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

Forty-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.


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 www.csemag.com/research.

View more information at www.csemag.com/2016ElectricalPower. Amanda Pelliccione is the research director at CFE Media.