By anguillian April 4, 2016 10:09




synergyThe construction field can be extremely costly and complex. This is often realized too late and many experience long term expenses, permanent errors or even bankruptcy. Building in Anguilla comes with its own uniqueness and as a result its own complexities. Proper communication to the contractors is accomplished through well prepared construction documents that address these complexities before construction begins. A full set of construction drawings starts with an architectural design, which is brought to life by the building systems namely, Mechanical HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), Electrical and Plumbing systems. An architectural design is made structurally sound through structural engineering. David Allan Coe maintains, “It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time.”

To have properly designed construction documents, international standards must be incorporated and adopted to our construction needs. Today the focus will be on electrical construction documents. The standard that is used here is the National Electric Code.

Advantages of having your electrical construction documents professionally designed:

1. It protects the interest of the owner, the investment of financial institutions and as a result the well-being of economy. Investing in improperly done work devalues the investment. This will become very important as investments are foreclosed upon or professionally appraised for resale
2. It allows the owner’s preferences to be communicated to the contractor through legal instruments
3. It saves time and money during the build process by eliminating “figuring it out in the field”
4. It allows for accurate cost estimates to be done
5. It adheres to a professional standard for safe electrical practices
6. It ensures that all electrical contractors deliver a professional level of work
7. Few electricians are comfortable doing calculations and design. Having professional electrical drawings done opens up opportunities for more electricians to win work which results in more competitive bids from contractors
8. It removes the complexity of the task before construction takes place

Disadvantages of having your electrical construction documents professionally designed:
1. Good construction documents take time, they may set you back a few days from starting construction
2. They cost money.

What does a good electrical design entail?
1. Circuiting. Each piece of equipment should be identified on the plan and a breaker number assigned to it. This ensures that there is no waste of wiring and breaker capacity by carefully matching the equipment load to the breaker and wire capacity.
2. Load calculations. Load calculations detail the power used by each electrical device in the building. The load calculations are often overlooked. This may be due to their complexity, but it is the only way to accurately size an electrical panel and its corresponding wires. If wires are undersized they could cause your energy bill to escalate due to their high resistance and more importantly, undersized wires can damage sensitive electronics or ignite a fire. Electrical Engineering can be likened to electron plumbing channeling electrons down wires. Imagine you have a straw and you want to blow beads of increasing size through that straw. As the beads get larger and larger you will have increased difficulty blowing the beads through the straw until it becomes impossible and you end up with your cheeks inflated unable to release any air. This is the same way that wires work with electrons. To get the best flow of electrons through a wire, it must be properly sized.

3. Panel Schedules. A panel schedule is a layout of your panel detailing what electrical load is on each breaker. This is where all the electrical loads are compiled. This information forms the basis from which you could then size your main wires, panels, breakers and ultimately your generator. A panel schedule is also used to label the panel so that users can in the case of an emergency or for safety, isolate particular areas of a building.
4. A one line diagram. This is a diagram which shows the interconnection of each panel to the main wires coming from ANGLEC. It allows the electrical contractor to at a glance understand the electrical system layout and also see the feeder wire sizes.

5. Notes. This is perhaps the least common on plans but perhaps the most important form of communication between the designer and the contractor. Construction documents are legal instruments between the owner and the contractors. When you build without good construction documents, you open yourself up to be taken advantage of without any substantiating paper trail in your defense. The ambiguities that exist without good construction documents can be dealt with in a professional manner before construction takes place. Some of the questions that are addressed are: Who takes responsibility for incorrectly sized wires when the inspector comes and says they need to change? What grade of electrical equipment should the contractor install?

Synergy Consultancy

An engineering and design firm offering construction estimates, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural engineering design services

Phone#: 1-264-476-2737 / 581-5454
2nd Floor Grace Complex
The Valley

By anguillian April 4, 2016 10:09


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