Category 5e (CAT5e) Cabling is on the way out for offices

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) and International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) cabling standards body has announced that Category 5e (CAT5e) cabling, installed in many office buildings throughout Melbourne will now be considered as obsolete for new installations.

 

The ISO/IEC 11801 standard was the first international standard set for cabling in commercial and industrial buildings. The ISO/IEC continues to develop, maintain and promote standards within the information technology and communications sectors. A significant change regarding how office buildings are cabled has been implemented, that is set to raise the minimum horizontal cabling requirement from Class D (CAT5e) to Class E (CAT6), with recommendations for Class EA (CAT6a), or better cabling. What this means for new office building installations is that CAT6 will now become the minimum requirement.

 

CAT5e cabling has been used in structured cabling for computer networks such as Ethernet and IP communications and has provided and continues to provide performance of up to 100 MHz. This was considered suitable for fast Ethernet and gigabit Ethernet, with the added ability to carry other signals such as video and telephony. Now, the 11801 standard includes additional cabling classes that have been introduced to enable support of up to 10 gigabits per second, with the addition of CAT6, CAT6A, CAT7 and CAT7A cabling.

 

CAT5 can not carry the speed of data that CAT6 or CAT7 cabling can. CAT6 can perform at up to 250 MHz and CAT7 up to 600 MHz, for ultra fast Ethernet. CAT7 also provides more durability and a longer life span than that of CAT5 and CAT6 cabling.

 

A full 20 years after its introduction as an international standard, ISO/IEC 11801 has lead the way for consistent implementation of voice and data cabling, worldwide. CAT5e is being phased out for it’s premium counterpart in all new electrical office fit-out installations. With wireless LAN infrastructure getting upgraded at a fast pace and LAN speed rapidly increasing to cope with user expectations and growth of smartphones, laptops and alike, it’s no wonder that demand has called for this change to provide users with faster, more efficient data capabilities.

 

Prolux Electrical Contractors have the knowledge and expertise to provide your building with the right solutions in data and communication, electrical building maintenance and office power upgrades across Melbourne. Call the Melbourne electrician with a difference today.

 

Dodgy cable wiring puts 40,000 Australian homes and businesses in danger

Over 40,000 Australian homes and businesses have been installed with potentially deadly electrical cabling. The dodgy cabling – 4000km, has been recalled and must be identified and replaced before it becomes a fire or electrocution hazard.

Sydney woman Lu Luo imported the cable from China and is facing criminal charges. The company, Infinity Cable Co. is in liquidation, leaving the sellers of the Infinity and Olsent-branded cable to foot the bill for this massive product recall. The cable has been sold as far back as 2010 in hardware chains – including Masters and Mitre 10, throughout Australia, excluding the Northern Territory.

The ‘fix it’ bill is expected to cost in excess of $80 million with Woolworths-owned hardware stores up for at least 40%; most of that being through the Masters chain. Woolworths-owned Thrifty-Link Hardware and Home Timber and Hardware also sold the cable, as did Met-cash-owned Mitre 10.

Hardware chains sold the majority of the cable – 85%, mainly to small-scale electricians and other trades. The rest was sold by electrical wholesalers. It was said to retail for around half the price of alternative cables on the market.

While good-quality cable will last decades (up to 40 years) the Infinity brand is said to become brittle after 5 years, potentially exposing live conductors, creating the risk of fire and or electrocution.

When the cable was first supplied to hardware chains and electrical wholesalers it came with papers saying that it had met Australian standards. But later testing by Fair Trading found that it did not.

Have you been affected? What should you do next?

1.  If you have had electrical wiring work carried out on your home or business between 2010-2013 contact the person who did the work to check if these cables were used.

2.  If these cables were used, the installer must come to check whether there is a risk. You should not be charged for this. The installer will not remove the cable at this time.

3.  If there is a risk, the installer will contact the supplier of the cable who will arrange for the cable to be replaced.

More information is available at www.recalls.gov.au

Please note: Prolux Electrical Contractors have never used Infinity or Olsent-branded cable.

