RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

September 22, 2021

Underestimated by many, the residential electrical project is an important step in any work and needs to be developed with attention and care.

With the increasing amount of electronic equipment, a residence needs an electrical project that is correctly dimensioned, ensuring safe use and avoiding a series of problems.

If you still have doubts about how to develop a residential electrical project, let me introduce here all the items that must be analyzed, and also show you a complete step-by-step. Check it out below!

WHAT IS A RESIDENTIAL ELECTRICAL PROJECT?

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

A residential electrical project is a graphical representation that contains all the information and technical details necessary for the correct execution of an electrical installation.

A home needs a minimum amount of outlets, well-placed switches, non-tripping circuit breakers (except in hazardous situations) and other factors that can only be achieved through good electrical design.

It is not just about comfort and efficiency, but there are also safety requirements to be met, which can be seen in NBR 5410 - Low voltage electrical installations and in NR10 - Safety in electrical installations and services.

Regardless of the size or complexity of the work, the electrical project is indispensable, but how should we explain this to the customer? Let's understand the main advantages of a residential electrical project when designed by a professional.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A RESIDENTIAL ELECTRICAL PROJECT?

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

Anyone who has been in trouble looking for an outlet to charge a cell phone should cast the first stone!

Today we have a huge demand for electrical and electronic equipment, which is just one of the many factors that play a role in developing a good residential electrical project.

Much more than an affordable outlet when we need it most, the electrical design offers a number of benefits, ranging from energy savings to safety. Let's check out the main ones:

  • Correct sizing of the materials used, avoiding unnecessary expenses;
  • Prevents against accidental shocks, especially in wet areas;
  • Prevents power outages and circuit breaker tripping due to overloads;
  • It offers efficiently distributed outlet points and switches;
  • Prevents against electrical voltage surges such as lightning and overvoltages;
  • Dimensions according to the needs of the client/property;
  • Correct calculation of energy consumption, avoiding malfunctions of electronic equipment or unnecessary expenses with electricity bills;

And not least, the peace of mind of knowing you can plug in a piece of equipment without the danger of flashing power or even tripping a circuit breaker.

So let's see what information is needed to develop a residential electrical project from the simplest to the complete package.

COMPLETE RESIDENTIAL ELECTRICAL PROJECT

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

A residential electrical project must comply with the NBR 5410 standard, which provides all guidance for the development of a project for low voltage electrical installations.

We will then have a simple electrical project, containing a list of all materials, items and accessories needed for its execution, as well as a complete descriptive memorial.

However, a complete residential electrical project includes data from all related disciplines, ranging from electrical to lighting engineering.

Thus, in addition to the detailed electrical project, we have:

  • SPDA Project (Atmospheric Discharge Protection System),
  • Lighting project,
  • Air conditioning,
  • Home automation

For a better understanding we should know what a residential electrical project should include. Check it out!

WHAT ARE THE ELEMENTS OF A RESIDENTIAL ELECTRICAL PROJECT?

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

Source: Grundriss Manufaktur.

The electrical project must function as an instruction manual for the electrical installation, containing all the information necessary for its execution.

Even though each work has different needs, we have some items that are the most common in any project:

  • Floor plan with the location of all points;
  • Project demand calculation;
  • Load table (as calculated);
  • Legend with the symbology used in the project;
  • Single-line diagram (circuit diagram, boards and meter);

All information relevant to the project must be included, but if you still have doubts about how to develop your own residential electrical project, let me introduce you to a step by step guide including the main steps of the process, check it out!

HOW TO MAKE A RESIDENTIAL ELECTRICAL PROJECT (STEP BY STEP)

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

Source: Alexander Senchugov & Evgenia Aborina

To ensure the success of your residential electrical project, following a logical sequence of steps is recommended, which in addition to saving time, reduces the chance of errors.

Let's understand each of the steps below.

ARCHITECTURE AND PROJECT DEMAND

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

Analyzing the architecture and making the electrical project compatible with the structure and other facilities of the property is essential.

To define the location of the outlet points we must consult the layout and the person responsible for the project.

With this information, it is already possible to determine the TUG (Common Use Outlet) sockets, whose current does not usually exceed 10A and TUE (Specific Use Outlet), whose current is above 10A (Amperes).

