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Overview of Electrical Engineering for School Design

Thomas Mason, PE

Course Outline

This online course discusses each of the responsibilities of the electrical designer on a new school or school renovation project. Three areas receive special focus - coordination, regulations and design. Coordination is central because it results in economies for the project and high end-user satisfaction.

Regulations are addressed because, in many ways, they provide the basis for a good design, as well as the fact that oversights can impose very expensive delays and possible re-design.

Design, of course, is the preparation of construction documents, drawings and specifications. Commissioning and acceptance are given short shrift, because they are so often performed by other persons and so often deleted from the project.

The quiz at the end is designed to enhance your understanding of the course materials and increase your confidence in applying the principles herein contained.

Learning Objective

At the conclusion of this course, the student will:

Intended Audience

This course is intended for project managers, electrical engineers, engineers and architects who work with electrical engineers and for contractors.

Some students will want to verify every detail, others may be only interested that a topic is addressed by the designer and wish to gain a little insight into the controlling factors. Both groups' needs should be well met. The greater hazard in school design is entirely missing a requirement, more than in adopting a less accepted interpretation of a Code section.

Benefit to Attendees

Design professionals with experience in work on schools will recognize most steps, but may be a little surprised by the constraints that the electrical engineer is working under. Persons new to electrical design may be overwhelmed by the range of responsibilities of the electrical engineer. The result should be that future school design jobs will encounter fewer mis-communications and mis-steps.

Course Content

The lecture notes for this course are contained in the following three documents:

Overview of Electrical Engineering for School Design (PDF Format, 0.8 MB; MS Word Format, 1.7 MB)

Spec 16783: Cameras and Cabling for Video Surveillance System - The New York City School Construction Authority (NYCSCA) (PDF Format, 5 MB)

Commentary on New York City School Construction Administration Construction Specification 16783, Cameras for Surveillance (PDF Format, 0.4 MB)

Please click on the above underlined hypertext to view, download or print the documents for your reference. Because of the large file sizes, we recommend that you first save the files to your computer by pointing the cursor to the underlined document title, right-clicking the mouse and choosing "Save Target As ..."; and then open the files in Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you still experience any difficulty in downloading or opening this file, you may need to close some applications or reboot your computer to free up some memory.

Because this course is offered as a "live" course, you are required to attend the webinar at the scheduled time and date. Please check the Webinar Schedule under course description on our website for scheduled meeting date and time. We will send you an invitation to the webinar through email approximately 24 hours before the webinar (confirmation of the receipt of the invitation is required). The certificate of completion will not be issued unless you attend the webinar and pass a quiz. Thank you for your cooperation.

Course Summary

This course discussed the responsibilities of the electrical designer on a new school or school renovation project. Three areas received special focus - coordination, regulations and design. Specific questions were asked and answered. Considerable narration was included.

Are you ready to perform electrical design for a school? Probably not, but you know the standards which apply and have been warned of many of the problems that will need attention. You are ready to participate and contribute to the electrical design of a school.

Related Links

For additional technical information related to this subject, please visit the following websites or web pages: - American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air-conditioning Engineers, creator and maintainer of ANSI/ASHRAE 90.1, the energy conservation publication adopted by all states as part of an energy code. - Building Industry Consulting Services International (they hate it when you say that), an organization which creates standards for building wiring installation and licenses designers. EXCELLENT publications. - Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, funded by employers of engineers and by suppliers of electrical equipment. Some groups are active and make valuable contributions. For electric power distribution, they sell a 1986 standard (141, which is very good and very old). - A vendor of construction cost estimating information. Very readable, very comprehensive. Well thought-out and explained. However, sometimes not current technology and pricing may be off 50% to 200%. An excellent basis for estimating, but requires attention and reasonableness-tests. - A vendor of motion detectors and lighting controls. Very innovative, excellent publications, very good technical support.


Before you attend the webinar, you need to print the quiz questions from your browser for your study during the webinar. At the end of the webinar, you need to complete the quiz and submit your answers to obtain the PDH credits.

Take a Quiz

DISCLAIMER: The materials contained in the online course are not intended as a representation or warranty on the part of PDH Center or any other person/organization named herein. The materials are for general information only. They are not a substitute for competent professional advice. Application of this information to a specific project should be reviewed by a registered architect and/or professional engineer/surveyor. Anyone making use of the information set forth herein does so at their own risk and assumes any and all resulting liability arising therefrom.