Out Of Control

The estimating article for January 2016 is available at the online version of Electrical Contractor Magazine. The article is about how LED controls are missing on many projects put out to bid. Click here or on the pictures to read it. Let me know if you have any comments on the article.

000_EC0116_CoverElectrical scheme backdrop


2 responses to “Out Of Control

  1. The following is an email I received yesterday.

    As a design & build firm, we are up against the same issues… which system do we standardize with to make the installations more “user friendly” to the installers, as each manufacturer has their own means and methods. Two issues your article brought to mind:

    1) As a designer, we have started putting statements in our specifications requiring the chosen manufacturer of the lighting controls to provide a shop drawing indicating the wiring scheme necessary to achieve the system dimming and Title 24 requirements.

    2) As a contractor, we often bid “plans and specs” for projects out on the street… and to me, if there is no extra wiring (i.e., low-voltage lighting controls) shown, and it is not addressed during the bidding process (RFI for instance), how can I include in my bid, while others may not, and they win the job and get a potential change order for it? Do we qualify our proposal either way, or provide an adder for the missing scope, or just be quiet about it?

    I have made it a point of reading the EC article for the last 28 years of being with the company I am still at… thanks for the good reads.

    Steve Arnold
    Senior Project Estimator
    Thoma Electric, Inc.

  2. Here is another email from yesterday.

    Yesterday I read your article about the engineer’s failure to show lighting controls on their drawings, among a lot of other things. This happens with all systems here. I don’t know if they are lazy or don’t have the know how to show it. I was beginning to wonder if this problem was just here in Louisiana and not in other parts of the country.

    Thank you for having the balls to write in. I get so frustrated with the engineers these days that I just want to call up the guy that did the drawings and give him a piece of my mind. There probably would be consequences if I did though. I did not think of broadcasting it in an article that did not individualize the engineer.

    Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I am currently working on a hospital that does not even show how to do the circuitry for the 120 volt receptacles, much less the lighting. This morning when I got in, low and behold, I had an amended set of drawings that showed all circuitry for the power, lighting/controls and fire alarm. This guy must have felt guilty after reading the article. I hope all the engineers read it to. You’ll be a national hero for all electrical estimators.

    Paul L. Bourgeois
    Fisk Electric

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