When it comes to large scale commercial projects, the development and installation of electrical switchgear often comes towards the end after the main build has taken place and as fit-out begins. As such, switchgear providers typically have little impact upon the design of a project and simply must develop a system to fit the specification of the existing build.
Often, this is not a problem. Indeed, Northern Switchgear have found switchgear solutions for projects with less than optimum space for the electrical requirements of the build, and we pride ourselves on finding solutions for all our clients.
However, involving switchgear providers in a project at an earlier stage and making them a core element of the project team can add significant value to a project and increase the longevity and sustainability of the electrical systems being developed and installed.
Early involvement allows us as providers to understand and analyse the electrical requirements of the development, and to interpret this into a sustainable switchgear solution which can be incorporated into the very fabric of the project, avoiding potential issues further down the line.
It also allows more time for consultation on the design with the client, and increased communication with team members to ensure the design matches up to the practicality and constructability of every aspect of the project, reducing the probability of clashes and the rework necessary to rectify them.
This, along with improved organisation in construction scheduling ensures a speedy, on time project completion.
Sustainability and Lean Project Management
Early involvement in project management allows providers the opportunity to develop a lean approach to switchgear design, to ensure that time, money and unnecessary project amendments are reduced.
It also offers the time and space to design and develop electrical solutions that are sustainable, solutions that last as long as necessary to fulfil their mission, that do not require early replacement due to failure, and that are scalable such that they can evolve alongside operating conditions and application growth. Ideally, they will also be reusable or recyclable at the end of their useful life.
By considering future maintenance activities at the design stage and building serviceability into the project, unanticipated maintenance issues will be avoided, and costs reduced. Where possible, products should be built so that critical components don’t need dismantling for maintenance work. They should also be designed for flexibility, so that changes or enhancements can easily be made if the specifications are changed or adapted.
By better understanding the project requirements at an early stage and by identifying potential issues at the start, providers can mitigate for potential risks within the solution they provide, reducing costs of potential delays and changes. It also provides clients and project managers with full project costs up front, reducing the risk of expensive repairs or adaptations further down the line which could take a project over budget.
We continue to work with clients at all project stages and will continue to relish the opportunity to develop solutions for challenging projects. But by raising awareness of the value that can be added to a project through early involvement of switchgear providers, we hope to make our clients lives easier whilst also saving them time and money.