Understanding The Basics Of Commercial Construction Electrical Design

20 November 2017
 Categories: Industrial & Manufacturing, Blog

When you're getting ready to break ground on a commercial construction project to create the building you've been dreaming of, there are things you need to consider ahead of time. One of the things that many business owners don't understand about the process is the importance of the right electrical design. Here's a look at what you need to know about establishing the wiring plan and design for your new building.

A Solid Electrical Design Starts With An Understanding Of Your Needs

You can't begin to develop any kind of design until you know exactly what you need. Your electrician will ask you about your company's operation, what kinds of electrical equipment you will be using, and what your overall electricity demand will be. With new construction, your electrician will have to create the entire design from scratch, defining the electrical circuits to avoid excess demand on any single circuit. This is more laborious than a renovation, because the electrician could simply incorporate the new wiring needs into the existing circuits if they are comprehensive enough to support it.

Your Electrician Will Create A Written Plan

After discussing your needs and developing an understanding of the requirements, the electrician will take time to create the electrical design plan. You'll want to know exactly what is included in that plan to be able to fully understand it. Here are the sections you can expect to find:

  1. An Overview: This section will be a brief summary of the entire project, giving you a general look at what the electrician understands to be your company's needs. Review this section carefully to be sure that the electrician covered everything that you requested.  
  2. The General Requirements: The first detail section of the report will explain what the general electrical requirements are. This includes all of the basic wiring, the standard electrical outlet placement, and similar information. Make sure that this works logically for what your employees will need.  
  3. The Lighting Infrastructure: When it comes to commercial properties, lighting is important, and it's a large part of the electrical design. That's why it gets a section of its own in your electrical design plan. The electrician will illustrate where the lighting will be installed, what kind of wiring design will be used to supply power to it, and how that power will be grounded. Consider how that lighting design will work with your building, including any special accommodations for reducing glare from fluorescent lights on computer workstations.  
  4. Any Special Electrical Needs: If you're installing any specialized equipment, such as manufacturing equipment, heavy machinery, a server infrastructure, large appliances, or anything else that has a heavy electrical demand, these things will be detailed here. It's important that they are called out separately, because they may need circuits of their own to avoid drawing too much off of one circuit and overloading it. This section will also address any specialized grounding that may be required for certain machinery.

The Design Is Created After Plan Approval

Once you've reviewed the plan with your electrician, he or she will draft the final design. In most cases, the building's electrical wiring design will be created digitally. This makes it easy to make changes along the way until the final design is completed. You will typically have a chance to review the final design before the wiring is put into place, but if you don't understand the electrical symbols used on it, you should talk with your electrician and review the plan together. That way, you can ask questions and be sure that you understand what is going where.

The more you understand about the electrical infrastructure of your new building, the easier it will be for you to address problems later. If you have any questions, talk with a local electrician today.