Unlike a few decades ago, when different trades worked individually, trades today are encouraged to work together and share information amongst them. For electrical contractors, that means working with plumbers, roofers, HVAC contractors and framers, among others. However, this is not enough if the facility manager is not at the table. It is especially the case during the design phase of a facility's electricity supply system. This article highlights the reasons electrical contractors should consider building a strong relationship with facility managers.
Review Design Plans — In some cases, a client will have a representative they trust to review the design plans that electrical contractors make. However, what happens when a client doesn't have such a person and cannot attend the review meeting? Facility managers are very capable of filling this role perfectly. The reason is that the facility manager understands the building and will point out areas in the design that they might be concerned about. By reviewing the electricity system plan for the facility, the FM ensures present and future plans are factored in the design phase.
Promote Building Performance Goals — As the person that runs the building, the facility manager's input is critical in determining building performance in as far as energy consumption goes. It is especially the case today when building performance has become a crucial part of the electricity supply system design. For example, when planning for a retrofit, it isn't very easy for electrical contractors to determine how much energy the different sections in the facility need. Since the facility manager has occupancy data and operations in the various rooms, they are better placed to provide electrical contractors with vital information that will help the client achieve their building's performance goals.
Prevent Cumbersome Maintenance — Clients expect electrical contractors to offer maintenance services once they have installed the electrical system. However, before installation, the electrical contractor has to design a plan complete with the different electrical equipment, such as switchgear and transformers. Since the electrical equipment needs regular inspections and maintenance, the placement must consider ease of reach. Only a facility manager can help in such situations because they know the building inside out. They can, therefore, advise the electrical contractor on the best place to install a transformer and ensure easy maintenance. If you don't involve the FM in your consultation, you might end up installing electrical equipment in a location that will make maintenance a nightmare for the staff.