• Digital House, 9 Dunlop Rd, Hadleigh Road Industrial Estate, Ipswich, IP2 0UG
  • 01473 529100
  • sales@wiremek.co.uk

Control Panel Installation for Global Insurance Broker

Control Panel Installation for Global Insurance Broker

Wiremek has completed a major project for a global insurance broker.

The landmark building in Ipswich, Suffolk, was designed by Lord Norman Foster and opened by Harold Macmillan in 1975. With 890 black glass panels and its avant garde organic shape, the listed building has won numerous design awards.

Wiremek was tasked with replacing the original 1975 control panels, which are situated on the ground floor of the building and are visible from the outside.  Because of this degree of visibility, the plant room is part of the listing and therfore cahnges or replacements must be an exact match to the originals.

Unsurprisingly, modifications had been carried out on the control panels over their 37 year life span and the technology they utilised was well out of date. Wiremek's brief was to install new panels that would facilitate easy diagnosis and reporting, whilst improving performance and saving energy.

The Challenge

During the initial survey phase engineers from Wiremek worked closely with the Building Maintenance Services team to agree the deployment of new technologies and bring the fragmented BMS into a centralised system.

Access to the site was limited, so the bespoke, colour matched panels had to be designed in a modular system that could be disassembled and reassembled inside the plant room.

With delicate mineral insulated cabling that needed to be re-used and existing 1 MVA transformers that required bespoke fit on to the new panel, both design and instalaltion phase was bound to be complex.

In addition, design features of the original installation had to remain, such as safety screening to an access point that allows engineers to walk inside the control panels.


Installation took place in April 2012 over the Easter weekend. Work started on the evening of Thursday 5th April wiht the dismantling and removal of the old equipment. The team knew they would have to complete the instalaltion and resolve any issues by the time the building re-opened for business on Tuesday 9th April, but in fact the operation went so smoothly that Wiremek's lead engineer, Johnny Battiste, walked away from the job on the evening of Saturday 7th April -two days ahead of schedule - with the new panels in place and system running perfectly. Soft starter technology give gives energy savings on all the building's pumps and the enw BMS provides in-depth, easy to run reporting functionality for the managers.

The Result

  • The projectbrought in ahead of time and on target
  • High level of control functionality
  • Energy savings in building control

Ian Gleed, Wiremek's Managing Director, said "This was a unique project in a unique building. Our strengths lie in tackling bespoke and time controlled installations; we're delighted to have had this opportunity to work slosely with the client and achieve a successful outcome."

Lord Foster's building provides 220,000 square feet of space over 3 floors, each of which extends to approximately 1.5 acres. There are 140,000 square feet of carpet files, 65,000 square feet of rubber flooring, a swimming pool (now converted for office space), a roof restaurant and a half acre rooftop lawned garden.

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