Critical Power: Electrical systems and rooms

September 20, 2023

Electrical rooms are sometimes an afterthought when it comes to building design and planning. This shortsightedness can have unfortunate consequences on the cost, operations and flexibility of the electrical systems for the future.

NEC dictates the minimum amount of space needed around the equipment for access, operations, safety reasons and conduit installation. Together, with the actual equipment sizes, this defines the overall minimum dimensional requirements of the room.

Good engineering practice will often go beyond code in accommodating enhanced operation and maintenance of electrical equipment within the room. In addition, NFPA 70: National Electrical Code does not cover the many important considerations in coordinating with architectural, structural, HVAC or fire protection disciplines.

Learning objectives:

  • Know the types of general interior electrical spaces that factor into new building design: main equipment rooms, distribution pathways and local/branch equipment rooms.
  • Understand how different types of electrical equipment affect room design.
  • Understand that code-required working space and dedicated space needs must be met. Explain the applicable code requirements including NFPA 70: National Electrical Code.
  • Demonstrate good electrical system design through case study examples.