Another Satisfied Customer…

Case Study:

Client: PSP Corporation (eNett International)
Site: 50 Queen Street, Melbourne


Problem:
Occupying Level 13, PSP Corporation expanded, taking residence of Level 12 and required new workstations to be set up for new staff commencing work within days. With limited space, finding room for them had fast become an issue. New data cabling and power outlets had to be wired and installed, along with existing points to be tested. PSP Corporation did not have the time to arrange quotes from builders and furniture contractors to create a workable space; the whole process was managed internally in a matter of days.


Scope of Works:

Wire all workstations; data cabling and power outlets:

  • Wiring and installation of dual CAT6 data outlets and dual power supply to each workstation
  • General data and power for photo copier rooms, flat screen display panels, cleaning areas and workstations
  • Wiring and installation of dedicated GPOs for the communications rack
  • Installation of the communications rack for customer’s IT equipment and all fixed data cabling to terminate
  • Supply and installation of new patch panels and WIFI points

Supply and installation of data and communication tie cables between the existing customer’s rack on Level 13 and the new rack on Level 12.


“We are proud of our achievements in electrical safety and quality, consistently providing the highest level of workmanship is what we do.”


Identify Solutions:

Prolux Electrical Contractors, the base building contractor were asked by the tenant to install a complete data network and power solution to the workstations they were having installed. The challenge was that it needed to be completed prior to their new staff commencing. This gave Prolux two days; one day for preparing the project and ordering all required parts and one day for installing and testing all components.


Conclude and Recommend:

Within days of the client contacting Prolux, Alex had been out to site, quoted for all works to be undertaken and had the job completed on time and within budget. The staff at PSP Corporation were able to move in to their new workstations straight away, with no interruption to their work schedule.


For more information, or a detailed analysis on your building’s requirements, call Prolux for a no obligation, free building appraisal.

Do you know the restrictions relating to the amount of Artificial Lighting and Power permitted?

What are the restrictions relating to Artificial Lighting and Power for Buildings?

It’s important to know the regulations of the Commercial Building(s) you’re managing. Non-Residential incorporates Classes 3 and 5 through to 9 and for the Common Areas of Class 2 Buildings. Section J of the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) outlines the National Construction Code (NCC) requirements for Artificial Lighting & Power and Building Classes. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Section J, it assesses the compliance of the energy efficiency measures in the Artificial Lighting and Power Design and must be adhered to in all buildings.

The Lighting Calculator for Property Managers…

As a Property Manager, you can be faced with the difficult task of making sure each building complies with strict regulations. Prolux Electrical Contractors can assist in identifying lighting and power requirements and can provide you with valuable solutions. Furthermore, the Lighting Calculator has been designed by the ABCB to assist in developing a better understanding of lighting energy efficiency parameters. To put in simply, it helps you to identify the wattage per square metre for each room, to work out the Illumination Power Density for areas outlined, while taking into consideration all variable factors. Illumination Power Density is the total power that would be consumed by lights in any given space, this includes lamps, ballasts (device to limit the amount of current in an electric circuit), current regulators and control devices (lighting timer, motion detectors or dimming devices) other than those that are plugged directly into a socket outlet for intermittent use, such as floor standing lamps, desk lamps or work station lamps, divided by the floor area of the space. Multiple Lighting Systems refers to the Illumination Power Load when multiple lighting systems serve the same space.

Download the NCC Lighting Calculator

Just a few properties Prolux Electrical Contractors have serviced, in and around Melbourne’s CBD…

441StKildaRdMelbourne 50QueenStMelbourne CollinsStMelbourne

 

 

 

 

 


Building Classes:

Class 1a – Detached, Terrace, Townhouse or Villa
Class 1b – Guesthouse
Class 2 – Two or more Sole Occupancy Units
Class 3 – Accommodation or Residence in Public Building
Class 4 – Only Dwelling in Class 5,6,7,8 or 9 Building
Class 5 – Office Building
Class 6 – Shop Building
Class 7a – Car Park
Class 7b – Warehouse – Storage or Display
Class 8 – Laboratory or Building used for production
Class 9a – Health Care Building
Class 9b – Public Assembly Building
Class 9c – Aged Care Building
Class 10a – Sheds and Garages
Class 10b – Non-Habitable Structure

How many Watts per Square Metre can Building Owners and Tenants use under ABCB guidelines?

