How to build an ICT suite
Cablers Network & AV Solutions are experienced, trusted education technology suppliers and Cablers have been providing education technology solutions to schools in the South East for many years. During that time we have developed a few skills that many of our competitors do not come close to matching. One of the skills Cablers have developed is the ability to work with schools and colleges to design bespoke solutions that fit their education technology needs perfectly and the capability to bring those designs to life using only our own in house installation engineers who build and commission designs. Cablers can also supply all the hardware and incorporate the network infrastructure to make everything work seamlessly. This is great news for a school or college who can work with just one company throughout a whole project from conception to delivery making the whole process less complicated and more manageable than dealing with multiple contractors. It also makes us a more cost effective option for most projects.
We have been asked to create many bespoke solutions that incorporate technology for the education sector including Learning Bubbles, Science Lab’s, Observatory’s, Exclusion Units, Mac Suite Music Rooms and of course ICT Suites.
Here’s one we prepared earlier…..
We were asked by a primary school to design and build a bespoke ICT suite to fit 32 students, one teacher, one teachers desk, a Smartboard and a mobile laptop trolley. They also wanted to keep some of their existing furniture in the room.
Quite a tall order considering that the room was not huge.
The design started with conversations between Cablers, the head teacher and all staff at the school who would be use the new suite everyday. Cablers assigned a project manager who got to know how they wanted to use the space and we were then able to provide a proposed design that fitted the senior leadership teams requirements and specifications including everything on their wish list.
This is how it came together.
After the design has been approved its time to start construction.
The first job is to bring the tools in and lay everything out. Of course we also cover the floors in plastic sheeting so they are not ruined.
Getting the custom built central support structure right is key as this is what will give the benching its structural integrity and house the connectivity. Our installation engineers then install the worktop for the benching which is supported by substantial chrome legs that not only look good but serve the essential purpose of holding it all up. The holes for the grommets are bored out and the plastic inserts fitted to ensure tidy cabling for the work surface. The bench edges are shaped to make the suite more pleasing to the eye and ensure children wont catch themselves on prominent edges.
We installed power pole’s which bring the electrical and network connections down from the ceiling before incorporating them neatly into the body of the ICT benching. In the absence of conveniently placed floor boxes this is a ideal solution for running data and power without lots of unsightly trunking.
The electrical and data points are installed and tested by our certified engineers and the face plates are fitted to the back boxes which were designed to be incorporated and hidden within the body of the benching.
I missed out on taking pictures of the finished suite before the school started using their new ICT space. However it was nice to pop back and take some pictures. I had a great deal of positive feedback from the staff and students on how having a dedicated area for desktops has enhanced their ICT provisioning and changed teaching practices for the better. It works perfectly in tandem with their site wide managed wireless solution, laptop trolleys, and tablets which we also provided to the school.
We finished the benching off with some end plates cut and shaped on site to suit the overall look the school wished to achieve.
On this occasion we did not specify the desktop computers or supply them, nor did we need to supply the school with a new SmartBoard and projector. In order to save the school money we agreed to relocate an existing Smartboard and projector which they had stored in a cupboard for which we installed new looms and a control faceplate with their favored connections for VGA, HDMI, USB and volume controls. We still managed to find enough space next to the teachers desk to install the interactive whiteboard.
All in all we were very pleased with the results and we are confident that the ICT benching and all of the associated cabling will outlast the technology that its currently playing host to.