BS6701: What you need to know about the new Standard and what you must do to incorporate it into your M&E design

The most significant change to Structured Cabling in over a decade

Key Date – 

November 30th 2017 saw the Publication of BS6701: Amendment 1, prior to its adoption as a supplement to the upcoming BS7671 18th Edition of the IET Electrical Wiring Regulations in July 2018. The primary objective of the Standard was to improve the performance of data & telecommunications cables in fire conditions.

The new BS6701: A1-2017 Standard now governs the direction of where to install Telecommunications (information technology) cables, both copper and fibre optic variants, and dictates a given Euroclass Cca–s1b,d2,a2 of cable construction in the permanent installation of these cables within a building.

This is to be applied to all construction projects, either new build, refurbishment or the extension of existing buildings where the installed cables are subject to the Construction Product Regulations.

Since the ratification of the Construction Product Regulations 2017, there have been a number of options within the Euroclass Standards  and the choice of which to implement has been left to each individual country within CENELEC to decide which construction is appropriate to meet the fire performance requirements of the building type on an individual basis. However, BS6701 has specified the Cca Euroclass is the minimum Euroclass standard throughout the UK.


What Does this Actually Mean?

It now means that ALL M&E Specification and Design Documents must refer to BS6701 in the first instance for all projects to be issued after 30th November 2017, and be seen to be specifying a Euroclass Cca –s1b,d2,a2 cable type for all data/telecommunication cables – unless the client specifically asks for a different type of cable classification.

Because the cabling infrastructure is ultimately to be governed by BS7671, the decision on the type of cabling to be used must be made during the design phase, and ultimately approved by the client – not the installer.

Structured Cabling now supports most, if not all, modern intelligent building systems design, and so covers much more than traditional voice and data implementation in the design. BS6701 will now dictate all of these systems fall in line with the standard.

The changes required should be applied to all specification documents in development.

This is the most significant change to structured cabling and infrastructure design in over a decade – act now to ensure you are up to date