When M&E contractor Whitehead Building Services won a £5m installation contract to help create the BBC’s new Drama Village in Cardiff, they chose to specify Marco’s ELITE 3 uPVC Trunking and Steel Wire Cable Tray systems across the entire facility.

The 170,000 sq ft (15,800 sq m) site houses productions including Casualty, The Sarah Jane Adventures and TV’s favourite, Doctor Who. The village is part of the BBC’s commitment to double television network production from Wales by 2016.

Set over two floors, the new build scheme contains eight studios at ground floor level and a large number of offi ces at level one. With major acoustic sound proofi ng and high power supply needed to cope with the demands of huge and complex lighting rigs (there are 2,700 light fi ttings in total), work began at ground floor and continued on a studio by studio basis.

Marco’s Steve Davis worked closely with electrical contractor Whitehead during both specification and build phases of the new studios. He said: “Whitehead specifi ed Marco’s Steel Wire Cable Tray at a depth of 55mm, with widths varying from 100mm – 500mm. Several thousand lengths of various sizes were installed to support the Cat6 data and fi e alarm cables.

A series of Marco Quick Fit accessories were used to support the installation. Quick Couplers were used to join the lengths whilst Quick Locks were used to speed installation on sweeping bends, alongside the Marco Fast Fix Strut Clip to secure the whole installation. The use of Fast Fix Strut Clip enabled the Steel Wire Cable Tray to be fi xed to the strut channel within seconds, reducing the installation time considerably when compared to the traditional method of hold down clamp, spring nut, and bolt.

As part of the specification and under the restraints of a fast track installation programme, Marco developed a bespoke Steel Wire Cable Tray system to speed up installation whilst also reducing costs. The bespoke Steel Wire Cable Tray product was designed as a ‘J’ shape with one side higher than the other. This acted as a shelf for the data cables to be installed in. The higher side of the Steel Wire Cable Tray was fi xed directly to the strut using Marco’s Fast Fix Strut Clip, negating the use of an extra bracket and spring nuts”.

Mark Eaves, Whitehead Contracts Manager said: “Marco reacted positively to our design requirements and quickly produced a sample length for us. It was an ideal solution that met our exact needs and we have installed this throughout the building”.

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