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8.9 Electrical Engineering

IMPORTANT NOTE: The following criteria do NOT apply to all projects. Follow each criterion only if instructed to by your project-specific risk assessment. Many criteria are based on the recommendations of a specific building risk assessment/threat analysis. Where the criteria include a blank or offer a choice of approaches, the recommendations from risk assessment will provide information for filling in the blank or suggesting a choice of approaches.

The major security functions of the electrical system are to maintain power to essential building services, especially those required for life safety and evacuation; provide lighting and surveillance to deter criminal activities; and provide emergency communication (see section on Architecture and Interior Design, Interior Construction, Critical Building Components, for location of critical building components).

Service and Distribution
Distributed Emergency Power. Emergency and normal electric panels, conduits, and switchgear should be installed separately, at different locations, and as far apart as possible. Electric distribution should also run at separate locations.

Normal Fuel Storage. The main fuel storage should be located away from loading docks, entrances, and parking. Access should be restricted and protected (e.g., locks on caps and seals).

Emergency Fuel Storage. The day tank should be mounted near the generator, given the same protection as the generator (see section on Emergency Generator, below), and sized to store approximately _____ hours of fuel (project-specific information to be provided). A battery and/or UPS could serve a smaller building or leased facility.

Tertiary Power. Conduit and line can be installed outside to allow a trailer-mounted generator to connect to the building’s electrical system. If tertiary power is required, other methods include generators and feeders from alternative substations.

Emergency Generator. The emergency generator should be located away from loading docks, entrances, and parking. More secure locations include the roof, protected grade level, and protected interior areas. The generator should not be located in any areas that are prone to flooding.

Philadelphia Veterans Center
Philadelphia Veterans Center

Utilities and Feeders. Utility systems should be located away from loading docks, entrances, and parking. Underground service is preferred. Alternatively, they can be hardened.

Power and Lighting
Site Lighting. Site lighting should be coordinated with the CCTV system.

Restrooms. Emergency power should be provided for emergency lighting in restrooms.

Communications and Security Systems
Redundant Communications:

  • The facility could have a second telephone service to maintain communications in case of an incident.
  • A base radio communication system with antenna should be installed in the stairwell, and portable sets distributed on floors. This is the preferred alternative.

Radio Telemetry. Distributed antennas could be located throughout the facility if required for emergency communication through wireless transmission of data.

Alarm and Information Systems. Alarm and information systems should not be collected and mounted in a single conduit, or even co-located. Circuits to various parts of the building shall be installed in at least two directions and/or risers. Low voltage signal and control copper conductors should not share conduit with high voltage power conductors. Fiber-optic conductors are generally preferred over copper.

Empty Conduits. Empty conduits and power outlets can be provided for possible future installation of security control equipment.


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