Prefabricated Modular Electrical Rooms: Complex Design, Streamlined Delivery
This article is included in the Great Things: Issue 9 edition of the DPR Newsletter.
A jobsite never just has one electrical room—there could be as many as 50 on one project. Highly complex, they have grown to be incredibly sophisticated as building designs and functionality become more intricate.
EIG, along with other DPR strategic partners who share a builder skillset and mindset, is spearheading an approach to prefabrication, software and logistics not as tools or methods, but simply as best practices for building.
Constructed in about 6 to 10 weeks, EIG’s modular electrical rooms put highly technical and complex infrastructure needed in every single building in a controlled internal setting, making delivery and installation more seamless.
But what makes this technology solution unique is not only the patent-pending and UL-listed components incorporated into the rooms, or in the concept of taking a room usually installed piece-by-piece onsite off the critical path, but the streamlined workflow that further enhances quality, schedule and cost certainty.
Engineered to Order
A look at the benefits and differentiating features of a modular electrical room.
Just like other prefabricated items, the modular electrical room is built in a controlled environment to promote better cost certainty and timely delivery. It also has the potential to help position projects ahead of supply chains impacts, especially for materials and equipment that have long lead times.
The greatest opportunity and ability to innovate comes in either large electrical rooms that have multi-switchboard setups, transformers and interconnects, or buildings that have repeat electrical rooms.
It takes a big team to create modular electrical rooms.
The assembly process involves the expertise of EIG and our partners Digital Building Components, which is located in the same facility. The teams rely on DPR’s self-perform work teams to install the rooms onsite, meaning that equipment, procedures, delivery and installation is a turn-key process.
EIG works with GPLA to create the engineer design model. Once approved, EIG will begin laying out the electrical room equipment within the footprint that's allotted from the architect. Digital Building supports welding, framing and finishing, and all the studs and tracks are created on the Digital Building rollformer, drastically reducing time and material waste in the process. The teams’ labor forces coordinate together, further saving time and money.
Prefabricated modular electrical rooms are available in a number of configurations and can be tailored based on specific needs, from smaller commercial office spaces to large data centers. EIG’s design is also unique in the industry because the walls are incorporated into the architecture, making it easier for field teams to incorporate on project sites.
The patent-pending bracket can support prefabricated electrical device layout, meaning that multiple, specific electrical devices and their components can be placed and installed easily and simultaneously. The “top hat” ensures that a branch termination panel comes pre-wired into the electrical panel below. This means the building no longer needs to be shut down and operations do not need to be disrupted when any maintenance is done in the separate panel. This has significant implications for customers whose operations are dependent on keeping electricity running constantly, like hospitals or datacenters. Additionally, the patented coupler/hanger eliminates individual conduit supports, combining branch conduit into one and resulting in a quick efficient install.
Electrical rooms that need to be constructed in the field are at the mercy of external forces, like supply chain issues, labor shortages, costs and scheduling. Prefabrication lessens those barriers, and for electrical rooms, this way of building is the way of the future. By developing and introducing new technologies into our prefabricated solutions, we are able to instill a manufacturing mindset while producing mass-repeatable components.
Posted on July 24, 2023
Last Updated July 21, 2023