Helping UCL refurbish a former warehouse by installing and integrating IT cabling systems

WhoWeWorkForUniversity College London (UCL) is based in the heart of London and is one of the world’s leading universities, with a 36,000 strong student community and a history of achievement. UCL wanted to convert a former distribution warehouse for use by some 750 people, all of whom required Voice (VoIP) wired network and wireless connectivity, linked to other buildings on the university campus.

Such a prestigious institution needed a safe, reliable and resilient IT cabling system installed. As well as flexible teaching and office space, the newly refurbished building also contained catering facilities and storage capability.


Required: A safe, cost-effective & energy efficient project

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Naturally, safety was a priority for the client, who insisted that the work be completed during university holidays. The new building required a full survey of existing ICT equipment in other buildings on campus to ensure integration and compatibility. GCL made certain that all products met all standards based requirements and installed within the Main Contractors restrictive program. GCL also needed to demonstrate that the design and installation was as cost-effective as possible as the solution and project were for a short term decampment exercise to facilitate the overall Master Plan.

With the clock ticking during the summer recess, GCL had meticulously plan the project so that nothing was left to chance. Logistics, deliveries, storage, health & safety, staffing and teamwork were all carefully planned to deliver the project on time and on budget. There were also some particular challenges to overcome in the timescales:

  • The original warehouse had no provision for ICT services
  • Several other buildings had to be connected to the same network
  • Limited storage space required ‘military precision’ in delivery schedules & materials
  • The Building design needed to be integrated into the existing campus backbone topology

Due to the routing of cabling pathways, ‘working at height’ regulations were in force and the Health and Safety Executive confirmed the site was a ‘high-risk’ working environment.


A bespoke solution for UCL’s IT cabling systems

GCL at University College LondonGCL worked closely with the client throughout, from the design, right through the construction stage and onto ‘soft landing’ which helps to solve any performance gap between design intentions and operational outcomes. All works necessitated a complete risk assessment, before obtaining permits to work in the high risk environment. GCL made sure that their dedicated PRINCE-qualified project manager on site worked collaboratively with all contractors for every element of the project, which included:

  • Linking MER via fibre link to BT distribution cabinet in nearby building
  • Installing dedicated SER with horizontal cabling serving each floor
  • Installing galvanised cable baskets at high level, with DADO trunking at desk level for routing of cables in work areas


Efficient and cost-effective results

Quality AssuranceUCL received the highest quality service and were delighted with the outcome. The high level of planning, health & safety and logistics expertise GCL bring allowed the project to be completed on time and on budget. The numerous benefits included:

  • Full connectivity between all the system’s active (PC, voice, Wi-Fi, IP Building Management devices and printers) and passive (cable) components, via the copper and fibre cabling
  • Professionally completed work, delivered within budget and on time
  • Peace of mind that the project was fully supervised and met all safety and industry standards

By using industry experts GCL, the client was assured of the highest industry standards, working practices in line with industry bodies such as BICSI, International Organisation Standards and ‘soft landing’ techniques.

GCL were selected after a competitive  tender process. They were instrumental throughout the project and very accommodating in providing us with daily progress reports and advice on some of the issues we had due to building constraints. Their project manager was excellent throughout the design and installation and we could not have asked for anyone better to have on board.
Nigel Hayward, Infrastructure Services Manager, Technology Services, University College London