‘s commitment to the environment.

The 21,000 square metre building is one of the greenest structures in the capital, replacing 20 existing council offices that were nearing the end of their operational life. Using sustainable materials and pioneering construction processes, the modern, innovative, building has quickly become a landmark in the Scottish capital.

From its landscaped grass roof terraces designed to increase bio-diversity and collect rainwater that can be re-used to wash the city’s streets, to its open plan design offering high levels of natural daylight from the widespread use of glass throughout the building, Waverley Court offers a modern working environment for its 1,800 staff.

When designing an environmentally friendly building, every element, including the essential structured cabling infrastructure, has to be assessed for its sustainability and environmental impact on the building. “With an innovative building like this, the cabling infrastructure is critical in providing the necessary IT and communication services throughout the building and is integral to its success,” says Jason Cross, FES. “However, the Council was not prepared to compromise its environmental commitment therefore, it was imperative that we found a manufacturer who shared its green ideals.”

FES recommended the use of Category 6 TrueNet® cable from ADC KRONE. “With full responsibility for the design and planning of the cabling infrastructure within the building, it was essential that we used the highest quality infrastructure products from a reputable manufacturer, with absolutely no PVC used in its copper and fibre cable construction, ADC KRONE meets all the stringent sustainability key performance indicators set out by The City of Edinburgh Council recommending ADC KRONE as the infrastructure manufacturer of choice to Edinburgh Council. “

The brief from the Council was to provide the most flexible office space without the cable and power connections dictating the final office layouts, with the ability to patch and re-circuit the network if required to accommodate changes in the future. “The Council wanted the cabling infrastructure to be as technologically advanced as possible, and yet flexible enough to cope with any changes in the use of the space that it might want to implement in the future because re-cabling an occupied building is no easy task,” says Cross.

FES came up with an innovative infrastructure layout using 38 remote communication cabinets each sited independently throughout the office space. This unique design not only maximised flexibility but also removed the need to have a dedicated communications room with its environmentally unsound, power-hungry cooling requirements. Air is blown over cool water and then through the cabinet to keep the active parts at ambient temperature. “Water cooling the communication cabinets is completely in line with the environmental ethos of the building,” says Cross.

During the infrastructure design phase of the building, there was a high degree of interaction between cable designers FES and the space planners, who were able to overlay their furniture plans on the proposed cabling design. “This gave the council a lot of confidence that the infrastructure would be flexible enough to support the office configurations and space usage requirements that would be needed in the future, “ says Cross.

FES recommended a blown-fibre solution for the backbone which interconnects the many cabinets. As Cross explained, “This gives The City of Edinburgh Council ultimate flexibility because we could put in an ample number of relatively inexpensive micro-ducts – hollow plastic tubes – yet only install the amount of more expensive optic fibre that the Council needs now and in the near future. Whenever more bandwidth is needed in the backbone, it is a very simple and rapid job to blow-in more fibres through the micro-ducts with no need for the major disruption and costs normally associated with pulling in new fibre cables.

The blown fibre backbone supports 370,000 metres of ADC KRONE Cat 6 TrueNet® cabling with 7,500 outlet points configured within a modular design to enable movement and flexibility. An integral part of ADC KRONE’s TrueNet® structured cabling portfolio, Category 6 gives greater headroom for Gigabit applications across the network and offers future proofing for the whole Council infrastructure.

As a major public building in the heart of Edinburgh, Waverley Court accommodates a range of Council Departments. It was essential that the Council has a robust, reliable, high performance network infrastructure to support its voice, data and video traffic and business. FES has delivered the City of Edinburgh Council with a quality infrastructure that is essential in a modern high tech building, without compromising the environmental vision.