Introduction: Designing an Electrical Equipment Room

Introduction

This is an instruction on designing an electrical equipment room. These are the rooms that one finds in large buildings that is the center of all the electrical systems. This will go through designing phase of this type of room, such as blueprint and planning the layout. We will use the example of rearranging some equipment to make way for a new piece.

Step 1: Obtain Blueprints

The first step is to obtain the most accurate blueprints of the room you will be working on. These blueprints will function as a starting point for all further work, so the best copy that can be obtained will reduce the workload downstream.

For our example, PER (Power Equipment Room) 104. I have only selected the portion of the blueprint that is relevant to our example. As you can see in the original blueprint there are five pieces of equipment, all nicely laid out, so what is the problem? The engineer has added an additional piece of equipment and the existing equipment must be rearranged.

Step 2: List and Measure Equipment

Generate a list of all the equipment that needs to be installed in the room. Included in this list should be the dimensions, door opening size, door swings, and clearance requirements. In addition mounting method should be known. This information is available from the equipment manufacturer or facility engineer. Using the metric measurements allows simpler measurement calculations when planning the layout. Here are the measurements for the equipment that is used in this example, including the door.

dimensions: w:752mm x d:582mm x h:2000mm

door opening: 350mm dual, center open

door swing: 380mm

clearance: front:1000mm x side:50mm x rear:35mm x top:500mm x bottom:0mm

mount: floor

dimensions: w:752mm x d:582mm x h:2000mm

door opening: 350mm dual, center open

door swing: 380mm

clearance: front:1000mm x side:50mm x rear:35mm x top:500mm x bottom:0mm

mount: floor

4A-702-CC1D

dimensions: w:1200mm x d:300mm x h:1870mm

door opening: 600mm dual, center open

door swing: 610mm

clearance: front:1000mm x side:50mm x rear:35mm x top:10mm x bottom:0mm

mount: floor

4A-702-CC3D

dimensions: w:1200mm x d:300mm x h:1870mm

door opening: 600mm dual, center open

door swing: 610mm

clearance: front:1000mm x side:50mm x rear:35mm x top:10mm x bottom:0mm

mount: floor

EMCB41

dimensions: w:600mm x d:150mm x h:900mm

door opening: 600mm single, left open

door swing: 600mm

clearance: front:1000mm x side:50mm x rear:35mm x top:200mm x bottom:0mm

mount: wall

UCP4

dimensions: w:510mm x d:210mm x h:780mm

door opening: 500mm single, right open

door swing: 510mm

clearance: front:1000mm x side:50mm x rear:35mm x top:10mm x bottom:0mm

mount: wall

Step 3: Ascertain Room Conditions

The third step is to get an accurate current condition of the room that the equipment is supposed to be placed in. Included in this step is to measure all of the distances of obstacles currently in the room, this can include equipment that has already been installed. Do not forget even small items, such as light switches, power outlets, door stops, anything that could potentially get in the way.

In our example room equipment UCP4 has already been installed at 750mm AFF (Above Finished Floor) and at 580mm from the right corner and mounted on 40mm c-channel. Located below this point is the protective earth bonding box, since the UCP4 has been place with extensive additional work performed it will not be moved, so anything relative to this is no longer of importance. In addition to this the trunking for UCP4 has been installed. Installed on center for 300mm at 1510mm and protrude 92mm from the finished wall surface is a pair of conduits. Starting at 715mm from the right corner and extending to 984mm toward the room entrance are sets of conduit, they protrude 71mm from the finished wall surface. Also along the left wall there are four 100mm conduits that align with the openings in the bottom of the two ADCs that are originally installed there. Since the conduits are poured in the concrete slab their location cannot be moved, so additional information can be gained through the blueprints.

Step 4: Verify Clearances in Room

Verify clearances of the room, making sure the neither the locations of the equipment nor the arcs of the doors when opened interfere with the rest of the units in the room. The positioning is important because it makes the usage and possible repair of the equipment more efficient and convenient, as well as preventing wear on the doors from hitting each other. You can verify what work by laying out the equipment digitally and checking for where there will not be clearance.

Step 5: Rework Layout As Needed

The next step in the project was to take the new equipment data and redo the layout of the room to make it so the changes will fit into the new room. This is a very crucial step because if the design calls for certain equipment to be in a room and the equipment is placed so other equipment cannot be accessed, then the design is essentially useless until edited.

In our example, the boxes are in grey and labeled in correspondence with the equipment specifications. Any white space indicates door swing. You’ll notice that some of the doors swing to overlap one another. This is okay since the design does not require all of the doors to be open at once. So long as they are able to open while no other door is open, they will work.

Step 6:

Step 6 – Once the all the equipment has been placed in the virtual room, it is now time to transfer this information to the real world location. To transfer the data you will need a tape measure, a pen, pencil, marker or tape basically anything that will help you to identify the placement of equipment. Work through your equipment list being sure to mark out every piece of equipment. Failure to identify every piece of equipment could lead to the workers installing conduit or other support items where a piece of equipment should be.

For our example, PER (Power Equipment Room) 104. I have chosen to start working from the right rear corner of the room. From my experience I have found it helpful to work from the back of the room and proceed toward a door. If you use tape make sure to use only the outer edge for measurement. Also whatever marker method you use ensure that it is durable enough to last until the workers finish installation.

From this point on all that is left is to perform the manual construction, but since this focuses on the process of planning for the procedure it will be left out. Having followed these instructions you are set to move on to the next steps of completing your electrical equipment room.