Demand for large-scale resorts and master-planned communities is on the rise. The abundance of amenities they offer such as luxury lifestyle, restaurants, recreation, and retail make them enormously appealing to a growing segment of the population. They are becoming even more popular in the Intermountain West where the affordable cost of living, quality of life, and easy access to the outdoors is attracting large numbers of potential buyers.
Developers who build these projects take on enormous challenges of size, scope, and coordination. A particularly complex aspect of building these large-scale communities is designing and installing their electrical systems. Here are some best practices for managing the complexity of designing and efficiently installing the electrical system for a large-scale resort community.
Convey Your Vision – The first question an electrical contractor should ask is what is your overall goal for the project? A contractor who understands and shares your vision is able to align their efforts to your objectives and offer you options that will have the greatest impact on the aesthetic look and feel of your development such as controls for lighting, shades, HVAC, technology, and renewable energy.
Explore New Solutions – A quality electrical contractor will always be comfortable on the leading edge of technology and be willing to explore the latest products to give you the best solutions. They will be able to test the new equipment in their facility to determine if it meets your needs before you make any large purchases.
Leverage Supplier Knowledge – Your electrical contractor can help you anticipate potential supply chain issues and extended lead times for critical components that could impact the project schedule. Take advantage of their knowledge to avoid unnecessary delays.
Leverage Industry Relationships – An electrical contractor will have established relationships with key utilities such as power, water, communication, cellular, and fiber network providers. This allows them to find solutions to electrical issues they encounter on your project and it allows them to recommend helpful resources for your non-electrical issues.
Request a Single Point of Contact – There is an immense amount of information to manage on a large-scale resort community development, but your electrical contractor can make it easy to address issues or questions that may arise by providing you with a single point of contact for all electrical scopes of work. This Project Executive oversees all aspects of your project to ensure that the daily work contributes to your vision.
Break Project into Phases – Breaking the project down into sequential phases helps the contractor provide adequate power at every phase of construction and enables you to coordinate more effectively. Your electrical contractor can help you with this breakdown.
Use the Power of In-house Engineering
When you use the design-build delivery method, the electrical contractor’s in-house engineering team adds immense value to the project by saving time, requiring collaboration, and reducing costs in the following ways.
Early Ordering – Because design-build delivery brings the developer, general contractor, and subcontractors together at the beginning of the project the team can finish the design quicker and order materials even before the design is fully complete. This allows you to order critical components and equipment with long lead times earlier and obtain them sooner to avoid schedule delays.
Identifying Efficiencies During Design – Design-build construction involves the entire team from the initial concept of the project. This forces the general contractor and all subcontractors to collaborate and coordinate their workflow before they even break ground. This collaboration makes it easier to anticipate the challenges that may arise during construction and find creative solutions for them.
Providing Accurate Load Forecasting – Before large-scale developments connect to the power grid, the power company needs to understand the electrical load they will require and the impact it will have on their generation, transmission, and distribution capacity. This critical information helps utilities make the appropriate enhancements to deliver adequate power. Underestimating the potential electrical load could result in inadequate infrastructure requiring expensive upgrades later on. Overestimating the power demand could lead to spending too much money on infrastructure that will never be fully used.
A skilled electrical engineer will create a comprehensive electrical plan that will account for everything known about the facility, including the types of buildings, their square footage, and their historical electricity consumption. This approach will deliver the most accurate load forecast possible, ensuring that the utility has the correct information to help it accommodate the electrical load and avoid overspending.
Coordinate with All Utilities – The power company is not the only utility that needs to make accommodations for the new development. Coordination with sewer, water, natural gas, and all other public utilities is essential. The engineering team will create a comprehensive site plan to help the utilities understand the needs of your development.
These best practices ensure the design and construction of your large-scale resort or master-planned community accurately reflects your vision and that it stays on schedule and within budget. If you’re looking for other ways to increase and improve efficiencies, we’re happy to help. Hunt Electric and our in-house engineering team have years of experience designing and building these projects.
Contact us to learn more ways to improve the design and construction of your large-scale resort or master-planned community’s electrical system.