Where do you start?

Merry Christmas
Status
Not open for further replies.

jason sleeth

Member
Location
Illinois
A builder has asked that I submit a estimation to do a 51 unit four storie apartment building. There are not any electrical prints specing out the service and the builder needs the estimate in order to keep moving forward with his loan. I beleive the architect should provid the info but this is not happening. Where would you begin? Most of my experience is in residential housing so I am not even able to conceptualize how this electrical system would be set up but I am willing to give it a shot. How does this sound. Mount a transformer near the building. Go to the a disconect then inside to a panel. That panel would feed a tranformer on each floor and the meters would all be located in a room on each floor. I guess I am wondering where you go to see various single line riser diagrams covering all the different situations encountered in the feild? aleonsite@mac.com
 

spyder

Member
Location
Massachusetts
Re: Where do you start?

The builder is out of his mind. How can he expect you to give him an estimate without any specs and blueprints. About all you can do is figure for wiring to code based on NEC minimum requirements. Its gonna take some time to do all the calculations to figure for service, feeders, min # circuits per unit, etc...How well do you know this builder and will it be worth your while to put in the time doing all the leg work and figuring?
 

drscott

Member
Location
Michigan
Re: Where do you start?

Jason,
I would sign a contract also with the builder stating that you will be paid for all your leg work on the calculations, and basically the design.
I would not give him any prints aor calcs until you see something in writing from him that you have the job.
He could be looking for a free designer.
Doug
 

ron

Senior Member
Re: Where do you start?

Depending on your part of town, you may need an engineer to sign off on design drawings anyway for a permit. Maybe direct the builder to an engineer.
Or, another posibility, if he will not hold you to the number, use a reference that prices per square foot for a particular type of construction. Like http://www.rsmeans.com/

[ April 15, 2003, 08:48 PM: Message edited by: ron ]
 

charlie b

Moderator
Staff member
Location
Seattle, WA
Occupation
Electrical Engineer
Re: Where do you start?

I was once worked for a design-build electrical contractor. Telling them you wanted to put 51 units in a four-story building was more than enough information for them to submit a firm price bid! They did good work, the customers were most often very happy with the results, their pricing and their business methods were fair and competitive, they had (still have) a good reputation, and they made a good profit.

What?s the trick? (1) They had the experience to know what it took to construct various types of buildings, and (2) They were very detailed and clear in describing what they proposed to build for what they proposed to charge for the job. For example, they might say that each apartment would get four ceiling lights of a specific model. Then if the owner wanted a different fixture or more fixtures, then there would be a mutually-accepted starting point for negotiating a change order.
 

jim_ky

Member
Location
Kentucky
Re: Where do you start?

I agree with Charlie. If I'm asked to bid without specs, I will give a conditional price and carefully outline the "assumptions" that are integral to the bid. For an apartment type scenario, this would include something like a quantity and style of fixtures and/or devices. This would also specify the wiring methods used as well as a few design points (general locations of xformers, service entrance, etc.) And finally, it would state "This is based upon the plans/specs received as of (Today's date)". At the very least, the builder has a copy of the blueprints that you should be able to get. From this, you can derive the basic requirements of the installation.

As the others have said, don't be too specific or the builder's brother-in-law will be wiring the building according to your plan.

Jim
 

mark

Member
Location
Illinois
Re: Where do you start?

Jay,
You should be able to figure, size and price the service/entrance, site lighting, required receptacles and lighting outlets, HVAC equipment, elevator feed, phone and CATV, smoke and CO detectors, etc. The only item you might have a problem with is type and quantity of lighting fixtures (or luminaires per 2002 :confused: ). To solve this give them a fixture allowance per Apt. The biggest part of estimating is communication with the customer. Find out the customer's wants and needs, then turn it into a number. If you break a job down into sub-sections it doesn't seem so overwhelming. If you still have a problem, we can discuss it next class.

Your Teacher
 

jasons

Member
Location
Arkansas
Re: Where do you start?

drscott i am with you. I do a lot of design and build work and it took me a few times to realize that I was wasting my time. I have been burned a few times.

To the original question. If you submit a set of drawings, put a disclaimer on the bottom stating that these drawings are the property of your company and are only to be used for work that you are doing. Consult your lawyer for a more exact wording because it has held up at court.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top