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Electrical, power systems in educational facilities

Respondents to the 2016 Electrical and Power study share details about these systems in educational facilities.

By Amanda Pelliccione February 2, 2017

Circuit breakers, fuses, etc. (83%); transfer switches, ATS, etc. (79%); emergency and standby power systems or equipment (79%); and transformers (79%) are most commonly specified for educational facility projects. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying EngineerForty-eight percent of respondents to the Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2016 Electrical and Power Study make product selections for educational facilities-and 80% of these engineers are responsible for determining requirements/writing specifications for these projects. Below are five electrical and power findings as they relate to K-12/college/university projects:

  1. Annual specified products value: The average engineering firm specifies $3,073,530 in total electrical or power systems for new and existing educational facilities annually, with 37% specifying more than $5 million.
  2. Issues affecting future designs: The most critical issues affecting the future of electrical or power systems in educational facilities are budgets and costs associated (26%), a skilled workforce shortage (18%), and adapting to new technologies (17%).
  3. Selection factors: When comparing electrical or power systems for educational facility projects, engineers are most interested in product quality (79%), service support (54%), energy efficiency of the product (47%), and the manufacturer’s reputation (47%).
  4. Specifications: For educational facilities, engineers most often write performance (75%), prescriptive (71%), or open (alternate or substitute, 66%) specifications. 
  5. Design challenges: Inadequate budgets (80%) and project delivery speed (67%) are the most difficult challenges engineers face in electrical or power systems design for educational facility projects.

The average professional engineer spends the majority of their time on billable hours when working on lighting and/or lighting controls projects. Courtesy: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 Lighting and Lighting Controls Study

3 in 5 mechanical engineers specify fans and air movement, BAS, air handlers, and/or pumps and pumping systems. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2015 HVAC and Building Automation Systems Study

>85% of engineers agree that product quality, manufacturer’s reputation, and service support are important factors considered when selecting fire and life safety systems. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2016 Fire and Life Safety Study

7 in 10 engineers are challenged by inadequate budgets and expected project delivery speed for electrical or power systems and design. Source: Consulting-Specifying Engineer 2016 Electrical and Power Study

More research

Consulting-Specifying Engineer covers several research topics each year. All reports are available at

View more information at Amanda Pelliccione is the research director at CFE Media.