Siemon, global network infrastructure specialist, has announced that its innovative technology has been installed throughout Accenture’s new 4,500 sqm head office complex in the iconic Gare Maritime in Brussels, Belgium. Accenture is a global professional services firm, providing strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations to clients in more than 120 countries. As part of its defined corporate social responsibility strategy, Accenture only works with partners that share the same focus on sustainable and socially responsible business ethics.
When Gare Maritime was first developed at the turn of the 19th century, it was one of the largest freight railway stations in Europe. The redevelopment scheme followed the principle of circular construction, where materials used in the original construction were re-used where possible. In addition, rainwater collection and sustainable waste management systems have been installed, along with geothermal heating and cooling and photovoltaic panels.
Accenture is located in Building 1 – also known as B1 – and required a network infrastructure that was both reliable and future proof. After consulting with its installation partner, Network Cabling Solutions (NCS), Wim Cuypers, IT Director BeNeLux, France, Mauritius and Morocco at Accenture, chose Siemon and commented, ‘We always consider sustainability as part of our purchasing criteria. Siemon met our expectations thanks to its broad range of products, its environmental programme and respect for resources. Its impressive list of green credentials includes a 179 per cent carbon negative business operation, zero landfill, recycling and waste management.’
Supported by distribution partner Saifor Benelux, NCSBEL implemented a system comprising Siemon’s high performance copper cabling. The company installed approximately 70,000m of Siemon’s Category 7A shielded cable and 800 Category 6A shielded 10 Gigabit Ethernet-ready Z-MAX® connections across all office floors. This state-of-the-art network infrastructure supports all typical data and voice applications and will be able to handle higher bandwidth next generation technology in the years to come. Applications currently utilising the cabling network include Wi-Fi and security cameras, as well as other intelligent building services.
Commenting on the challenges of working at Gare Maritime, Frank Dendievel, Project Manager at NCSBEL, stated, ‘Historical buildings like Gare Maritime naturally come with some restrictions in terms of space but special Siemon product designs like angled patch panels and patch cords, which feature a much smaller cable diameter, helped us accommodate all the cabling in the smaller telecommunications spaces.’
In addition to providing best in class performance, the cabling also had to comply with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR). Rene Proost, Sales Manager Benelux at Siemon, explained;
‘Gare Maritime has a large wooden roof, as well as wooden side facades that accommodate the offices. Accenture demanded the best possible product standards in order to protect occupants and reduce the rapid spread of fire and harmful emissions. This was a request we were able to satisfy, as our Category 7A cable boasts the highest standard of flame resistance – B2ca.’Sales Manager Benelux at Siemon
The Siemon cabling solution at B1 will have a life cycle of up to 15 years and will support several generations of active equipment, thus reducing the need to remove and re-install cable over time. This limits waste and conserves copper, aluminium and other natural resources, while the shielded cabling used also reduces noise on the cabling channel, resulting in significant power savings for active electronics and lowering CO2.
Accenture’s Silke Lepee, Environment Lead BeLux, is delighted with the work carried out and concluded, ‘Accenture’s staff operate as one under the roof of the magnificent Gare Maritime, and Siemon has helped us achieve this. Its cabling gives us a future proof and fully flexible solution that supports our current business operations and provides solid network foundations for next generation applications. Just as importantly, it meets our objective of only deploying sustainable solutions, so together with our landlord we are now pursuing BREEAM certification for B1.’