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DALI Case Study: Old Admiralty Building

Old Admiralty Building in London

A major refurbishment at the world famous Old Admiralty Building has just been completed. The installation of a DALI lighting control system is a fundamental aspect of the project.

Location: London, UK

DiiA Member: CP Electronics

Adjacent to Admiralty House in London, Old Admiralty Building  is a Grade II-listed building in Horseguards Parade which dates back to the turn of the 20th century. It has served as an office location for famous historical figures including former Prime Minister Winston Churchill along with former naval intelligence officer and James Bond author Ian Fleming.

Construction firm Willmott Dixon spearheaded the redevelopment at Old Admiralty Building with specialist support from engineering consultancy Hoare Lee. The building has been transformed into a modern working environment, providing 23,000m² (about 250,000 sq. ft) of office workspace across five floors for 2,400 people.

The complex design and heritage of the building meant that all services needed to be coordinated with the existing structure with exceptional finishes required throughout Besides upgrading the building services to introduce new mechanical ventilation and environmental controls as well as advanced IT/AV and safety systems, the project also required a new lighting control system.

Halsion, the project’s principal mechanical and electrical contractor, selected CP Electronics (part of the Legrand Group) to supply its fully addressable and networkable RAPID lighting control system.

Old Admiralty Building 4. Photo courtesy of Halcion Ltd.
Old Admiralty Building 1. Photo courtesy of Halcion Ltd.
Old Admiralty Building 3. Photo courtesy of Halcion Ltd.
Old Admiralty Building 5. Photo courtesy of Halcion Ltd.
Old Admiralty Building 2. Photo courtesy of Halcion Ltd.

DALI meets design challenges

The Old Admiralty Building presented many challenges to the design and installation team; decorative cornices and wood panelling could not be disturbed so the installation of wiring routes and DALI cabling required careful consideration and planning.

“The main design challenges were due to the nature and scale of the installation,” explains Rob Crookes, Systems Project Manager at CP Electronics. “A DALI-based lighting control system was an obvious choice, especially as DALI is a long-established protocol which is very stable over large-scale installations. Moreover, the lighting control philosophy and utilisation of the DALI protocol are very straightforward.

“With the building’s very thick metal, stone and concrete walls and several basement levels which go deep underground, the reliability and overall performance of a wireless communication lighting control network was something that was questionable.”

CP Electronics’ RAPID system was specified for the project to control all lighting throughout the building including the roof and external lighting. The project utilises a system solution comprising 228 DALI gateways and 93 pluggable lighting-control modules, in addition to 500 6-pole Vitesse modular distribution boxes to enable pluggable connection of DALI and power to the lights.

Almost 7,000 DALI-addressable luminaires are controlled and monitored by the CP system. The company also supplied 1,800 PIR devices within the refurbishment to detect occupancy in different parts of the building and activate lighting accordingly.

The installation ensures that each electrical distribution board has its own area controller, typically with five area controllers per floor and each of them supporting as many as 11 DALI gateways. The system allows for control via local occupancy detectors and scene plates along with switches for roof and outside plant lighting. Indeed, the external roof lighting utilises a photocell to give additional energy conserving control when it isn’t required during the day.

For safety and security reasons, a corridor hold control philosophy has been implemented utilising the energy-saving occupancy sensors to ensure occupants never walk into unlit spaces. Scene setting is available in all offices and meeting/conference rooms. Also, scene setting is enabled in areas of the building’s basement.

Emergency monitoring

A head-end PC is loaded with CP lighting management software to provide full DALI-based emergency monitoring, testing and reporting which can quickly identify issues with specific luminaires or devices that can be easily rectified. If a fault is detected, the unique address of the luminaire means that the source as well as the nature of the problem is immediately identified.

The emergency testing procedure is automated, with function and duration tests that are set up as a scheduled calendar event on the PC. This allows a report to be easily generated and exported via Excel for analysis by Kier Group, the organisation handling facility management at Old Admiralty Building, enabling them to fulfil their due diligence for emergency lighting tests and maintenance.

In summary, the centralized DALI lighting control system serving the Old Admiralty Building is practical, reliable and robust. CP has delivered a simple yet comprehensive system solution allowing the lighting to be individually addressable for the comfort of office users and fully monitored within the system for ease of maintenance.


>> More DALI-related projects and case studies

>> CP Electronics press release