Electrical contractor’s pre-designed electrical system for a night club project

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Blanco Electric LTD is often consulted as an electrical contractors houston to design-build electrical systems for public venues such as theaters, bars, discos, and nightclubs in Texas. We operate in Houston but also Plano and Dallas.

Recently we were contacted to present a pre-proposal relative to the electrical systems of a nightclub to be developed in Plano.

The venue is not yet under construction, so we were only requested to provide a general idea of how we would approach the design and building of the electrical systems.

1. Project scope

Based on the basic architectural plans presented to our firm, we saw that the venue would be developed over a total enclosed surface area of 12,000 sq. ft. With a capacity of 300 persons, comprising the following areas:

  • 1 dance floor of 6000 sq. ft
  • 2 separate bars of 1000 sq. ft each
  • Gender-differentiated bathroom areas with 20 stalls and 5 sinks each
  • 1 entrance hall area of 2000 sq. ft.
  • 2 enclosed security rooms of 500 sq. ft. each
  • 1 administrative suite of 1000 sq. ft.
  • 5 safety exits

Additionally, the building project includes a U-shaped parking lot with a capacity of 200 cars, with entry/exit points at each end of the U, and a guard booth at each end commanding electrical gates.

2. Initial Studies

Our study process will typically be as follows:

Load Assessment

  • Survey all electrical devices to be used in the facility
  • Estimate individual and total power consumption of the devices
  • Determine peak usage times and power requirements
  • Design the electrical supply and distribution systems accordingly

Lighting Analysis

  • Evaluate the functional needs of each space
  • Consider aesthetic and mood criteria for different areas
  • Assess energy efficiency possibilities
  • Propose optimal lighting solutions tailored to each space

Safety and Security Analysis

  • Identify potential safety and security risks in the layout
  • Determine optimal locations for security cameras and safety equipment
  • Consider requirements for emergency lighting and signage
  • Develop a comprehensive safety and security strategy

Codes and Regulations Compliance

  • Refer to local and national electrical codes and regulations for nightclubs
  • Ensure design solutions comply with these standards
  • Plan for permit application and inspection processes

3. General Specifications

These are the generic specifications that we will model after studying the nightclub’s architectural plans, discussing with the contractor and the owners, and establishing a timing and budget baseline.

Dance Floor and DJ Stage Lighting

Dance Floor: We will install high-capacity, dimmable LED lighting that can be controlled to create different moods and effects to match the music. The lighting will also be able to synchronize with the beat for an immersive experience.

DJ Stage: We’ll implement spotlighting to highlight the DJ. Color-changing LED lights will be installed to create a dynamic backdrop. Special effects such as strobe lights and fog machine connectivity will be considered.

Bars Lighting

Each bar will have task-specific lighting for work areas and decorative LED lighting that can change color to create different moods and themes. The LED lighting system will be programmable to allow for customized color palettes.

Entrance Hall Lighting

We’ll use decorative, dimmable LED lighting to create a welcoming ambiance. Additional spotlighting will highlight decor or artwork. The lighting control will be automated with pre-set scenes for different times and events.

4. Safety and Security Systems

In any public venue, the safety of guests or patrons is at the center of any design and engineering specifications. Regarding electrical engineering, we have to look at two main aspects: how the electrical system handles typical hazards (fire, water, evacuation routes) and how the venue’s security is engineered.

We define here what typical design model we would work on.

Emergency Lighting

We’ll install emergency lights and exit signs at all exits and other strategic locations. These will illuminate automatically in case of a power outage.

Fire Alarm System

Our design includes a comprehensive fire alarm system with smoke detectors, manual pull stations, and audible/visible alarms.

Redundant Systems

We’ll ensure continuity with redundant electrical systems in case of a failure in the primary system.

Security Cameras

Based on typical coverage areas of security cameras, we suggest a minimum of 25 cameras indoors and 15 cameras outdoors, subject to adjustment based on the actual layout. Cameras will be strategically placed for full coverage and connected to the security rooms.

5. Parking Lot Systems

The parking lot’s security is always a concern for guests and patrons. For the management, parking lots are a safety hazard as crime can occur in darker areas, and in case of an emergency, the parking lot can become a bottleneck if the entry and exit points are not wide enough.

This is our proposed electrical design based on the U-shape configuration of the parking lot on the draft architectural plans:

Lighting

We’ll install energy-efficient LED lighting throughout the parking lot, controlled by photoelectric sensors for automated dusk-to-dawn operation.

Security Cameras

Additional cameras will be installed to cover the entire parking area.

Electrical Gates

Electrically controlled gates will be placed at the entry/exit points, held from the guard booths.

6. Cabling

The cabling of a public venue is a big part of how the system’s safety is planned before construction starts. It is also a big part of the construction costs since the prices of copper and other materials like fiber optics have drastically increased over the past 3 years.

This is the model along which we would proceed for the routing and installing the cabling.

To route the cables throughout your nightclub, we’ll adopt a strategic and systematic approach that considers safety, efficiency, and the aesthetics of your venue. Our cable routing plan includes the following elements:

Use of Cable Trays and Conduits

We’ll use cable trays and conduits for most of the cabling. These protect the wires and cables from physical damage and also prevent any potential fire from spreading between lines.

Above the Ceiling,: Cables will be routed above the ceiling where possible. This is standard practice as it helps keep the wires out of sight while allowing easy access when needed.

Through Walls: We’ll route some cables within walls, especially where they need to go vertically or where they need to emerge for outlets, switches, or fixtures.

1. Use of Floor Ducts

We’ll use floor ducts in areas where overhead or wall routing is not feasible or efficient, such as for the dance floor or the DJ stage. Floor ducts allow us to route cables directly to where they’re needed without causing trip hazards or impacting the aesthetics of your venue.

2. Proper Cable Separation

Different cables, such as power, data, and audio-visual cables will be routed separately to avoid electromagnetic interference. We will adhere to code requirements for separating low and high voltage cabling.

3. Cable Labeling and Documentation

Every cable route will be appropriately labeled and documented. This helps in easier troubleshooting and future upgrades or modifications to the electrical system.

4. Compliance with Codes and Standards

All cable routing will comply with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and local codes. This includes considerations for cable capacity, de-rating factors, bend radii, and securing and supporting cables.

5. Future-proofing

We will ensure the cable routing system has sufficient capacity for future expansion. Additional conduits can be installed during the initial build to minimize disruption later.

6. Accessibility

All cabling will be routed to maintain accessibility for maintenance, troubleshooting, and upgrades. Care will be taken to avoid obstructing access to other building systems.

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