Electrical design consists of creating and testing the development and installation of electrical equipment. The equipment is used for things like power distribution, lights, and voice and data communications. Just like any other construction projects, there needs to be a concept for the new electrical design so the architect can create the building plans. Any commercial or industrial building that is being built will have their own set of electrical designs since it will have so many electrical systems running throughout the structure.

What is the process for electrical design?

There are several stages of development that the electrical design goes through:

  1. Designer learns the scope of the project
  2. Designer defines and designs each component, like general office areas or power distribution equipment, to the current industry standards
  3. Individual components are compiled to create the final presentation of the design

What is the scope of the project?

As mentioned above, one of the important steps of development for electrical design is learning the scope of the project. What does that mean? It means the designer needs to determine the unique requirements of the project. This is typically put in place by the customer and their criteria. It is also based on the structure the design will be placed in. If there is an electrical system already in place, the design needs to evaluate that system to make sure that it can accommodate any new electrical loads.

What are the parts of the electrical design plan?

Even though every design is different because of the uniqueness of each project, there are always some common parts included in the design plan:

  • General electrical requirements—General purpose receptacle outlets throughout the building
  • Lighting systemsLighting fixtures and their controls
  • Electrical distribution systems—Equipment that provides distribution of electrical wiring in the building
  • Specialized electrical requirementsSpecial electrical equipment used for buildings using computers, vending machines, lunchroom appliances, and photocopiers


While working on the electrical design plan, designers must always follow the standards put in place by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA). They also need to use the correct motors and controls standards set by the Electrical Apparatus and Service Association (EASA). For lighting systems, all standards are set by the Illuminating and Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). All the current standards for each association is listed on their website or can be given by telephone or mail.

To learn more about the process, contact services such as Albarell Electric Inc.