–  For lighting indoors – 5 watts per square metre
–  For lighting in outdoor areas, including pergolas – 4 watts per square metre
–  For lighting in garages or sheds – 3 watts per square metre

These percentages relate to maximum usages. Exceptions to this rule only exist when certain lighting controls are used, and this may vary depending on specific structures and set-ups. An LED globe, for example, may use a tenth of the power that a halogen globe uses to create an equivalent amount and style of light. Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFLs) also offer significant energy savings. Lighting variables can alter these figures; dimmers and motion detectors and lighting regulations don’t account for lamps and other non-permanent lighting fittings either, provided that they’re not directly wired in. Body Corporate Managers must ensure there is adequate public lighting to illuminate all hallways and common areas, or risk liability. In regards to light fittings, if they are recessed in the ceiling, it is the Owners Corporation’s responsibility. If it hangs into the lot, it’s the owner’s responsibility.

What does all this mean for Property Managers?

The table below identifies the Wattage per Square Metre for Non-Residential Buildings.

Wattage per Sq/M                           Power Density for Specific Area
9 watts                                                Office – artificially lit to 200lx or more
7 watts                                                Office – artificially lit to less than 200lx
5 watts                                                Service Area (Change Room, Staff Room)
6 watts                                                Public Toilets
12 watts                                              Laboratories – artificially lit to 400lx or more
13 watts                                              Health Care (Care areas and Corridors)
7 to 10 watts                                       Health Care (Children’s Ward and Examination Room)
17 watts                                              Factories/Industrial
9 watts                                                Switchboard Room
10 watts                                              Conference/Board Room
10 watts                                              Auditorium/Church/Public Hall
8 watts                                                Common Rooms/Corridors in Class 2 Building
15 watts                                              Entry Lobby from outside Building
22 watts                                              Retail/Shop
5 watts                                                Plant Room
8 to 10 watts                                       Storage Room
10 watts                                              Wholesale Storage and Display Area
6 watts                                                Car Park
25 watts                                              Car Park Entrance – first 20 metres
10 watts                                              Lounge Area for Communal use in Class 3 Building
5 watts                                                Sole Occupancy of Class 3 Building


“Lighting contributes up to 38% of a building’s energy use. It is one of the easiest areas to save energy for owners.
 Australian standards specify minimum luminance levels for different commercial tasks. Work areas require twice the luminance of foyer areas, which in turn are twice those of toilets, passage ways or stairs.”


Need help confirming you’re complying with the ABCB’s Section J?

How do I calculate Watts per Square Metre?

  • Measure each room’s width and length in metres.
  • Multiply the numbers by 3.280839895. For example, a room at 10.2 by 6.4 metres converts to 702.82 feet (10.2 x 3.280839895 = 33.46) (6.4 x 3.280839895 = 20.99).
  • Multiply the length of the room by width to calculate the area in square feet. In our example, the area of the room is 33.46 x 20.99 or 702.32 square feet.
  • Obtain the energy consumption (in watts) in each room. For example, the lighting in this room comes from 30, 75-watt and eight, 100-watt lamps. This equates to 30 x 75 + 8 x 100 = 3,050 watts.
  • Divide the wattage consumed in the room by its area in square feet to calculate the watts per square foot. In our example, 3,050 watts divided by 702.32 square feet equals to 4.34 watts per square feet.

How do I convert Lux to Watts per Square Metre?

One hundred Lux is equal to one Watt per Square Metre. Therefore, when converting Lux to Watts per Square Metre, all that is required is to multiply the number of Watts in question by 100.

For more information, or a detailed analysis on your building’s energy efficiency call Prolux Electrical Contractors today.

Call Prolux Electrical Contractors on 1800 800 880
The Melbourne electrician for all your electrical requirements.

3/52 Corporate Boulevard, Bayswater VIC 3153