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Communication Room Design


When designing a communications room the space required needs to take into consideration, the current requirements and expected overall requirements should the tenant space have the ability to add additional data outlets in the future.
ANSI/TIA-569-D provides the outline for these spaces and the allowances that best practise should allow for.

Communication Room Size

The communications room should be built to provide enough space and cabinets for the largest amount of expected data outlets that the communications room will service. For example if the tenant space could potentially have 500 employees and 1200 data outlets the space should be built for that allocations even if 400 staff and only 1000 outlets are first installed.

As an outline of size against number of data outlets in the building the following guidelines apply:

Number of Data Outlets Recommended overall Floor Area Representative Dimensions
 <100 9sqm    /    100sqft 3m x 3m
100-200 13.5sqm    /    150sqft 3m x 4.5m
200-800 36sqm    /    400sqft 6m x 6m
800-1600 72sqm    /    800sqft 6m x 12m
1600-2400 108sqm    /    1200sqft 9m x 12m

Note: future requirements to be estimated for room size allowance

General Requirements for Communication Room Design

The following general considerations for communication room design allow the room functional use, the ability to take and remove equipment and the flexibility of mounting equipment

  • Only equipment relevant to the communications room should be present in the room. No services for the rest of the tenant space should pass through the communications room
  • Ceiling height should be a minimum of 2400mm with no obstructions. 3000m minimum is recommended to allow for overhead containment
  • Overhead Containment should have a minimum of 200mm clearance from the finished ceiling
  • Floor consideration (solid, tile) should be designed for the expected current and future floor loadings
  • Access door should be a minimum of 900m wide and 2000m high. The door should hinge outwards. A double door 1800 wide and
  • 2300mm high is recommended if large equipment is anticipated
  • No external windows are recommended
  • Allowance of 19mm fire retardant painted plywood to cover at least one communication room wall.
  • Fire protection as per main building plan and code to apply

Mechanical and Electrical Requirements

  • Lighting should be a minimum of 500 lux in horizontal plane and 200 lux in vertical plane. (measured 1m above finished floor level)
  • Minimum of 2 dedicated un-switched power sockets on a dedicated circuit separate to the rest of the building sockets
  • A dedicated cleaners socket should be installed to avoid the use of the cabinet power sockets
  • Temperature range must be 18-27 Celsius (64-81F)
  • Minimum dew point must be 5.5 Celsius (42F)
  • Maximum dew point must be 15 Celsius (59F)
  • Maximum relative humidity must be 60%
  • The temperature and humidity are as the ASHRAE Class B standards

Data Cabinet Requirements

  • A maximum cabinet height of 2100mm is recommended for installing and accessing top racked equipment
  • Cabinets should be planned for future and present equipment to be installed. Depth is the main consideration and a minimum of
  • 150mm space should be allowed for over the deepest equipment to be installed
  • Cabinets should have front and rear rails and be recessed a minimum of 100mm to allow for cable management and patching
  • PDU (power distribution units) should be installed in all cabinets containing active equipment. They should not be switched to avoid accidental switch off
  • Cabinet clearances should be as follows
  • 1000mm clearance at the front of the rack (1200mm preferred)
  • 600mm clearance at the rear of the rack (1000mm preferred)
  • Cabinet feet can either be solid feet or wheels. Wheels must be lockable if installed

Other General Considerations

The communication room should be a dedicated room for technology equipment and services for the network throughout the tenant space. The following considerations should be considered as general advice

  • Communications room should be a restricted access area by code / key or access control
  • Sign in and sign out is recommended for troubleshooting should a failure occur
  • The room should not be used for general storage
  • The room should not be used as a general office area.
  • When working in the room the door should be left open due to the presence of recirculated cooled air

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NM Cabling Installs Office Cabling System for Duck Tours

Data Cabling System for London Duck Tours

A new structured cabling installation for the classic London Duck Tours

The new structured cabling system will include providing data cabling across several floors to include a Cat6 structured cabling and fibre optic cabling to link their existing IT cabling network to their new offices.

London Duck Tours operate from their booking store and offices outside Waterloo Station. Their distinctive yellow amphibious vehicles are a frequent spectacle on the London Streets and River Thames.

