News from our Pre-Fab Shop

Here at Huston Electric, we have the mindset of “It’s not how good you are, it’s how good do you want to be.” We encourage our team to own their quality of work and take pride in it. Many years ago, Huston Electric launched our pre-fab department as a way to be leaders in our industry and set the example of what could be done to make our job site run more efficiently. It first started with building various small assemblies for a few jobs here and there, and now the past few months we have never been busier! We are always trying to find new ways to grow and get better at what we do! Huston strives to be the best in the area by taking measures to ensure we are powering innovation on and off the job site!

            We have had several conduit assembly projects recently and up next is “our bread and butter” so to speak. Huston won the bid for a large Apartment Complex job in Bloomington called the “Standard at Bloomington”. A three building, 439-unit, 1,800 bedroom, apartment complex that has anything from a studio apartment to a 5-bedroom apartment.
            This project has over 50 different unit layouts, which requires a lot of work up front from the design side of the pre-fab world. That work includes measuring the layouts of each unit type and adding them to a standard operating procedure (SOP) for not just wall assemblies, but from the electrical panel for each apartment to the first wall assembly on each circuit. In the electrical trade, we refer to this as “the home run.” After each one is measured, a panel schedule is created that shows circuit breaker size, wire size, and length. Our pre-fab team can then build the entire panel and ship it out to the job site.
For wall assemblies, we design the receptacles to daisy-chain together, and we try and completely build the lighting switches in house to minimize time in the field. We tail these devices, which includes making up the connection to the device with wire and placing a push-in connector on the other end. This allows the field electrician to daisy-chain the devices around the room at a much faster rate. All they need to do is run the wire to the next assembly in line, strip the wires back and push them into the push-in connector. Once finished, they place the device back in the box with a metal protective cover. There is no need to mess with the device again until trim out. This allows us to have a more efficient and safer job site. Huston’s number one value is Safety First. Taking steps to pre-fab assemblies ensures that we are taking extra precautions to make our job sites cleaner, which in turn helps us maintain a safe job site. After everything was designed, we ordered nearly 20,000 devices, over 630,000’ of wire, that is nearly 120 miles of wire! That would easily stretch from our Lafayette Pre-fab shop to the job site in Bloomington!!    
Huston Electric BIM group helps streamline field installation:
     One of our most recent projects for our Pre-Fab team has a lot of gear and specialized equipment that needs a generous amount of power. After receiving the model of the building and the original trade models, the coordination team from each trade began meeting once a week via a video conference call. After 6 weeks of coordination effort, decent progress was made. In the BIM process, each trade designs everything being put in the building based on the submittal files. Each submittal shows a detailed drawing of what the product will be that will be installed. The Electrical BIM modeler takes each submittal for transformers, generator, electrical panels, lights, main switchboards, life safety gear, etc. and models it correctly in the building. Along with this, all the equipment needs power, so the conduit is drawn in. Using the BIM process to coordinate each trade really helps streamline the installation for everyone. See below an example from a recent project.

Huston’s Role in Construction of Grand Junction Plaza

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We had the great privilege of assisting in the construction of Westfield’s new Grand Junction Plaza. Grand Junction Plaza is a new development that opened to the public at the end of 2021 in the heart of downtown Westfield. The plaza includes a six-acre park complete with an amphitheater, walking trails, and an immersive playground. Three structures were built on the property to house public amenities and the necessary equipment in storage rooms. Huston Electric was awarded the entire electrical scope of work for this project.

