Electrical Design Requirements for Industrial Building

in the previous topic,Electrical Design Philosophy for Major Types of Buildings, we talk about the different types of buildings and how the building type (function) influence its electrical design
today, I will explain the first type of buildings which is industrial building and clarify the electrical requirements of this type of buildings.

Industrial building definition: 

A building designed to house industrial operations and provides the necessary conditions for workers and the operation of industrial equipment.

Types of industrial building: 

1- Factory - Flex Space (see fig.1)

Buildings that may have 10- to 22-foot clear ceiling height with dock height and drive-in loading, and extra parking. These buildings may include a variation in space utilization, ranging from office and retail through distribution, light industrial and occasional heavy industrial uses. They are designed to allow conversion of industrial units to a high percentage of office space.


fig (1)

2- Factory- Manufacturing (also called Heavy Industrial)(see fig.2)
Auto making, textiles, steel, chemicals, and food processing are typical uses of such properties. Typically zero to five percent office space. 

fig (2)

3- Factory - Office Showroom (see fig.3)
Single story (or mezzanine) buildings with 10 to 16 foot clear ceiling height, frontage treatment on one side and dock height or drive-in loading on the other. These buildings usually contain less than 15 percent office space. 


4- Research and Development (R&D)
Facilities generally used in high technology markets, broadly defined to include wide variations in markets across the country. R & D properties could have lab facilities, offices, warehouse facilities, or services such as carpentry or machine repair. Typically, each property allows a variable combination of office and other uses. The percentage of office space ranges from 20 to 100 percent, depending on the market and individual needs of the user.

5- Self-Storage/Mini-Storage Facility(see fig.4)
a building that provides personal storage for lease by consumers.


6- Truck Terminal/Hub/Transit Facility (see fig.5)
A specialized warehouse designed for loading and unloading and short term storage of goods. A truck terminal contains an unusually high number of loading docks for its size enabling simultaneous loading and unloading of a high volume of goods.

fig (5)

7- Factory-Warehouse (see fig.6)
A building used to receive and store goods and merchandise. In terms of classifying such property, warehouses are normally located in an area zoned for either commercial or industrial property.

fig (6)

8- Distribution Warehouse (see fig.7)
(also called Light Industrial) generally the least intense industrial use. Office use is limited to management tasks for the distribution or warehouse facility, or about 15 percent of total space.

fig (7)

9- Refrigerated/Cold Storage (see fig.8)
Buildings containing refrigerator or freezer space within the warehouse for storage of goods with specific low temperature storage requirements.

fig (9)

Industrial building classifications:

Industrial buildings are classified according to certain basic characteristics. The most important of these classifications are:

1- Based on the number of stories:
One story, two stories, or multi-stories

2- Based on the handling equipment used:

  • Crane-equipped (with electric overhead cranes or with electric or manual suspension cranes) 
  • Non-crane-equipped 
3- Based on the type of illumination:
  • Natural illumination (side and overhead) 
  • Permanent artificial illumination (without windows or skylights) 
  • Combined illumination (both natural and artificial) 

4- According to the type of air-exchange system used:
  • Total natural ventilation 
  • Mechanical ventilation 
  • Air conditioning 

Industrial buildings voltage classifications: 

Industrial buildings are primarily machine and production-oriented and because of their different sizes and manufacturing process, they can need electrical supply with different voltage classes , for examples simple industrial plant for plastic bags will need an electrical supply with low voltage class (under 1000 V) while an industrial plant used for Aluminum production will need an electrical supply with medium voltage class (under 35KV as per IEC/IEEE or 69 KV as per NECA/NEMA), for more information about different voltage classes , please review the following links:

Course EE-1 : Voltage Ranges -Part One

EE-1 Course: Voltage Ranges - Part Two

For more information about Electrical System Configurations press on the link.

General Electrical System requirements for industrial buildings: 

The systems and equipment that must be provided in order to satisfy functional requirements will vary with the type of industrial buildings , but will generally include some, or all, of the following:

  1. Building electric service; 
  2. Power distribution systems for manufacturing and process equipment &Plant distribution system for house loads 
  3. Power outlet systems for movable equipment: receptacles, trolley systems, plug-in and trolley-busways, festoon-cable systems, and heavy portable cord systems; 
  4. Process control systems, including computer-based equipment such as programmable controllers, robotic equipment, and special-purpose controllers of the relay or solid state types. On-line, real-time computer systems; 
  5. Materials handling systems: cranes, hoists, distribution systems, automated systems that identify and distribute products (as well as update production data bases); 
  6. Lighting: interior and exterior, security and decorative, task and general lighting; 
  7. Communications: telephone, facsimile, telegraph, satellite link, building-to-building communications (including microwave), computer link, radio, closed-circuit television, code call, public-address paging, fiber-optic and electronic intercommunication, pneumatic tube, medical alert, emergency and medical call, and a variety of other signal systems; 
  8. Fire alarm systems: fire pumps and sprinklers, smoke and fire detection, alarm systems, and emergency public-address systems. Emergency alarm systems relating to dangerous process control failure conditions; 
  9. Transportation: passenger and freight elevators, moving stairways, and dumbwaiters; 
  10. Space-conditioning: heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning. Ambient temperature and dew-point controls relating to the specific manufacturing processes; 
  11. Sanitation: garbage and rubbish storage, recycling, compaction and removal, document disposal equipment, incinerators, and sewage handling. Handling and storage of environmentally hazardous and sensitive waste materials; 
  12. Environmental containment of materials classified as hazardous to the environment, including maintenance of containment systems (e.g., pressure, temperature); 
  13. Plumbing: hot and cold water systems and water-treatment facilities 
  14. Security watchmen, burglar alarms, electronic access systems, and closed-circuit surveillance television; 
  15. Business machines: typewriters, computers, calculating machines, reproduction machines, and word processors; 
  16. Refrigeration equipment; 
  17. Compressed air, vacuum systems, process gas storage and handling systems 
  18. Clean or secure areas for isolation against contaminants and/or electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI); 
  19. Food handling, dining and cafeteria, and food preparation facilities; 
  20. Maintenance facilities; 
  21. Lightning protection; 
  22. Automated facility control systems; 
  23. Showrooms, training areas; 
  24. Medical facilities; 
  25. Employee rest and recreational areas; 
  26. In-plant generation, cogeneration, and total energy provisions. Legally required and optional standby/emergency power and peak-shaving systems; 
  27. Signing, signaling, and traffic control systems. Parking control systems, including automated parking systems. 

in the next topic, I will show the Specific Electrical Requirements for Industrial Buildings. please, keep following.

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