LOAD FORECAST

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

We define load as the sum of the power of electrical equipment provided for in the project, where NBR 5410 establishes criteria to define the minimum number of outlets and lighting loads for each of the environments in your project.

The load forecast must dimension TUG sockets meeting the minimum normative value, TUE sockets calculated according to the special equipment of the project and the lighting must also be dimensioned following the criteria of NBR 5410.

It is common to identify the need for a greater number of points, especially in environments such as living rooms and kitchens, where a greater amount of electronic equipment is normal.

ELECTRIC CIRCUITS

A residential electrical circuit is the set of points (lights and plugs) connected by conductors that are plugged to the same protection device (circuit breaker).

The ideal is that simple circuits (TUG and lighting) have up to 10A of current, with 127v being 1270 VA and 220v being 2200 VA.



RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

Equipment with individual consumption above 10A needs to have an exclusive circuit.

The recommendation is to group the circuits by close environments, for example: social area, intimate area, service, outdoors, etc.

Don't forget to plan a possible load increase, foreseeing space for future expansion of the installation. The capacity of the distribution board must have this forecast, according to NBR 5410.

DISTRIBUTION OF POINTS AND SYMBOLS

The representation of the points within the project is carried out using graphic symbols. Although the NBR 5444 standard - Graphic symbols for electrical installations in buildings has been discontinued, its symbols are still widely used.

The lighting points must include its power, circuit and command, which must be reproduced in the switch that activates it.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

The light distribution board must be installed in an easily accessible location, where all the pipes must be traced from it, making the proper connections with the circuits.

Do not forget that NBR 5410 requires that all circuits must be properly grounded.


SINGLE DIAGRAM

The single-line diagram is a drawing that adopts a specific symbology; representing how the electrical installation will be on top of an architectural plan.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

The single-line diagram presents the general power input scheme, earthing indication, scheme for the separation of circuits, circuit breakers, wiring and other items present in the electrical project.

LIST OF ELECTRICAL MATERIALS

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

The list of electrical materials is one of the items that the customer tends to pay more attention to, after all, it reflects the entire cost of the electrical part of the work.

The most recommended is to create a table with all switches, outlet points, junction boxes, light fixtures, distribution board and other items represented with electrical symbols.

For wiring, take care to measure the length of each section considering the heights of ascents and descents, such as switches, sockets and points on the wall.

Do not forget to work with a margin of at least 10% for conduits and especially for wiring, which should not be worked with splices.

READY MODEL OF RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

The most important tip for a good residential electrical project is: don't use ready-made models!

Understand that each residence has different needs, it is impossible for a ready-made model to meet all the needs of your project, but nothing prevents the use of these projects as an object of study.

We will follow the evolution of a residential electrical project for a better understanding of the process.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

From an architectural project, we need to perform load forecasting and we can also define how many circuits will be needed for the project, in the example we have the loads for each environment and two specified circuits.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

With loads and circuits defined, we can insert switches, TUG and TUE sockets, and define which circuits the sockets will be connected to.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

Having defined all the necessary points, we can define the location of the distribution board and all conduits.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

Finally, we have the wiring passage, determining all the installation's circuits.

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

Remembering that the proposal here is to understand the flow in which information is entered.

Each of the points must be strategically positioned to meet the needs of the project and the respective equipment.

WHO CAN BE AN ELECTRICAL DESIGNER

RESIDENTIAL ELECTRIC PROJECT

The development of a residential electrical project can be done by any professional with the necessary technical knowledge who follows the guidelines of NBR 5410 and other technical standards.

However, the technical responsibility for the project requires a professional registered with the CREA (Regional Council of Engineering and Agronomy) or the CAU (Council of Architecture and Urbanism)

This professional can issue a technical responsibility term, which binds the professional to the project, where he will be held responsible in case of any problems or failures that the project may generate.

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CONCLUSION

Houses and apartments have more and more electronic equipment, which makes the residential electrical project present itself as an increasingly important step in any work.

It is essential to understand its importance and all the stages of its development. Always remembering to have a suitably qualified professional.

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The author of the article

Luis André
Master of architecture, product designer and professor. Sharing professional content from leading architectural software for 10 years.
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