Cabling work will take place over a compressed timeframe to minimise disruption for the company and other occupants of the building

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NM Cabling appointed as an approved installer for Brand Rex structured cabling

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NM Cabling are delighted to announce that we have been appointed as an approved installer for Brand Rex structured cabling

NM Cabling are now an approved installer for Brand Rex structured cabling. The NM Cabling team will offer expertise in data cabling system design, Fibre Optic Cabling and Copper Data Cabling installations.
Brand-Rex is a leading global supplier of standards based structured cabling systems for data centres, Cat5e Cabling ,Cat6 Cabling, Cat6A Cabling, Cat7/7A Cabling and 10 Gig Cabling Networks
The Brand Rex structured cabling solutions will be primarily focused in London, The South East and throughout the UK and serviced from NM Cabling’s three offices in Rickmansworth, Andover and Central London

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Why you should insist on Structured Cabling Testing and what you should insist on

Structured Cabling Testing – Reasons to have your installation tested

  • If it’s not tested you won’t know if the installer has
    1. Terminated the data cabling correctly end to end
    2. Terminated the network cabling correctly in the right methods
    3. Terminated the structured cabling to the correct standards
  • Not all cabling terminations are equal. Poor terminations can result in the following
    1. Slower network speeds (i.e. only running at 100MB instead of 1 Gb)
    2. Interference on the data cable
    3. Interference onto neighbouring data cables
    4. Drop outs (i.e. phone calls drop or lost connection to servers)
  • Structured Cabling Testing checks that the correct patch panel ports go to the correct data module location. If the system isn’t tested this issue won’t be highlighted by the data cabling installer to rectify. Your system is then unusable from a management perspective
  • You have accountability! If you receive test results, it shows at a point in time that everything was installed correctly and working to the specified standard. This eliminates the blame culture later on
  • Testing checks that all the elements of the installation have been installed correctly
    1. Data cabling has been pulled in correctly, away from power, without and kinks and twists
    2. The minimum of exposed cable has been allowed for when terminating
    3. The cable is terminated in the correct format
    4. The modules are good and snugly fitting
    5. Without these steps done correctly the structured cabling link won’t pass
  • Structured Cabling Testing shows that the materials used are to standard as well as the data cabling installation. Poor modules, panels and cable will fail every time regardless so the quality of installation


What you should insist on from your Data Cabling Test Results

  1. That Structured Cabling Testing is done with Data Cabling Cable Analyser and not a cheaper mod tap tester


Structured Cabling Testing test sheet

Without 1 of these test results PER CABLE you are taking a risk that your data cabling installation is not fit for purpose.

More about Data Cabling Installation





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CHAS – The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme


CHAS Certification  – NM Cabling has for the 15th year qualified and renewed its CHAS (Construction Heath and Safety) accreditation.CHAS -The Contractors Health and Safety Assessment Scheme


CHAS is established as the market leader for health and safety pre-qualification in the UK, and it’s part of NM Cabling’s commitment to Health and Safety and correct procedures in the workplace.


CHAS Certification covers its installation portfolio of Data Cabling, Fibre Optic Cabling and Electrical Installation in its London, Wiltshire and Nationwide projects.

This ensures that all Electrical Installations, Fibre Optic Installations and Structured Cabling installations are always carried out in the safest and professional way possible.



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Public Wifi for Covent Garden


NM Cabling in association with Digital Avenue have been tasked and completed the WIFI cabling for  Covent Garden Piazza in London.

The Wifi and cabling will be used for public cloud access throughout Covent Garden the popular London tourist location.  WIFI cabling at Covent Garden Piazza

The Covent Garden Wifi data cabling was required to be run externally and completed out of hours to minimise disruption.

The Wifi cabling had to be run between 11pm and 7am, externally on powered access platforms amongst the piazza buildings.

As an additional challenge the structured cabling for Covent Garden Wifi had to be installed while 7 other platforms were simultaneously installing the plaza Christmas lights.


For more information on Data Cabling and WiFI installation Call NM Cabling on 01923 888588 or



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Communications Room Data Cabinet


Comms room data cabinet Potential problems

A comms room cabinet, such as the above, is a regular sight we come across in the data cabling world. Quickly patching in that new network port with whatever colour, length or quality of patch cable to hand is certainly quick, but is it a recipe for disaster to your IT network.

Below we list some potential problems that you can encounter, if your comms room cabinet is looking like this or worse:

Potential problems from this haphazard patching system are;

