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4 Things to Consider When Rewiring Commercial Buildings

Regardless of how well a commercial building’s electrical system is designed, it will eventually need upgrades. Improving electrical systems improves building utility and occupant safety, but it should be done carefully. If a customer finds that a building’s electrical system does not meet their needs, there are four main areas to consider before Wiring Commercial Buildings.

Lighting

Besides its effects on occupants’ emotional and physical well-being, a commercial building’s lighting is a major energy consumer and heat source. In the U.S., roughly 25% of power budgets are spent on lighting, but the number is higher for commercial customers. However, much of the expense is avoidable. Choosing a high-quality, energy-efficient lighting system that uses controls, electric and natural sources can provide comfort and visual interest. Efficient lighting such as CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LED Lighting can be used to reduce lighting costs by up to 60% while improving lighting quality, reducing the organization’s carbon footprint, and promoting productivity.

Wiring for IT

A business’ IT (information technology) system is its engine, and poor-quality wiring can have serious negative effects on sales and other areas. Commercial-grade network wiring involves installation of connectors, hardware, and Structured Cabling using a variety of twisted pair, single mode, and multi-mode fiber optics. Wiring is available in multiple grades for applications from small offices to large data centers.

Emergency Lighting

There are different types of Emergency Lighting, but all are designed with one goal in mind: to help occupants get out of the building safely. Below is a brief breakdown of the main types.

  • Egress pathways and exit signs. When there is a power outage or fire, it can be difficult to find a way out. These emergency lights can guide building occupants to safety. Exit signs are typically positioned above nearby exits, and they are easily recognizable. Egress pathways are floor-mount lights that provide guidance during power outages.
  • Standby/temporary lighting. Sometimes, the show must go on, even during a blackout. When an emergency occurs in a prison, hospital or fire station, temporary lighting can allow work to continue. These lights are available in different sizes and configurations for outdoor and indoor use.

Power Requirements

Small commercial buildings have simple Power Requirements. The utility company owns the transformer, which reduces voltage down to 120/208 or 120/240 volts before passing it to a meter that keeps track of usage. Power is transmitted to the building, where wiring, devices, and panels are the owner’s responsibility. Panels have main service breakers and individual circuit breakers that supply power to the building’s circuits.

When Wiring Commercial Buildings, the electrical load is higher than in a small facility. Therefore, electrical wiring and equipment must be more robust. Owners of large buildings typically buy power at higher voltages because it is less expensive. Here, owners provide and maintain transformers that lower the voltage to usable levels. From the transformer, power is transmitted to a switchgear that distributes it efficiently and safely throughout the building. This equipment has safety features that allow for power disruption due to a fault or service requirement.

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