Limes & Copperfields Estate Lighting Project

Limes & Copperfields Estate Lighting Project

Contract Ref./Name:        1023 Electrical Work Associated with Testing & Upgrading of Communal Electrical Installations & Supply Cabling

Name of customer:           Epping Forest District Council

Value of contract:             £200,000 pa

Duration of contract:      5 years

 Scope / Overview: The testing and commissioning of communal electrical installations, together with the identification and carrying out of remedial electrical upgrade works, to existing Council owned blocks of flats. The contract involves working in blocks of flats where residents can be Council tenants or private leaseholders i.e. where the Council retains responsibility for the maintenance and upkeep of communal areas and shared services.

Limes & Copperfields Estate Lighting Project (Chigwell)

Built circa 1960, the Limes and Copperfield Estate comprises prefabricated concrete buildings. No consistent cyclical maintenance in place and moisture ingress had caused deterioration of the lighting installation. Certain key control equipment had also become obsolete and parts that did remain had been stolen.   Increasing concern was also expressed by residents as to their safety and security when the Council began to switch off street lights during the night.

To design a lighting scheme that would fulfil the specified objectives. Specified objectives included:

  1. Energy efficiency
  2. Enhanced safety and security of residents
  3. Simplified control system for maintenance
  4. Reduced ongoing maintenance costs
  5. Delivery of value for money for the Council

Our project team worked closely alongside a reputable British manufacturer researching, designing and estimating suitable systems. The proposed system design was forwarded to the Council for approval and shared with residents at an evening consultation meeting. During the meeting we explained the proposed system, what the actual works involved and the future benefits of installing the new system. Valid concerns raised by residents were noted and incorporated into the final design. Given the urgency of the situation, the approved works were required to be completed within a six week timescale.

During the planning and preparation for the works a number of challenges were identified, including:

  • Lack of familiarity with the existing installation system.

Whilst the existing system was considered ‘ahead of its time’ when installed onsite maintenance staff had to service a system with which they were not totally familiar. We therefore had to design a simplified control system that could easily be maintained by non-technical staff.

  • Multi-occupancy blocks required the works to be programmed over 3 phases.

The scope of the works was controlled by programming them to be completed within 3 phases due to the layout of the estate, and by containing them within specific sections. To accommodate the project timescale manufacturers had committed to the short lead time for delivery. Letters were sent to residents notifying them of the programme and phasing of works and when and how the works would impact them.

  • The need to source all equipment and materials at the start of the project and store them locally to support the project timescale.

A works office and materials store was set-up onsite with a dedicated project supervisor in place. Consideration was given to its location so as not to disrupt local traffic or resident movement around the estate. Materials were securely stored and protected against vandalism and theft.

  • Poor visibility from existing lighting in key public areas e.g. stairwells.

During works temporary lighting was provided to enhance visibility during the day, especially in poorly lit areas, and to allow for the eventual changeover from the old system to the new.

  • Health, Safety and Welfare

Standard company procedures for safe onsite working were followed, including use of battery operated equipment to alleviate use of power leads. Directional and information signage was installed in prominent positions. Works areas were sectioned and coned-off when and where required and were kept clean and tidy throughout the day, with a final site clean and inspection at the end of each working day. Throughout the works sufficient labour was deployed onsite to safeguard residents, operatives, plant, tools and works equipment, thereby ensuring the timely completion of the works.

  • Our experience in designing and installing communal lighting systems enabled the project to be completed on time and within budget.
  • Working collaboratively with our lighting manufacturers savings achieved from keenly negotiated pricing were passed on directly to the Council.
  • Establishing an onsite stores facility ensured equipment and materials were available as and when they were required by the works programme.
  • Use of LED technology significantly increased the lighting levels on the estate therefore enhancing the safety and security of residents.
  • Environmental objectives were achieved through a substantial reduction in electricity consumption, thereby fulfilling our own, and the Council’s, commitment to reducing carbon emissions.
  • Due to the prolonged life expectancy of equipment using LED technology, repairs and maintenance costs have been drastically reduced for future years.