  • Somewhere amongst all that mess of cabling is your incoming ISP / broadband line. One snag/tangle which causes the wrong lead to break or pull out, could take down your entire office.
  • If you have separate networks, there’s a very real DANGER that one stray cable can link 2 networks together allowing full access. (We have seen this in a school before, where the admin and pupil networks became linked and this led to the pupils having full access to all files, folders and un-restricted websites)
  • The situation can only get WORSE! Anyone adding to this system are only going to add to what’s there, rather than put everything new in nice and neat. It’s only a matter of time before one more is too many!
  • You’re WASTING MONEY on buying additional expensive hardware when it’s not needed. When the patching is this messy, you can’t see what ports on your switches are actually active and used; therefore when they are all full up you have to buy another expensive switch. If your patching was up to date the unused ports would be visible and these could be maximised.
  • They can become a FIRE hazard! Usually a comms room cabinet like this will go hand in hand with a power system of extension leads and multi block power leads. Extension leads plugged into extension leads in a cabinet are a high fire risk. Better to have full size cabinet PDU’s for all of your equipment.
  • Having a multitude of patch leads running across the front of a cabinet, does NOT allow the heat created by your active equipment to disperse. This can SHORTEN the lifetime of this networking equipment by causing OVERHEATING!
  • It’s costing you DOWNTIME! When a phone, WIFI, PC or any hardware goes down, instead of quickly being able to troubleshoot the situation; additional time is required to trace where ports go and where the source of the problem is.
  • It’s COSTING your people TIME and you MONEY! With a fully organised cabinet, Adds/Moves and Changes are almost instantly SAVING your IT technician or Support Company TIME and you MONEY.

For a free Cabinet survey and Quotation to Document, organise and re-patch your communications cabinet
Call NM Cabling on 01923 888588 or


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Fixed testing in the Workplace – EICR


Checking the condition of your electrical systems on a regular basis is vital for detecting and preventing potential hazards.

Fixed testing, also known as Electrical Installation Condition Reporting or periodic inspection, is a systematic test of all of the various elements of your electrical services, including cabling, switches, lighting and outlet points.


Regulation and Responsibility

In the UK, workplace electrical installation maintenance is covered by several regulations including:Fixed testing in the Workplace

  • 1974 – Health & Safety at Work Act
  • 1989 – Electricity at Work Regulations
  • 1992 – Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations
  • 1999 – Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations


The Electricity at Work regulation specifically states that “all systems shall be maintained so as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, such danger.”

Companies have a responsibility to their employees and the general public, to look after their health and safety while they are on site. That being said, the 1989 Electricity at Work regulations also recognise that employees must be co-operative in helping to prevent health and safety issues.

Beyond the official regulations, evidence of fixed testing may also be a requirement from your landlord, mortgage provider or insurer.


EICR Testing Frequency

How frequently your electrical systems need to be checked varies depending on the type of equipment you have installed, how often it is used and who it is used by. Typically locations using high powered electrical machinery, or where the public is in close proximity to the technology, will require more rigorous and frequent checks.


In most normal settings it is recommended that a routine check is carried out annually, with formal inspections every five years, or whenever you move into a new property. These time-frames would be suitable for a typical office IT electrical installation.

One notable exception to this is fire alarms, which should be checked weekly, with a formal test at least once a year.

It goes without saying that fixed testing must be carried out by a registered electrician.


Minimising disruption

While this type of testing can seem invasive, Guidance Note 3 of IEE Wiring regulations states that tests should be conducted “in such a way as to minimise disturbance of the installation and inconvenience to the user”. This includes agreeing a convenient time to conduct the tests.

Precautions are also taken to ensure that no equipment is damaged during the tests.

Although every effort is made to minimise disruption, inevitably this requires careful scheduling and may require working out of hours.

On completion of the tests you will be issued with an Electrical Installation Condition Report, which details the results, including defects or dangerous conditions that will need to be immediately rectified.


Don’t leave it too late

With the influx of technology and computing into the workplace over the past decade, IT electrical installation has become a vital part of the office environment and the life blood of many companies. Failing to regularly check the condition of your systems not only puts your business at risk, but exposes your employees to unnecessary danger.

If you have any concerns with your electrical installation please call for free advice or a survey on 01923 888588 or


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Dangers and Correct Usage of Extension Leads

The right and wrong way to use them in your office


Electrical Installations –  wall sockets, floor boxes  and extension leads are part of a standard office setup. However when is it a good idea to use an extension lead and when is it not. What are the correct safety procedures? What are the dangers?

Some problems that can be experienced with extension leads can be as follows

  • If an extension lead is not contained within desks and laying across access routes they can cause a dangerous trip hazard
  • If being continually walked on and pulled by catching chairs and feet then the cable may become damaged, the cable sheath damaged and exposure to electrical shock
  • Plugging one extension lead into another to create more sockets can cause the current to be exceeded and cause a possibly fire hazard
  • Using an extension lead in the coiled position can cause a fire hazard

Best practice when installing extension leads

  • Use manufacturer assembled extension leads and plug one lead into a dedicated socket or floor box.
  • Use surge protected extension leads
  • Use the correct rated extension lead for your application and equipment used
  • Install the extension lead so none of the lead is on the floor or exposed to tripping, catching or damaged (i.e. via containment in desks, cable spines from floor boxes)
  • Install additional wall / floor electrical sockets if you are overloading your existing sockets with large extension leads or joining them together

If you have any concerns with your electrical installation please call for free advice or a survey on 01923 888588 or