Portsmouth Guildhall

Electrifying Transformation at Portsmouth Guildhall

Portsmouth Guildhall sought our expertise for a vital electrical upgrade to address the challenges posed by existing asbestos-containing risers

The project aimed to install two new electrical risers, providing new distribution boards, and incorporating core drilling and lift shaft utilisation for efficient installation.

Project Challenges and Solutions:

  1. Concrete Drilling While Site Was Live:
  • Challenge: Drilling concrete with an active site while keeping the fire alarm operational.
  • Solution: Scheduled drilling during off-peak hours, minimising disruption and ensuring everyone was informed of implications and timelines.
  1. Inherited Test Sheets Issues:
  • Challenge: Inherited incomplete test sheets causing complications during board changes.
  • Solution: Quick adjustments, rewiring, and alterations to circuits to ensure compliance. Thorough testing revealed additional issues, requiring collaboration with the client to rectify.
  1. Staff Learnings:
  • Challenge: Night shift challenges – The completion of a significant portion of the project was during nighttime, leading to organisational challenges.
  • Solution: Fatigue management – The implementation of two teams to mitigate fatigue during transitions between day and night shifts.
  1. Health and Safety:
  • Challenge: Prioritising off-peak work – Scheduling critical tasks during times with the least site activity.
  • Solution: Acknowledgement of sleep deprivation impact: Acknowledging and managing the impact of sleep deprivation on engineers, emphasising the importance of rest and well-being.

Project Requirements:

  • Installation of two new electrical risers.
  • Core drilling from the basement to the third floor on the North West side.
  • Utilisation of an existing lift shaft on the South West side for new 400 amp bus bar risers.
  • Installation of floors on each level and replacement of lift doors with new fire-rated doors.
  • Installation of new sub-mains from the main switchboard to the new risers.
  • Integration of MCCB’s in the new riser to supply new and existing distribution boards and existing equipment.
  • Transfer of existing circuits from the existing Proteus QBs in the existing riser to the new DBs.
  • Removal of existing Proteus DBs and MICC supply cables upon completion.

Project Results:

  • Successful installation of new electrical risers and distribution boards.
  • Effective management of challenges, ensuring compliance and safety.
  • Knowledge and understanding gained for application in future projects.


Our collaboration with Portsmouth Guildhall showcased our ability to navigate complex challenges in electrical upgrades. 

The successful installation of new risers not only addressed safety concerns but also demonstrated our commitment to efficient project management and adaptability.

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