• HSDC, Alton campus, Hampshire

    HSDC (Havant & South Downs College) is a further education establishment for 7,500 students spread over three campuses based in Alton, Havant and Waterlooville. Darke & Taylor was contracted to undertake the electrical refurbishment of two buildings on the Alton campus: the Steven’s Building and the Main Building reception area.

    Hero HSDC

Project challenges


Converting the Steven’s Building into an IT centre represented the bulk of the refurbishment works. This was effectively a large circular greenhouse with a corrugated roof which was glazed all the way round and hence with nowhere rigid to fix any cables.

Solution: Darke & Taylor (D&T) had to design specific brackets, which could be hung from indents in the corrugated roof, to attach the containment system. This involved a combination of trial & error and working closely with the bracket manufacturer before the right solution was discovered.


The vaulted ceiling of the Steven’s Building required powered access and Working at Heights protocols to be observed to ensure full Health & Safety (H&S) compliance.

Solution: D&T had already scoped the type of high-level equipment required during its planning meetings (a cherry picker) and ensured all the staff had the up-to-date training required to operate the machinery and carry out the fittings at height


D&T also worked on the Main Building reception area. This area was in constant use, with staff and students and other tradespeople, and hence required extremely careful planning and coordination.

Solution: From its daily planning meetings, D&T knew the times when the reception area would be busy and what access would be required, so was able to schedule most work for early in the mornings.


A client requirement was that the data/IT had to be installed by the incumbent specialist.

Solution: Being used to working alongside D&T’s Structured Cabling department, meant that the Electrical team was used to specific IT demands and so could pre-empt any problems or issues with the external IT contractor.


“Darke & Taylor had to design specific brackets, which could be hung from indents in the corrugated roof, to attach the containment system.”

Technical overview

The Steven’s Building had been a classroom which was to be turned into an IT centre together along with collaborative spaces. This required containment to be installed throughout for power & lighting and fire alarms, along with a complete upgrade of the electric supply (new distribution boards… etc). All the linear track lighting which was installed had to first be surveyed, measured and then bolted together.

The reception area of the Main Building involved a general refurbishment, with new lighting, power, lighting control systems, disabled alarm and induction loops on reception desk.

Project details


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