PwC, Merchant Square

Holders Technology played a leading role in PwC accountants’ move into their new headquarters located at Merchant Square, 20-22 Wellington Place, Belfast – the new offices are the company’s largest premises outside London and represent a big investment in the heart of the city.

We were engaged by Troupe, Bywater and Anders (TB&A), the consulting engineers, to design the conceptual specifications for the lighting controls – specifically, Casambi wireless lighting controls.

Working principally with the main mechanical and electrical contractor, Michael Nugent, as well as fitout contractor Gilbert Ash and principal architects BDP, we ensured that the correct lighting controls hardware was installed and was compatible with the chosen lighting products. This involved several different commissioning phases to ensure all the building’s lighting was configured correctly.

Two of the principal components of the lighting design were a ‘River Lagan’ element, and the Linenopolis thread lighting. The former is a continuous linear colour-controllable light which winds through the building, and which represents the river running through the city of Belfast and is designed as part of a focus on well-being.

The Linenopolis thread lighting runs vertically through the centre of the building and is also colour controllable. Outside, this allows for a looped flow of changing colour on the face of the premises; inside, it helps to create clearly defined working spaces and can react to the amount of available natural light. The thread lighting can also display the colours of major international health awareness and equality days.

Casambi CBU-ASD wireless control units, Helvar Freedom Nodes, Maintronic XLED4CVs (LED dimmers), and energy-saving devices such as Danlers surface-mounted sensors and Vimar EnOcean-enabled switches are all integral components of the overall lighting design.

“The general specification for the lighting design was to provide artificial light which should wherever possible, ‘blend’ with the surroundings and enhance the overall design of the building. In addition, light is used to display a strong sense of the brand within the building, using the colours of PwC,” said Matthew Hanson, Group Business Development Director at Holders Technology.

“As a complete building refurbishment project, and with the need for dynamic lighting control, both in white and RGB lighting applications, Casambi enabled a single coherent lighting control solution which could be installed into the building with minimal impact on the infrastructure.

“Having delivered significantly large Casambi projects in the past, it was perhaps expected that the Merchant Square project [4500 nodes] would present its own unique challenges. Holders and the consulting engineers, TB&A, worked very closely to develop the correct solution, using hardware from across the ecosystem, to deliver an outstanding outcome.”

Photography Credit: Philip Vile