Temporary Power Overlays For Commercial Firm


An architect’s job is often a difficult balancing act between three core concepts: firmness, commodity and delight. A building should primarily be durable, it should then be easy and convenient to use and, finally, it should excite and delight its audience.

ide was called into one such building in the City of London, which faced a growing problem after three decades of use. The maritime insurance firm occupying the building has seen its home become a design icon, because its services, including ducts, lifts and electrical power infrastructure are located on the outside

facade of the building.

While the building has generally stood the test of time, over the course of the last year the building’s electrical services, have suffered from water ingress and corrosion. Because the firm generates over £30bn in revenue a year, it was critical that a continuous supply of power was maintained while repair work was carried out.

The facility’s management also faced a secondary problem with free-runners trespassing on the roof of the building, where some of the electrical infrastructure is located, creating a security and safety concern.

Finally, because the building has listed status, any solution that was delivered could not be invasive and had to fit onto external gantries running on the outside of the building. This was a challenge because the gantries are only 500mm wide and situated at a height of up to 100m from the ground.


ide designed, manufactured and delivered a temporary overlay for the outside of the building. This consisted of a 630A four pole moulded case circuit breaker (MCCB) and a range of 125A 400V switched interlocked socket outlets, which are designed to be tamper proof, preventing disconnection under load. The accompanying switchgear was placed behind locked windows and ide built the enclosures with an IP65 ingress protection rating, preventing damage from water and dust.

So that the units could fit on the narrow 500mm gantries, without damaging the listed building, ide’s engineers redesigned the boards to be tall and narrow allowing them to be manoeuvred into position and bolted down.

Features & Benefits

  • Stainless steel enclosure to match building colour
  • High IP65 rating to protect against water and dust ingress
  • Customised slimline design to fit 500mm wide gantries
  • Powerlock incoming connectors at 630A for plug and play temporary overlay
  • 630A four-pole MCCB protection on incoming cables
  • 125A 400V switched interlocked sockets to prevent disconnection under load
  • 125A four-pole MCB with fully adjustable and switchable earth leakage protection
  • Identical second temporary overlay delivered for other parts of the building
  • Ongoing service level agreement with ide Rental to manage emergency callouts.

For more information on our specialist design and build services click here.

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