Financial Institution Builds a Future-Ready and High-Tech Green Building

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Customer

Large financial institution

Challenge

Green construction of 10-story office building

Solutions

  • Technical Services Group 
  • READY!℠ Workstation

Results 

  • Saved costs by using high-performance cabling infrastructure
  • Used alternative cabling materials to reduce impact on environment
  • Deployed advanced network infrastructure to increase performance and flexibility

Customer Challenge 

A major financial institution that principally serves Australia and New Zealand supports nearly 8 million customers in 32 countries by employing 48,000 people worldwide planned to construct one of the largest office buildings in the Southern Hemisphere. The complex and technically advanced building also aimed to achieve a 6 Star Green Rating through the Green Building Council of Australia.

The 10-story building the size of a cricket field built by the company also needed to feature the latest infrastructure technologies to make its employees competitive in the financial markets. This meant installing a flexible networking infrastructure that is able to be adapted to changing technologies while minimizing disruptions to the physical building and employees’ work. With more than 6,500 employees moving into the building, the company needed a solution that allowed it to add workstations, employees and access as needed without disruption or difficulty. 

As a trusted infrastructure expert, Anixter had been working with the financial institution for several years and was contacted when the plans for the new office building were being developed. The consultant on the project recommended a raised floor infrastructure throughout the building to provide greater environmental control.

To gain the technical and product knowledge needed to complete the infrastructure build out of the office building, the company decided to work with Anixter and its Technical Solutions Group. “The infrastructure had to be extremely flexible because financial institutions are known for moving people and equipment around,” said Anixter’s Business Development Manager for Australia. “The company was very aware of real estate costs, and needed a solution that provided the right technology but also maximized the existing space.”

Anixter Solution 

As a leading global distributor, Anixter has a team of technical experts that can help customers select the right products and solutions for their needs. Anixter’s technical experts joined the project and began to educate the customer on the importance of integrating a fourth-utility concept that treats the networking infrastructure similar to that of electricity, water or gas. Called the IP Connected EnterpriseSM, this concept integrates various IP-based systems, such as access control and video, onto one network that also serves the data communications.

By implementing a fourth-utility concept, the company was able to consolidate its networking infrastructure for added flexibility.The cabling running through the subfloor was distributed utilizing consolidation points. Unlike traditional cabling that runs from a patch panel to an outlet, consolidation points are like intermediate points that are put into the subfloor zones. This introduces flexibility into the infrastructure design by not having to pull out the cabling to accommodate new employees. Anixter’s technical experts also recommended using a wall-mount solution to maximize the dynamic office environment that typically experiences constant changing and rearranging of employees. 

Added flexibility goes beyond building design and into the infrastructure as well. The company originally asked for Category 6 cabling, which is able to handle current demands. However, Anixter recommended a Category 6A solution that not only offers increased bandwidth, but also the ability to run Power over Ethernet Plus technology that can power some laptops, PTZ cameras, IP telephones and wireless access points over the same cabling that is used to run the data communications. Even though the company’s current requirements didn’t call for any PoE+ technology, given the desired lifespan of the infrastructure, it was inevitable that some of this technology would be introduced. Anixter furnished test results conducted at Anixter’s Infrastructure Solutions Lab that showed with Category 6 cabling, the increased wattage of PoE+ (24 W-30 W) resulted in additional heat in the cables, which can reduce network performance. Under the same tests, Category 6A cabling showed minor degradation due to the heat generated by the power running through the cable. The company saw the benefit of installing Category 6A cabling for a flexible, future-proof installation and avoids having to replace its cabling infrastructure before intended. 

Anixter’s technical experts were also able to help in recommending cabling products that were more green and environmentally friendly than standard components. To achieve its 6 Star Green Rating, the company eliminated the use of any PVC jacked materials in the cabling infrastructure. Anixter recommended using low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) cabling that is flame retardant and nontoxic. The cabling also reduces the introduction of harmful chemical compounds into the environment. 

With such a large, complicated deployment, Anixter used its READY!SM Deployment Services, specifically its READY! Workstation offering, to ease challenges on the job site. Through READY! Workstation, Anixter was able to kit the components for each workstation build out into small plastic bags that were then delivered to a specific installation site at the building on an as-needed basis. This enabled Anixter to deliver value-added products that streamlined the installation process and allowed the integrator to focus on its core competencies.

Project Results 

During the year-long project, Anixter worked closely with the consultants and integrator to deploy a solution that met the financial institution’s needs for a future-ready, green solution.