A power distribution system that walks the walk and talks the talk



One of the most recent buildings to be added to the London skyline is 20 Fenchurch Street – also known as the Walkie Talkie. Standing at 525 ft tall, the Walkie Talkie’s interior is just as advanced as the exterior and, whilst not immediately obvious, it features one of the most efficient and flexible methods of workstation power distribution.

A number of Legrand products were specified by multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Hilson Moran, with a view to delivering a power distribution system to act as the power and communications backbone for the Walkie Talkie’s lighting infrastructure. This included over four kilometres Legrand’s Electrak Buscom trunking system, which was installed as part of the Category A fit-out throughout the building’s 34 floors.

Mark Ellis, Legrand Regional Sales Manager, liaised closely with all parties involved during the specification and installation process.

“Buscom trunking – which is a busbar that carries power and communications – was specified to support the Walkie Talkie’s lighting infrastructure. Adaptability was a key factor in the specification process, and Electrak Buscom allows the lighting control or the lights themselves to be plugged directly into the power system, along with anything else which needs to access power, depending on what is needed.

“Whilst our system provided a sound basis for the Category A installation, it came into its own once the specific floor space had been leased to individual companies. The flexibility of the Electrak Buscom system enables the specifiers and designers, working for the new tenants, to treat the initial installation as a blank canvas which they can then customise to suit their clients’ own individual needs.

“For example, if a client wanted to move away from the basic lighting installation supplied as part of the Category A install, they could do so with ease due to the plug and play nature of the Electrak Buscom system.

“What’s more, any lighting controls could be easily moved, upgraded or extended to accommodate a change in either office design or tenant. From the perspective of the building’s owners, Land Securities and the Canary Wharf Group, the ‘future-proof’ nature of the Buscom system was a very useful tool in the leasing process."

However, Legrand’s involvement with the Walkie Talkie did not end once the Category A infrastructure was completed.

Mark continued: “We soon found that as each floor was completed, the new tenants’ respective specifiers and electrical contractors were quickly getting in touch having been impressed by the initial Buscom system.

“Given Legrand’s expertise in underfloor power distribution, we were then able to work with the Category B designers and extend the Electrak product range installed in the Walkie Talkie to also include over six kilometres of our powertrack , and over four thousand Intersoc-R modular desk power systems, which are plugged directly into the powertrack via an Electrak grommet.”

Mark concludes: “In short, we were able to help develop the internal power infrastructure of one of London’s most eye-catching buildings into a system which mirrored the building’s innovative exterior. Flexibility and reliability emerged as two of the top demands of the modern office. Through our Electrak product range we were able to satisfy the requirements across both the Walkie Talkie’s lighting and workstation power installations.”

Key Facts

The project: 20 Fenchurch Street, London

The solution: Legrand's Electrak buscom trunking system was installed to support the buildings lighting infrastructure in category A of the development. In category B, six kilometers of Elecktrak powertrack and four thousand Intersoc-on-desk modular power systems were specified and installed.