Electrical – Switchboard Reviews & Upgrades

Our Expertise

CORE has been delivering switchboard upgrade consultancy services for an array of long-term partner portfolios such as: City of Sydney, MBM, Investa and AMP Capital and has also supported electrical upgrades for a broad host of clients across several industries and sectors.

Our team has extensive technical experience and an intimate understanding of the integration between the main switchboard (MSB) and other interfacing electrical elements and building services. Known for our expertise in existing buildings, our team have successfully implemented MSB upgrades for buildings of various ages and at different stages of their lifecycle for compliance and capacity purposes.

Our approach to all MSB upgrades is to ensure our recommendations align with future building plans, seeing us offer long-term value and MSB solutions that support each asset’s requirements for years to come.

Imperative to providing our clients with customised and cost-efficient solutions, CORE has developed a strong understanding of the extensive MSB and distribution board market and its suppliers.

From evaluating your building’s requirements through to sourcing optimal equipment and managing upgrade works all the way to completion, our engineers deliver a robust solution to switchboard upgrades.

Some of our most recent switchboard upgrades include:

  • Coronation Hotel – Park St, Sydney
  • 9 The Crescent – Annandale, Sydney
  • Bay St Depot – Ultimo, Sydney
  • Victoria Park Pool – Camperdown, Sydney
  • SDN Surry Hills Long Day Care Centre – Surry Hills, Sydney
  • Reginald Murphy Activity Club – Elizabeth Bay, Sydney
  • Rex Community Centre – Elizabeth Bay, Sydney

MSB impact on building safety and performance…

It’s important to know the age and condition of your main switchboard along with any supplementary distribution boards powering your building to ensure they comply with current BCA standards.

Non-compliant MSBs can restrict accessibility, limit the ability to carry out maintenance services and can also pose a significant safety hazard to users – carrying serious risks such as electrocution, particularly when the expected lifespan for circuit breakers is reached or close to expiry.

Switchboards that are newer to the market are equipped with ‘earth leakage detection’ safety mechanisms, enabling minor current leaks to be detected and trapping the circuit immediately.

When not upgraded, the MSB can also damage cables and other distribution boards having a costly, flow-on effect to other electrical components and in turn, impacting a building’s overall performance – an issue that can be managed and avoided.

When was your building’s last switchboard review?

It is recommended that an electrical assessment, visual inspection and subsequent report be completed every 5 years. This is especially important prior to any building services upgrades/maintenance being implemented as the impact on the MSB must be considered.

Approximately a 1-day engagement for inspection and reporting, CORE conducts visual evaluations of an asset’s electricals including but not limited to: power, lights and switchboards – evaluating their expected lifespan and notifying
Building Managers of all findings and any identified defects. A report is then provided, detailing item prioritisation and recommendations with indicative costs and information on whether further testing is needed to verify potential defects.

For what is a critical piece of infrastructure, that is often overlooked for inspection and maintenance, the switchboard inspection and testing process is a relatively quick, low-cost exercise that can prevent future faults or problems, and ensure your building and its people are well protected.


iAccelerate, University of Wollongong, NSW

CORE was engaged by Project Coordination to create the facade design for a new, 4,000sqm landmark iAccelerate building located at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus – a centre of Australian innovation and research excellence.

Featuring a ‘plug and go’ expandable space for more than 280 entrepreneurs of fast growth start-up companies, the $14.7m project required meticulous design consideration and innovation in order to meet architectural intent, achieve structural adequacy and deliver an inspiring, functional building for end users.


12 months – design

Design and functionality unite

CORE’s attention to detail and unwavering commitment to overcoming a variety of technical challenges saw our team design an efficient and cost-effective facade that not only aligns with the highest standards of Australian design and best practice but also aesthetically brings to life the history of the Illawarra region.

The large, three-storey complex facade necessitated the use of exposed steel columns to meet code requirements for strength and strict serviceability requirements for glazing support. Slender steel box sections were installed in lieu of glazing transoms to transfer wind and gravity loads to the columns. Proprietary aluminium glazing adaptors were specified to support the glazing panels and to seal the building envelope from the external harsh marine environment.

CORE designed a multitude of individual facade structural elements to minimise the quantity of steel on the project which ultimately resulted in:

  • reduced material and transportation costs
  • reduced embodied energy within the facade envelope
  • smaller structural materials which in turn reduced the risk to site operators

All connections were carefully considered and detailed by CORE to ensure the facade would be buildable without compromising its integrity. Moisture naturally forming within the facade was designed to escape the envelope
via carefully positioned glazing spigots and weepholes between capping elements. These weepholes also allow for thermal variations between the clip on covers and supporting steel.

Notably, the project was awarded Winner of the 2017 NSW MBA South-East Region Excellence in Building Awards – Commercial Building category and Winner of the 2016 NSW MBA Excellence in Building Awards – Tertiary Building $10 – $25m category.