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Specifying electrical, power systems for office buildings

The Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Electrical and Power Study indicates that 63% of respondents specify, design, or make product selections for office buildings—and 82% of these engineers determine requirements/write specifications, 72% research and evaluate options, and 69% recommend the product brand.

Amanda Pelliccione
02/04/2016

Figure 2: The most critical issue affecting the future of electrical and power systems in office buildings is budget/cost, followed by the lack of a skilled workforce and keeping up with changing codes and standards. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying EngineThe Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Electrical and Power Study indicates that 63% of respondents specify, design, or make product selections for office buildings—and 82% of these engineers determine requirements/write specifications, 72% research and evaluate options, and 69% recommend the product brand. Below are five high-level findings impacting the electrical and power industries today as they relate to office building projects:

  1. Value of products specified annually: The average firm specifies $3.98 million in total electrical or power systems for new and existing office buildings on a yearly basis. Thirty-eight percent of these firms specify more than $5 million in electrical or power systems.
  2. Systems, equipment specified: Eighty-four percent of engineers specify electrical distribution equipment and circuit breakers, fuses, and related products for office buildings. Other top systems or equipment specified include emergency and standby power (82%); transfer switches and automatic transfer switches (79%); transformers (76%); and cable, wire, etc. (76%).
  3. Challenges: Top challenges engineers are currently facing in electrical or power systems design for office buildings are inadequate budget for good design (87%), frequent changes to codes and standards (78%), and interoperability and complementing systems (67%).
  4. Figure 1: Three-quarters of lighting engineers struggle with projects that have an inadequate budget for good design. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Lighting and Lighting Controls StudyImportant design factors: When specifying an electrical or power system for an office building, engineers compare product quality (72%), manufacturer's reputation (52%), service support (51%), and previous experience with a manufacturer (45%) among the top deciding factors.
  5. Vendor involvement: When completing specifications, 52% of respondents said equipment vendors are frequently involved, compared to 38% occasionally, 8% always, and 2% never.

View more information at www.csemag.com/2015ElectricalPower.


Amanda Pelliccione is the research director at CFE Media.

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