When Organismo Nacional de Acreditación de Colombia (ONAC) relocated to its new headquarters, it required a network infrastructure solution that could offer the highest levels of performance. Structured cabling from Brand-Rex, a Leviton Company, was selected due to the quality of its technology, ease of installation and added value of its environmental credentials.

Located in Bogota, the Colombian capital, the National Agency for Accreditation of Colombia (ONAC) is the nation’s coordinator of policy on quality control. It has an ambitious agenda to ensure that the country is recognised for its high standards of quality in products and services and also acts as the monitoring authority for good laboratory practice for the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). One of the strategic objectives of ONAC is to achieve and demonstrate the full and permanent validity of the principles of impartiality, objectivity, confidentiality and transparency, to allow Colombian businesses to grow, create jobs, and compete in world markets.

On the Move

Having decided that its previous headquarters no longer met its needs, ONAC decided to relocate to new premises in the business district of Bogota - within the prestigious Business Citadel Sarmiento Angulo - where it currently occupies the tenth floor of Tower 8. Sited near to El Dorado International Airport, this Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certified structure recognises best-in-class building strategies and environmental practices.

As well as wishing to maintain the green specification of the building, ONAC recognised that a cutting-edge IT network infrastructure would play a vital role in enabling its 220 employees to carry out their work in the most effective ways possible, as well as allowing internal and external communications to be fast and reliable. In addition to carrying data, the structured cabling solution would have to facilitate the use of voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), lighting control, audiovisual technology and CCTV, while also permitting other IP based building services to be networked as and when necessary.

A Category 6A 10 Gigabit Ethernet system was stipulated as the minimum requirement and ONAC put the project out to tender by inviting a number of installation companies to present their suggestions. One of the companies that took part was Antioquia based DUCON. Its operations manager, Diego Luis Arredondo, states:

‘We specialise in corporate functional furniture solutions that optimise the use of space to improve the functionality of organisations. As a Brand-Rex Approved Partner we also have an enviable track record in installing cutting edge network cabling solutions and suggested the use of its 10GPlus technology for ONAC.’

Features and Benefits

Designed to fully support 10GBASE-T applications, 10GPlus offers IT network managers a solution that will support their needs both today and in the future. A 3P approved cabling system has been rigorously tested under strict conditions and is manufactured in accordance with ISO 14001 and ISO 9001:2008.

Jhon Henry Prieto, sales manager for Latin America at Brand-Rex comments:

‘10GPlus not only meets Category 6A performance standards, but exceeds them, offering a high level of future proofing and performance reliability. This was particularly important for ONAC, as downtime could bring economic and legal consequences due to the sensitivity of the data that is produced as a result of its activities.’

After considering the many options available from the 10GPlus portfolio, DUCON decided that U/FTP, low smoke zero halogen (LSZH) Zone Cable would suit ONAC’s needs. Diego Luis Arredondo explains, "U/FTP means that the individual pairs have a foil shield, which offers a high degree of resilience and is suitable for office applications. Zone Cable from Brand-Rex exceeds the Category 6A performance standards in a channel of up to 70 meters in length. It is specified to 500MHz and, as the market’s smallest diameter Category 6A/Class EA cable, offers superior performance. It also holds full third party certification and can save 30 per cent in weight and 50 per cent in space over conventional Category 6A cables - something which appealed to ONAC’s environmental concerns."

In fact, the unique and award winning environmental approach that Brand-Rex adopts throughout its entire operation was the perfect complement to the LEED certified building. Jhon Henry Prieto says:

‘Brand-Rex has a long history of environmental awareness and boasts industry leading green credentials. In 2011 we announced that our global organisational and operational activities had achieved Carbon Neutral Status in accordance with PAS 2060 and we were subsequently announced as runner-up to Dell in the Manufacturer of the Year category at the Green IT Awards 2013.

Furthermore, in early 2016 we exceeded our ambitious 20 per cent carbon emission reduction targets one year ahead of schedule. This is equivalent to a CO2 equivalent reduction of 24 per cent 12 months ahead of target.’

Light Years Ahead

To save even more energy, the 10GPlus cabling will support the use of a lighting controls solution from Leviton, the parent company of Brand-Rex. This uses sensors to determine when and where lighting is used within a space. Lights also only come on if the movement of a person is detected and this type of system can then monitor light levels and make use of daylight harvesting, which uses daylight to offset the amount of electric lighting needed to properly light an area using minimum electrical power.

The installation was completed on schedule and time was saved thanks, in no small part, to the design and flexibility of the Brand-Rex products. This was exemplified by the use of the company’stool-free snap-in jacks, which revolutionise termination times.The jacks are not only simple and quick to terminate, with a verylow closure force, but their PCB design excellence offers exceptional electrical performance.

For Diego Luis Arredondo, the project was a team effort and he comments, "I was particularly pleased with the high level of technical and logistical support offered by Brand-Rex throughout the duration of the installation - including presales, technical advice and training. We were also able to provide ONAC with a 25 year system warranty, offering valuable peace of mind, and this highlights the commitment Brand-Rex has to the quality of its products."

Final Word

Mauricio Felipe Franco Velásquez, IT manager at ONAC, is delighted with what was achieved and concludes:

‘We set very strict performance criteria for our new network infrastructure, as we wanted a future proof solution that could guarantee us the highest levels of performance. Not only has using technology from Brand-Rex met our expectations, it exceeded them. Just as importantly, we have also been able to maintain the excellent environmental credentials of Business Citadel Sarmiento Angulo by working with a company that takes sustainability as seriously as we do.’