For Huston, this project started in the summer of 2020 and was completed at the beginning of this year. Huston’s role in this project was to run power and install all the electrical components in the park including the light poles that line the perimeter and walking trails. Each pole is connected to a lighting control system installed in one of the electrical rooms. Three structures were constructed in the park; Huston handled all the electrical for each. One of the structures is set up to hold public amenities like restrooms, lockers, a café, and a temperature-controlled gathering space. Inside that structure, Huston installed linear LED light fixtures and floor lighting around the indoor perimeter (pictured in the gallery below).
Huston Electric installed over 35,000 feet of PVC conduit underground during this project (just over 6 ½ miles) that provided raceways for power, lighting, emergency power, telecommunications, A/V and fire alarm. As well as power to 76 light poles and 3 structures. With (2) directional bores and (28) Quazite boxes ranging from 11″ X 18″ to 36″ X 36″ Huston Electric was able to successfully distribute all necessary power and communications throughout this challenging project. Huston Electric also provided and installed a 35Kw generator located 450′ away from the Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS), for emergency power to Café building and select site lighting.
Huston Tech, our specialized technology division was also included on this project. Huston Tech was responsible for providing the copper and fiber infra-structure for voice / data transmission. The fiber cabling was run underground to connect each data box and each structure to control systems. In addition to Huston Tech installing data boxes on some of the light poles, they also installed other devices such as wireless access points, speakers, and security cameras. In the amphitheater space, Huston Tech installed the theater cabling system to support line, mic, and speaker level audio signals.
The City of Westfield has big plans in the works for how they will utilize the new park to entice visitors which include plans for an ice-skating rink and corresponding amenities in the winter. In addition, to the already determined uses for this park, further development is projected for this site as well, including construction of possible additional structures. Residents of Westfield and the surrounding communities look forward to seeing all the wonderful things that will happen at this community space. Next time you are in downtown Westfield, make a point to visit Grand Junction Plaza!
 

New Process News from Huston’s Pre-Fab Shop

When you think of prefabrication, do you think it can only be done for MC cable and Romex assemblies? Think again! We received two separate requests from foreman to pre-fab pipe assemblies. The first request came from our Hagle Hall job. The second was from our foreman in charge of the Logansport Intermediate School project.
For Hagle Hall, our Pre-Construction Services Engineer, Eric, took every device room by room and created a build sheet for it based on our pre-fab SOP (standard operating procedure). He gave each assembly a device type, raceway type, a circuit number, quantity, and to the request of the foreman for the job, Adam Robbins, marked whether it had an offset.

Adam came to prefab asking for an offset on the pipe assemblies to gain access to the device in the wall from above the ceiling. A simple 3-1/2” offset near the top end of the assembly was all that was needed. This building also had window pockets around the entire exterior of the building. Instead of an offset there, we gave Adam a 90-degree bend above the window pocket and out 3’ to be able to access the device. Both assembly types were made with wire already in the conduit sticking out 16” to 24” so the field install only consisted of mounting the device box at the correct height, securing the conduit inside the wall, mounting a junction box to the other end of the conduit, and connecting the wires from the power source.
We could have easily put a 10’ stick of conduit and been done with it but we wanted to expand the potential of what we can do in pre-fab shop As you may recall from the last Pre-Fab Blog, BIM coordination was completed on this job so we took the pre-fab one step further. We flew through the coordinated 3D model of the building and looked above the ceiling of every single device. If there was an HVAC duct, fire main, plumbing lines, etc. up against the wall above a device, we measured from the top of the device box to the item in the way and marked the build sheet with enough conduit to get either above or below the obstruction based on how close to the ceiling it was. This greatly helped in the area above the “World’s Largest Drum Display” where the ceilings were 20’+ with massive windows and very little space to access the required power devices down low.
As for Logansport Intermediate School, the foreman, Avery Zink, requested pipe assemblies with 4-11/16 boxes with extension rings above the ceiling to gain access to those devices. We had several different device types for this job which included the typical power assembly, power/data Assembly, data only, wireless access points, and projector locations.
New to the pre-fab shop were the wireless access points and the projector locations. The wireless access points (WAP) are a simple T-bar ceiling grid hanger bracket with a 4SQ electrical box. The most challenging component was the projector assembly which required a more complex assembly. The specification for the assembly was a 4SQ box for the power with two duplex receptacles on the same bracket as a 5SQ box for the data portion. If you do some research for a bracket that holds both, you will find there is not a lot of options. In Pre-Fab we are fond of the typical adjustable spanner bracket but being as the two different boxes are separate depths this would not work. So, we found a three hole bracket that fit both boxes, we put the power on one side, the data on the other side using a 5SQ and a two gang mud ring with 2, 1-1/4” conduit stubs out of the top of the box. All the electrician in the field must do is mount the bracket to the studs at the correct height and run the data cables. A very simple and clean install.
 
