Communications Cabinet Makeover - Bankside Chambers

Bankside Chambers is based in the Lumley Centre in Auckland, and is home to a group of some of New Zealand’s most highly regarded legal and barrister teams.

Think Concepts were approached in December by Bankside Chambers as two full sized network communications cabinets needed to be relocated as a result of renovations occurring in the chambers. 

This was a challenging task to undertake. Both cabinets housed a complex setup of core routing and switching equipment, as well as aged and redundant equipment that was previously deemed too challenging to decommission due to service disruption risk. Further to this, the two cabinets were located in different rooms, separated by a wall with a unique cable ducting system running the interlinks between each cabinet.

The aim of the project was not only to relocate the cabinets, but also to complete an entire overhaul of the equipment contained within. Alongside this, it was important that we re-aligned all cabling with current standards and best practice. All of which is a major undertaking in the short window between Christmas and New Year’s.

With such a small outage window and limited availability of equipment from suppliers over this holiday period, it was imperative that our engineers were meticulous with their planning during the lead up. Their planning however did not prepare them for the challenges raised during the deconstruction and demolition process – which had the potential to become very disruptive if not acted on quickly!

Our senior consultants worked throughout the night to painstakingly deconstruct and document the links between each outlet and each piece of equipment, ahead of the demolition. During this stage, it was identified that the existing plans did not include variations for a fraction of the cabling that rose through the floor, rather than down from the ceiling. This created a challenge as the cables were vital links to individual chambers and could not be removed.

Thankfully, our senior consultant Matt Walkinshaw responded efficiently; liaising with Bankside Chambers, the building managers of the Lumley Centre and project managers from Auckland Building group to overcome. He achieved this by arranging for a section of pre-fabricated concrete to be stripped away and a conduit put in place for the cables to reach the new cabinet location. He also worked to mitigate risks of damage to other internal cabling and potential damage to premium fibre services during concrete cutting operations.

Further to this, he also identified absence of provisioning for structured cabling in the areas under renovation, in time to allow for the work to take place and avoid a future hiccup.

Matt’s ability to think on his feet and rapidly tend to unforeseen circumstances was vital to the project staying on track.

In the days following New Years it was time for Think Concepts to return and begin the construction of the new cabinets. Over 300 network outlets were relocated, fitted off and tested, and UPS power filtering and protection was installed. Our network specialist Jason Short flew from Wellington to join our consultants as they began the re-configuration and commissioning of the core routing and network switching equipment.

It was an outstanding result to see the finished product, which now stands on prominent display for Bankside Chambers members and staff. We are proud of the outcome and the standard of workmanship shown by our consultants, especially given the complexity of the project and the challenging time frames.