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Plan For Generator Use In Commercial Buildings

Planning For Generator Use In Commercial Buildings

Coastal Power and Equipment will work with you to determine the proper generator size and model for your needs. We provide reliable new or used generators you need for purchase or rent. For information, just call us at 281-962-1023 or visit the Coastal Power & Equipment website.

When you're running a business in a commercial building, you need to be concerned with having backup power available in the case of a power outage. When the building is without power, activities within cease, which puts the business of every occupant at risk. Planning to meet the business needs of every suite requires actively planning for a generator with the right capacity, a test for your building engineer and your representative at Coastal Power and Equipment.

How Much Power Does Your Building Need?

Before installing a generator in any setting, it is important to identify what the generator will need to power. Buildings themselves need a backup to run crucial services, while every business within the building has business-critical needs that must be figured into the generator.

Depending on how spaces within the building are used, the generator must meet specific codes:

  • For medical facilities, life safety codes require that the generator go into action to provide power within 10 seconds of utility failure.
  • NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) has codes covering different aspects of generator use, including generators (NFPA 110), electrical systems (NFPA 70), sprinklers (NFPA 13), fuel storage (NFPA 30), stationary engines (NFPA 37), and fuel gas code (NFPA 54).
  • EPA regulations cover generator emissions based on horsepower. Large generators have to meet stricter requirements than smaller ones.
  • International Building Codes (IBC) require that building power remains constant during earthquakes and windstorms.
  • Local building codes may require enough generator power to operate fire alarms, horizontal sliding doors and elevators and lifts for egress, maintain emergency power or halls and exits, and operate emergency boy/alarm communication system.

Occupant Power Needs

Beyond generator requirements for the building, individual tenants have requirements based on their business. A building used for office space might require emergency power for computers and for cooling a server room or data center, while a building housing a medical lab might need generator power to keep samples cool and power the equipment. A restaurant or cafeteria in the building would need their coolers, freezers, and refrigerators backed up with generator power.

Determining the power requirements of all building occupants will require that you know the average voltage load that the building would require to start the generators and to keep them running during the emergency. Since energy requirements are often highest in the summer, you should base this calculation on the hottest day of the year.

To understand and properly calculate generator requirements, ask a consultant to make an accurate assessment. While having enough generator power can be costly, you'll find that it's worth it to keep your business running during a power outage.

Let Coastal Power & Equipment Meet Your Generator Needs