Design Goal B

Integrate the facility - All associated equipment


All components of the antenna system including cabling, cable trays and equipment cabins and cabinets should be integrated with the building/structure they are attached to/associated with.

Feeder cables are visually prominent as they are typically black in order to maintain UV stability. Color matching is one of the simplest ways of integrating such components.

Aligning cable trays and cable runs also reduces visual effect. These feeder cables are not solid elements like power cables and are easily damaged by impact. It is acknowledged that feeder cables have a specific bending radii and cannot be bent beyond a certain point otherwise they will not function. For some sites, cable runs cannot run flush to an existing structure for their entire length and will protrude at an angle at some point. This adds to its visibility. Consideration should be given to how this issue can be addressed. One way of doing this is to investigate core drilling through the parapet of a building to enable the cable run to be better aligned. Other solutions could include co-location with other infrastructure or cable runs, or locating cable trays on less visible facades.

It may be appropriate to consider using different materials to construct an equipment cabin to better match its surroundings. For example, it may be appropriate to construct a brick cabin adjoining a brick building rather than using a standard metal clad cabin or painting it a different color.

Landscaping and vegetation can also provide opportunities for reducing the visual effect of antenna systems. Where appropriate, landscaping around equipment cabins and/or the equipment compound should be considered. Locating a monopole within existing vegetation can also assist in screening portions of the monopole from view. It is acknowledged however, that the location of sites within vegetation needs to be balanced against radio frequency objectives as vegetation can interfere with the effective operation of the site.

Use existing vegetation to screen the facility.

Use existing vegetation to screen the facility.

Investigate integrating antennas into existing
structures such as flagpoles or light poles.

Investigate integrating antennas into existing structures such as flagpoles or light poles.

Design Opportunity

  • Investigate the availability of cabling that is not black.
  • Investigate the possibility of encasing black cabling to color match it to existing structures. One possibility may be to use UV stable heat shrink material on visible portions of cabling color matched to the building/structure.
  • Investigate the possibility of using antennas that have “grey tails”, that is the portion that protrudes from the bottom of antennas or the end of the cable tray.
  • Investigate opportunities for antennas to be designed to minimize visible cabling. One way to address this issue may to be design a “collar” that covers the bottom of the antennas concealing the cabling.
  • Investigate ways of reducing the visual effect of cable runs. For example core drilling through the parapet of a building to enable the cable run to be better aligned, co-location or positioning the cable run to minimize visual effect.
  • Investigate opportunities for integrating equipment into existing buildings or structures. For example, locating the equipment cabin inside a pavilion or toilet block at a muncipal park or locating antennas on light poles at a community track or tennis courts.
  • Consider using existing vegetation to screen monopoles and landscaping to screen equipment cabins and compounds.