The Shard: a majestic cone of light, fed by our cables

The excellence of our cables is powering an incredible vertical city, a combination of avant-garde architecture and record-breaking safety.


When designing this audacious glass and steel sculpture, the architect Renzo Piano drew his inspiration from church spires and the masts of the majestic ships painted by Canaletto in the 1700s. Lofty and elegant, The Shard towers over the River Thames, reaching a record height of 310 metres.

Fire resistance is a product’s ability to continue working even when directly exposed to flames. It is measured according to the amount of time (in minutes) a product keeps functioning – in this case a power cable – should there be a fire.

A living work of contemporary art

Not only is this unconventional skyscraper a masterpiece of modern architecture; it is a true vertical city boasting luxury apartments, restaurants, hotels, offices and shops distributed throughout its 92 storeys.

Energy, safety and sustainability

In 2011, Prysmian was chosen to be the exclusive supplier of the cables and components that make up every single electrical circuit in The Shard, as well as its official consultant on choosing the best installation methods.

The solution chosen for this challenging project was AFUMEX Low Smoke Zero Halogen cable: a generation of flame-resistant eco-friendly electrical cable, enclosed in a sheath that reduces smoke emissions and is halogen-free. Should a fire break out, this cable limits the spread of the flames and emits extremely low levels of irritating, corrosive gases.

The time variable

Should a fire break out (particularly in a building the size of a skyscraper, with an incredible number of storeys and a high number of occupants inside), time is an essential variable for everyone: for the occupants who will need to evacuate the skyscraper and the emergency services who will need to put the fire out and provide emergency assistance.

AFUMEX cable ensures that there is more time to evacuate the building and carry out emergency procedures.

The AFUMEX range is one of the Group’s jewels in the crown: it has introduced unprecedented benefits, both as regards fire safety and environmental sustainability.

The Prysmian Group has installed its Fire Resistant and AFUMEX cables in many of the world’s most prestigious and densely populated buildings, where fire safety is an absolute priority.

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of fire-resistant power cable


Skyscraper’s height



Inside Construction & Infrastructure


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