Cable ducts in high-rise buildings

Thursday 23 May 2013

Cable ducts in high-rise buildings

The in-house installation of glass fibre requires a lot of time and organisation from the contractor, particularly in high-rise buildings. Often, the in-house connection of the installation is only possible when all occupants are at home simultaneously.

Therefore, it is all the more important that when the contractor can finally start working, the necessary works can be executed swiftly and efficiently. We talked to Arend Pot about one of the solutions offered by Attema for FTTH-connections in high-rise buildings.

“For many years already, we supply ducts for telecommunication and security infrastructure. A couple of years ago, we developed a specific solution for in-house FTTH-connections, namely the F25 cable duct. This is a small cable duct of 25mm only, which is extra robust and equipped with sleeves with bending radius protection. This duct was especially developed for an FTTH project that Attema executed for Citynet Amsterdam. It concerned the in-house lead-through of mini-ducts from floor to floor in high-rise buildings. Meanwhile, installations in the Netherlands are being converted to glass fibre on a large scale and we’ve learnt that there are several kinds of methods to connect high-rise buildings.

“We’ve talked with a number of employees about the in-house connection process in high-rise buildings. For situations requiring an in-house riser several tests have been performed. It led to the combination of a duct, a flexible pipe and fasteners. Meanwhile, this has become a popular application in the day-to-day practice. At the moment, for instance, Hak Telecom is working with these products in an FTTH project in Lelystad. The solution meets with general approval. Many contractors prefer small ducts because cables are led through the distribution cabinet and space is limited here. A duct is also practical because you can fit the corresponding lids in a later stage. The flexible pipe is used for the lead-through from one floor to the other. The pipe can be easily clicked into place in the duct and facilitates pulling the cables.”

“Meanwhile, we are working hard on a couple of adjustments to this product combination. We are examining which measurements, lengths, drilled holes, pull relief and colours are most practical for connecting high-rise buildings. At the moment, everyone is doing it in its own way and there is a lot of diversity in products. In consultation with the market we try to work towards uniformity in work processes. This improves the installation speed and also offers logistic benefits as it is no longer necessary to have many different products in stock. Often, contractors subcontract connections of high-rise buildings to specialised subcontractors. With a standardised work procedure, it is easier to make clear work arrangements.

In the meantime, tests point out that it is possible to execute a large part of the connections with two duct/flexible pipe combinations. It doesn’t offer a solution for all situations – there is simply too much variety in high-rise buildings for this – but it does so for the vast majority. Obviously, we continue to deliver ducts in every desired size and in various colours or, for instance, in fire-retarding material. We keep on searching for the most efficient solution and are happy to take up challenges presented to us by our clients.