New £57m breeam-excellent library uses modular wiring systems

The University of Aberdeen’s new £57m library, which opened this September for students, staff and the general public, has been built using modular power and lighting distribution systems from Modular Wiring Systems, a subsidiary of electrical cable manufacturer Tratos Ltd.


The 15,500 sq m Library will cater for more than 16,000 students with over a quarter of a million books, maps and manuscripts, 1,200 reader spaces and cutting edge technology over eight storeys.  Certified BREEAM Excellent – the foremost environmental assessment method and rating system for buildings – the Library is designed to minimise long term running costs and energy use.


As part of that commitment to environmental best practise, the Library has been constructed with Modular Wiring Systems’ prefabricated power and lighting distribution systems.  As the systems are manufactured off site, there is no requirement for cutting and fabrication on site, thus reducing wastage, as well as improving quality control.


The Modular Wiring systems have been installed throughout the building under the floors, feeding all power and lighting points, including the desks and lighting in the book cases themselves.


The high frequency, energy efficient lighting systems are DALI Controlled – a complete building-wide digital lighting control system built on the Digital Addressable Lighting Interface and Ethernet international standards.  In order for the DALI system to work with the lighting in the book cases, Modular Wiring Systems designed and build bespoke product to ‘translate’ the DALI signal.


The lighting is controlled from a central desk and is zoned to allow lighting in specific areas to be changed.


Using Modular Wiring Systems’ distribution systems has provided the Library with exceptional flexibility, allowing desks to be moved and the layout altered, without the need to re wire to re route power.  That’s because the systems feature easy to use plugs and sockets instead of hard wiring.  Altering the systems simply involves unplugging the connections and re plugging into other connections, which is a quick and cost-effective approach and doesn’t require a high skill level.



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