In this case study article, we find out why one private house builder turned to Hager’s Design range of consumer units for its circuit protection needs.
William Davis Homes is a private house builder that has been owned by the Davis family for more than80 years. Sharing the same strong family values that Hager embodies, both companies have worked together for a number of years and have built a long standing relationship over that time.
When plans for its latest development of over 700 homes at Copcut Rise in Droitwich began, William Davis Homes wanted a consumer unit that was the perfect solution to meet its modern requirements.
Recent changes to the rules governing both the assembly and installation of consumer units had presented some new challenges to house builders. William Davis Homes was seeking an appropriate solution that not only offered safe and effective performance from the unit, but also delivered a smart and accessible finish to satisfy the new home owner.
Amendment 3 of the wiring regulations dictates that all consumer units now need to be manufactured from a non-combustible material. In addition to this, changes to Part M of the Building Regulations decree that future consumer unit installations should be ‘accessible’ by being mounted around shoulder height and very often fitted in parts of the home with high traffic, such as the hallway. The combined result of both changes has led to consumer units being housed within a metal box and installed at lower levels within new build properties.
The associated issues of safety (accidentally colliding with a hard metal box in the home) and aesthetics (the unit could be one of the first items observed when entering the new property) laid down challenges to both consumer unit manufacturers and house builders looking to devise workable and effective solutions.
When William Davis Homes began its research, it reached out to Hager who worked closely with the William Davis team to understand their requirements (including at the concept and design phases) and provided a solution that delivered on the personal preferences and requirements they had in mind.
Looking the part
Aesthetics were a key driver for William Davis Homes and the Design 50 – the latest addition to Hager’s Design range – offered the perfect solution. Design 50 is a ﬂush fitting consumer unit which sits cleanly to the wall, and has the smooth lines and curves to fit seamlessly into the modern home whilst remaining compliant with the latest regulations.
Additionally, Design 50 can be supplied in any RAL colour along with anodised aluminium finishes, ensuring that it can blend seamlessly into any home. A revolutionary locking system can also be purchased as an accessory with Design 50 which keeps the unit secure during a building’s development and allows for a non-electrical tradesperson to remove the lock prior to handover, reducing inconvenience for the new occupants.
Stephen Phillips of Butco Electrical, on-site electrician for William Davis Homes in Copcut Rise, was impressed with the product. He said: “The boards are incredibly easy to fit compared to others on the market – especially at the first fix stage.
“The boards we’ve installed previously weren’t recessed, so you were always struggling with all the cables, especially if it was a larger consumer unit. But as the Design 50 is recessed, it’s already there and fitted so all you need to do is put the removable chassis in, wire up the unit and screw the cover on.”
Stephen, who is in charge of first and second fixes on site, also added: “We’re saving a good 20 minutes when fitting the board. When you get to the second fix stage, you’re ready to go and you can start working on it straight away. They’re easy to fit and look great. I would use them everywhere if I had the chance.”
Ian Beech, Electrical Supervisor at William Davis Homes, added: “Design 50 ticks all the boxes for us. It looks aesthetically pleasing, meets the regulations, it’s easy to fit and there’s plenty of room in it. Compared to the other competitors we spoke to when specifying for this project, Hager had the best board at the right price.”
Steve Matner, National Residential Specification Manager at Hager, said: “We’re delighted that William Davis Homes has chosen the Design 50 to be installed in over 700 of its homes at this exciting new development.
“This project has shown the strength in the working relationships we have – not just with William Davis Homes, but with all of our customers. We work closely with our customers to provide products and services that meet their needs.”