In an effort to address the continually growing residential market, the Building Industry Consulting Service International, Inc.–more popularly referred to as BICSI–has come out with Residential Network Cabling (McGraw-Hill), a training manual covering structured cabling and issues pertaining to wiring the home. The 556-page book was compiled and written by BICSIs extensive editorial review team, which is made up of a combination of equipment manufacturers and installers.
We went out and tried to find specialists in certain areas, mainly in the residential market,S explained Ron Shaver, master instructor, RCDD/LAN/OSP specialist at BICSI. Some were manufacturers and others were people that were out there doing the jobs and installing the equipment. We tried to come at it from a couple of different perspectives. That way, the manufacturers get a better idea of what is going on in the field, and those in the field get a better idea of what the manufacturers are trying to produce.S
Written to promote consistency among residential wiring installations, Residential Network Cabling covers everything from the most basic introduction to the residential market to detailed instruction on what is involved in the various stages of a project. Part One begins with a description of the residential environment, and how the relationships between the homebuilder, homeowner and residential systems providers usually work. From there, the text offers overviews on the following subjects: structured wiring for the home; codes, standards and regulations; cabling media; connectors; consumer component integration systems, transmission fundamentals and cabling topologies; electrical protection systems; safety; alternative infrastructure technologies; and other residential systems applications, such as direct broadcast satellite, home theaters and home automation systems.
After the reader is fully familiarized with the nature of residential cabling, the book offers greater detail on how it is done in Part Two – Installation Practices, including the planning and implementation of systems; the rough-in procedures that are followed for new construction projects; how to handle retrofit projects; the trim-out finish process; and testing and troubleshooting structured cabling systems.
Part Three, titled Multi-Dwelling Unit,S is dedicated to just that: instruction on how cabling systems are implemented into buildings that house more than one living space.
Residential Network Cabling also includes a glossary and a detailed bibliography and resources section that points the reader toward more material on this and related subjects. The book is available through BICSI for $49 (U.S.).
Developed as part of BICSIs overall Residential Network Cabling Training and Registration Program, the text is used in conjunction with two courses offered by the organization: RES100, designed for those who dont require hands-on training, is based on ANSI/TIA/EIA-570-A and the National Electrical Code. The two and a half day course (plus exam time) offers instruction on voice, data and video; twisted-pair, coaxial and optical fiber cabling, connectors, and transmission fundamentals. The fee for RES100 is $450 (U.S.). RES150, a five-day course, provides a hands-on instruction component including a review of installation practices, new construction versus retrofits, cable pulling, securing, and the termination of copper, coaxial and optical fiber cables. The fee for this course is $900 (U.S.). Exam fees are not included in the price of both courses.
When we looked at the surveys and the information out there about the residential market and the amount of money that is going into it, we knew that a lot of companies were going to be getting into it,S Shaver said. We had a lot of requests for a residential training program.S
Formally incorporated in 1977, BICSI is a non-profit association that focuses on the continuing education of telecommunications infrastructure designers and installers. The organization publishes a number of standards-based technical training publications, including the Telecommunications Cabling Installation Program. BICSI, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, also offers RCDD–Registered Communications Distribution Designer–designations. Currently, the association boasts about 22,000 members.
Shaver, who is a self-professed industry veteran, emphasized the importance of maintaining consistent standards, especially with the increasingly rapid progress in technology.
The industry has been through a time when the only standards out there were from the phone companies. After the federal government broke the phone companies up, customers didnt have a clue of what they had. Companies were coming in and wiring buildings, but there were no standards. Color codes and other things, went out the window until the standards came back,S he recalled. When the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) created standards, everything started coming along, but it was still a battle. Then it was a battle of trying to get the customer to spend the extra money to do it the right way, when they were used to having someone come in and just make it work without worrying about cable management possibilities, or how it looked when they were finished.S
While BICSI isnt a standards committee, the organization hopes to do its part in promoting the consistent installation of structured wiring in the home. Doing wiring according to the standards is a small part of the whole thing,S he said. Home entertainment is driving this. People would like to have their houses wired for telephone systems and computer networking, but they also like the idea of having sound in every room and being able to control that sound in every room. That is one of the reasons that we want to promote a structured wiring system.S
For more information, contact BICSI at 800.242.7405 or 813.979.1991 or visit www.bicsi.org.
Carolyn Heinze works from her media services firm, Punchface Propaganda Machine.