All office equipment and appliances run on electrical power. Therefore, planning for the electrical installation can increase the efficiency and reliability of the systems. An electrical contractor usually handles most of the hands-on work involved in an office electrical fit-out. However, you have to take part in the planning process. Below are some steps you should undertake when planning for the installation.
Determine the required systems
The first step is to determine the electrical systems you will require in the office. Besides the standard electrical wiring and outlets, you need to consider the:
- Data cabling
- Network cabling
- TV and phone
- Alarm and security system wiring
- Audiovisual cabling
Different office spaces have varying electrical wiring needs. For example, the entire building may have a central security system; thus, you may not be required to install alarms and cameras in your office space. Therefore, determine the electrical systems you need so that your contractor can plan for their installation.
Choose a layout and design
After outlining your systems, the next step is to choose an electrical layout and design. Where will the different systems go? Where would you like to install your alarms? How many lighting fixtures and outlets will there be in each room within the office? Choosing a suitable layout increases efficiency and reduces the risk of insufficient electrical fixtures in your office space.
As you choose a layout, remember to accommodate the office style as well. For example, in an open office layout, you have to place the outlets strategically to ensure they are within all the office occupants' reach. Think about where you will place shared equipment such as copiers to provide easy access.
Account for special circuitry
Some office appliances and equipment have high load requirements, meaning they have unique circuitry needs. They include network servers, photocopiers, microwave ovens, air conditioners, space heaters and many more. Such appliances require dedicated circuits to prevent circuit overloading and electrical hazards. Thus, account for them at the design stage to avoid costly and unnecessary electrical modifications in the future.
Choose your fixtures
Office spaces require different electrical fixtures. These include recessed lighting, desk lamps, ceiling lamps, outlets, switches and many more. It's your duty to choose the fixtures for your office space. As you do, ask the following questions:
- What is the lifespan of the fixture?
- Is the fixture energy efficient?
- Is there a better quality in the market?
- What are the maintenance costs and requirements?
For example, LED lighting fixtures have a long life span and are energy efficient. They are an excellent choice for commercial spaces that utilise tens of bulbs at a go. Find high-quality fixtures as they last long and can save you money in the long run.
Follow these tips when planning for your office electrical fit-out. Consult a commercial electrician for more information.Share