External Cabling to 23-storey Block of Flats


Our client, a Housing Association in Glasgow, provides around 4,500 homes across Glasgow with housing stock including multi-storey flats, deck access properties and tenements. The Housing Association was looking for 103 dwelling units to be fully renovated and C&K were appointed to install a new communal TV system.

Due to the varied nationalities within the blocks, C&K was instructed to install a 13-wire satellite/TV system which would allow viewing for Chinese, Polish and Eastern European channels with Sky and UK Freeview TV.



The block was cabled externally. On the front elevation, seven cable drops of 15 twin co-ax cables were secured to the building, each drilled through into the individual flats.

The project was vast with approximately 11,000 metres of cabling required per block.

Two of the engineers worked from mast climbers and another two provided the internal works, which included the fitting of a patress box (the container for the space behind electrical fittings) and TV/Sat outlet plates.

Tenant Liaison Officers provided engineers with a programme of lettered tenants to make sure that tenants were not disrupted.

The challenge for this block was that there was no internal route for the cabling without coring through many floors of very thick steel reinforced concrete. The cost, notwithstanding the health hazard from concrete dust and noise for the residents was decided not to be an option.

The construction company cladded the entire building with External Wall Insulation. Therefore, the cabling that C&K has installed had to be loomed and affixed to the building in a very precise manner.

This brought about an issue that had not been foreseen when assessing the risks. 15 pairs of coaxial cable drops were at the roof level of the building on cable spoolers. Drawing the cables over the parapet of the roof immediately amassed the weight of all this cable, as it was drawn down the building the weight of the cable increases and suddenly the spoolers are paying out cable too quickly. The now loose cable starts to load the mast climber and could have gone beyond the safe weight limit. Quick actions from C&K engineers halted the spoolers paying out more cable and averted a possible incident. Thereafter, a brake system was employed to control the pay-out of the cables from the multiple spoolers.



Tom Carnie, Technical Director at Campbell & Kennedy, commented “This was a particularly challenging project due to the height of the building and having to wire the cables externally – something I don’t believe has been done before. We had a great team working on this project and we’re pleased that viewers now have more channels available to them.”

All cables were continuity tested and recorded as when the EWI is in place we would not get a second chance to access the cables. As the cables have been located in a precise manner the construction operatives have a clear “path” where they must not drill into to affix the EWI.

Residents can now enjoy a multilingual satellite TV system with Sky and UK Freeview TV.




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