explore the BusinessNet

15,000-home refurb programme exceeds standards


Eaton’s EMA wiring accessories and MEM Memera consumer units are being used exclusively on a project to upgrade 15,000 homes in Liverpool. The five-year programme by Liverpool Mutual Homes involves properties, some dating back to the 1920s, which are being fitted out to exceed the Decent Homes Standard for social housing. The electrical content includes individual RCBO protection of every electrical circuit.

The five-year programme began in April 2008 when the newly-formed housing association, Liverpool Mutual Homes, took over responsibility for the housing stock from Liverpool City Council. The programme includes roofing and external cladding, new windows and doors, upgraded thermal insulation, central heating, complete bathroom and kitchen refits and rewiring. Initially work concentrated on ensuring that all homes were warm and dry. The first electrical contracts commenced this year.

LMH and its Consultants, Tweeds, decided to opt for individual RCBO protection of all power and lighting circuits. This offers the maximum levels of user safety required under the 17th Edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations, BS 7671. If a device trips, all other circuits in the property will continue to function normally.

Eaton’s MEM Memera consumer units were selected to satisfy this requirement. These are supplied with the protective devices ready fitted. LMH standardised on an 11-way unit for all properties, regardless of size. The normal circuits – cooker, lighting circuits etc. – are always connected in the same configuration to simplify maintenance. They include a separate kitchen ring circuit. Spare consumer circuit ways are available for use where tenants have additional equipment such as electric showers or stairlifts.

An LMH call centre number is available; if a tenant calls, the operator will normally be able to instruct them on the correct procedure to identify and re-set a tripped RCBO. LMH believes that this will reduce the number, and cost, of call-outs significantly.

Eaton’s EMA moulded accessories are used throughout. These are stylish, robust and cost-effective accessories moulded from polycarbonate with tight-fitting plugs that cover the fixing screws and make for a smart appearance. Switches controlling major appliances such as hobs, fridge/freezers and central heating are engraved to indicate their function.

Eaton has also supplied pendant sets from its Circa ceiling accessory range.

LMH wanted a clearly-defined supply chain for electrical products. It was agreed that all the consumer units and accessories should be sourced from Newey & Eyre’s Liverpool branch via the Regional Distribution Centre in Warrington. Luminaires, smoke alarms and other electrical products were also supplied by Newey & Eyre, thereby offering a single point of supply for all electrical installation products. Eaton and Newey & Eyre each undertook to hold two months’ stock of product.

Consultants for the LMH refurbishment programme are Tweeds Construction Consultancy of Liverpool (a member of the WYG group). Contractors and sub- contractors are appointed on a project-by-project basis from the LMH framework of contractors.

View Eaton Electrical's profile: