Electrical Contracting News (ECN) December 2016 - Page 22

PROJECT FOCUS The building is designed to reflect Tate Modern’s global standing as a curator of modern art. THE ART OF CABLE MANAGEMENT The refurbished Bankside Power Station became an instant icon of both the art world and the architectural profession when it opened its doors as the Tate Modern in 2000. The new extension to the gallery that opened this summer may not have the industrial pedigree of the original but it is no less striking or prestigious in its design. Russell Drury takes a detailed look at the installation of flexible cable management within the concrete pour by REL, during construction of the Tate Modern’s new extension. L ocated to the south of the existing gallery, Tate 2 was designed by globally renowned architectural practice Herzog & de Meuron and its twisted pyramid concrete structure rises 10 storeys high, matching the height of the former power station’s towers. The building is not only designed to provide a backdrop for the artworks within, but to reflect Tate Modern’s global standing as a curator of modern art. While the new structure is very different from the Orwellian grandeur of the existing building, there is a synergy in the bare concrete finishes that characterise the interior of both. When it came to installing the cable management for the single core that rises through the centre of the Tate Modern extension, this focus on bare concrete walls presented significant challenges. Consequently, the requirement for flush mounted electrical accessories demanded an in-situ cable containment solution with minimal exposed service box lids within these areas. The previous installation phases for the building used the traditional in-situ galvanised conduit method, but REL immediately identified this method as being costly and, more importantly, unworkable. REL’s solution was to install Marshall Tufflex’s ‘Supertube’ on a floor-by-floor basis as the building was constructed, with the installation on each floor carried out prior to each stage of the concrete pour. ‘The requisite flush cable management infrastructure needed to accommodate a wide variety of cabling.’ Hidden solution The core rises up all 10 storeys of the building and includes staircases, passenger lifts and a goods lift. The requisite flush cable management infrastructure needed to accommodate a wide variety of cabling including power, lighting, data, fire alarm, security, access control and CCTV, creating dedicated networks comprising around 4.2km of conduit in total and 2,000 back boxes and fittings. Supertube provides a robust cable management solution as it is pliable and durable in its construction and allows up to 30m runs between service junctions, greatly reducing installation time. The conduit construction is polyethylene internal and external layers sandwiching and sealing a welded aluminium tube within. 22 | December 2016 22-23 Project Focus.indd 22 11/11/2016 16:35