Contruction Today - July/August 2017 - 9
During the construction phase of a project,
BIM serves as a valuable cost-saving tool
and once the project is completed, it can
be turned over to building owners for use by those responsible for
maintenance and operations decisions.
Philip Santoro is an
segment manager for
Maximizing Productivity with Prefabrication
Like BIM, prefabrication has already claimed its stake in the
construction industry but electrical contractors have been slower
to adopt this capability. However, both BIM and prefabrication are
seeing increased adoption by contractors for commercial projects.
Electrical contractor organizations are utilizing prefabrication
techniques with some regularity and are realizing valuable benefits
in the form of more output from their available hours. Prefabrication
offers on the job efficiency, eliminates errors, and improves safety
and logistics. Using prefabrication also allows contractors to reallocate labor by making it possible for lesser-skilled workers to operate
prefab equipment, eliminating the additional hours normally
required by skilled electricians to manually do the same tasks. This
frees up skilled workers for more complex tasks.
For an industry that is facing a shortage of skilled labor, prefabrication, when implemented and used effectively across a supply
chain, allows contractors to reduce overall and skilled labor time so
they can take on a larger volume of jobs. When implemented alongside BIM, contractors will find it easier to integrate electrical systems
into their designs both in the 3-D model and on the job site.
Schneider Electric with
more than 20 years
of experience in sales,
operations, and price
management with a
specific focus on the
Santoro recently took on
a new role as electrical
manager with Schneider
Electric, where he is
responsible for leading
programs and initiatives
that develop, strengthen
and support relationships with electrical
contractors and electrical
across different markets.
He can be reached at
Using Integrated Products
The modern construction environment has resulted in shrinking
electrical rooms as project owners demand more rentable square
footage. To ensure adequate room for power distribution needs,
electrical contractors and specifying engineers are using integrated
power distribution equipment. Although this equipment has been
on the market for years, its use has escalated in response to recent
construction and market trends.
Integrated equipment combines electrical distribution, building controls and automation into a single factory-assembled and
pre-wired enclosure. Integrated equipment may include modular
panelboards and freestanding enclosures. Electrical distribution
equipment and building management controls can be combined
into a single system for more complex applications. Using integrated
equipment can save valuable floor space, shorten construction cycle
times, and reduce installation and material handling costs.
During a time when a smaller supply of skilled workers are taking
on an increasing number of new projects, construction leaders are
on the lookout for new tools and techniques that will help them
improve efficiency and productivity and reduce costs. Electrical
contractors and specifying engineers who take advantage of technological advances, such as BIM and integrated products, will be able
to meet this demand while saving themselves and their businesses
valuable time and money.
JULY/AUGUST 2017 CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM
since the early 2000s, it is starting to pick
up momentum in the construction space,
becoming a necessary tool for builders on
With 3-D building models, electrical
contractors gain a better understanding of
the building design and its performance
requirements. This allows them to identify
the best products for the project and directly integrate product information into the
design to ensure better accuracy in design
and materials. In addition to improved 3-D
visualization, BIM provides and maintains
access to a great deal of information to
include things like specifications and performance data that go way beyond just size,
shape and orientation of specific products.
BIM improves both workflows and model
accuracy, meaning builders and contractors
* Improved efficiency: Building products
can be selected and placed into designs
and configured to meet project requirements by answering a few quick questions. BIM allows builders to decrease
overall project duration by helping to
reduce errors, omissions, modifications
and repetitions that might otherwise
slow down work.
* Greater accuracy: With data that is
updated in real time, BIM eliminates
dependency on possibly outdated information from in-house content libraries.
These real-time updates allow builders
to conduct more accurate performance
monitoring and asset management
to improve the accuracy of the overall
design and specification process.
* Increased productivity: Allows
builders to minimize project management, foster more communication and
collaboration, identify errors earlier
in the process and reduces cost while
improving quality of work.