Commercial Electrical Wiring 101
Commercial electrical wiring design usually differs from that of a residential building, mainly due to the nature of operations. In addition, the size of the facility and the number of machines that will be operated is important to consider. Buildings, companies and factories often possess a much greater need for electrical wiring that can handle heavy loads.
The type of commercial electrical wiring needed will vary with the specific industry that is to be serviced. This ranges from simple wiring for small commercial spaces, to multifaceted wiring in large factories that house complex machinery and computers. Regardless of size or activity, all the electrical wiring must comply with relevant electrical codes, and be carried out by qualified and licensed electrical contractors.
Some of the factors that influence the type of wiring include:
- Electrical code requirements
- Type of building and power requirements
- The cost and budget of the wiring
- Location of the electrical wiring
- Impact on the appearance of the facility
- Requirements for a backup supply such as a generator
Modern electrical wiring for commercial spaces
Most new buildings are now using a variety of electrical and electronic equipment. As such, the contractors have to design a wiring schematic that will deliver power to a wide and diverse range of devices that include traditional and modern electrical loads. The wiring must also provide a means of supplying power to the monitoring and control devices such as wireless sensors, thermostats, automatic light controls, thermostats, the IoT, and other web-based technologies.
The electrical requirements will vary from one building to another and may include a combination of the following components:
- The building’s electrical service line
- The power distribution systems
- Office equipment such as computers, servers, copiers, shredders
- Interior and exterior lighting including general lighting, decorative, security, signs, show windows, etc.
- Transportation such as elevators, moving walkways, and escalators
- Communication wirings such as computer networks and telephone lines
- Automatic control systems
- Security wiring for CCTV, security alarms, fire detection and alarms etc.
- HVAC or space air conditioning
- Hot water systems
- Uninterruptible Power Supplies
- Backup generators
- Renewable energy
The type and use of a building structure influences the type of wiring to use. And the building owner and electrical contractor should consider current and future power requirements when determining the size of conductors, raceways, protective gear and other necessities.