What can Huston Pre-Fabrication do for you?

Huston’s Prefabrication for Hagle Hall at Purdue

Hagle Hall is a building on Purdue University’s Campus specifically designed for the Purdue Marching Band. Huston Electric bid the project, won the job, and began the work soon after. From the beginning it was clear that this job required BIM Coordination to help ease the installation process between trades.
During the BIM process, Adam Robbins, Foreman of the project, decided he wanted to try a new conduit support system, the B-Line Conduit Trapeze support. Adam simply provided me with the amount of homerun conduits going down the hallway and Eric Purtzer, Huston’s Pre-Construction Services Engineer, found the correct size of support. Eric was able to find the actual model of the bracket and place it in our REVIT model.

Drake Lindsey, a technical specialist, then used the Trimble Total Station marking the mounting holes and then a worker placed blue banger hangers on these marks. Coordination allowed us to run conduit tight to the deck, so next, concrete was poured, forms were removed, and Adam was able to bolt these hangers directly to the deck. No threaded rod was needed to install these supports as we could run tight to the deck
This turned out very well and was very quick to install in the field. Two guys installed the hangers and ran about 1,000 feet of conduit in one day. Soon after that, Adam was asking if we could translate more of the BIM model to the field.  We took it to the next level by attempting to bend feeder conduits in Prefab with dimensions straight from the building model.
Working with both Adam and Rob Melin, a journeyman electrician with over twenty years in the industry, Eric got drawings created with the dimensions needed and Huston’s Prefab Shop got to work bending these 2-1/2” IMC feeders. With some additional software to REVIT, which Huston uses to do 3D modeling for coordination. Eric was able to place regular strut hangers in the model, which were also marked before concrete was poured. The add-on software created a build schedule of the hangers, and the prefabrication process allowed our team to cut the strut and threaded rod to length and even completely assemble the smaller ones. This process is not new as we were able to prefabricate nearly 3,500 hangers for Foundational Sciences Building at Ball State. On that project, we sent the bent feeders and hangers marked with a number and an installation drawing showing where each hanger needed to be installed. This process made installation a breeze
 
We hope to continue to utilize BIM in more jobs in the future to help ease the installation process. In the meantime, what can Huston’s Prefab Shop do for you?

Huston provides electrical and lighting solutions for new bakery

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Petite Patisserie, downtown Kokomo, is opening soon! We were fortunate to help them turn a school supply store into a full bakery.

We installed a full service kitchen in the back. Huston powered a brand-new walk in freezer and cooler. We also retrofitted the existing down lights to LED and installed the new crystal chandeliers. The massive amount of electrical we ran under the countertops allows them to power espresso machines, a panini press, a crêpe maker, a juicer and many more pieces of equipment. We are so excited to stop in for a sweet treat once they open!
 
 

Huston Solar, a NEW division

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Huston is proud to announce a new addition to our company’s divisions, Huston Solar. This new division will focus on providing alternative energy solutions through solar installations and maintenance. We have been proudly serving central Indiana with all their electric needs for the past 80 years. In order to keep up with ever-changing technology that goes into powering a home or business we have made a commitment to train and certified some of our electricians in solar technology.

We can now provide our customers with a more innovative and eco-friendly option to power their world. Our solar division is proud to be certified with the NECEP, The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Huston Solar is fortunate enough to be a premium installer of one of the leading-industry solar manufacturers, Panasonic Solar. As well as a certified installer of Tesla Energy products. Our highly trained installation crews take pride in delivering beautiful, well-engineered solar arrays. They are committed to providing quality workmanship and will deliberately consider every piece of your installation so you can rest easy throughout its many years of service.
In fact, we are pushing towards more innovation within our own company. Our solar division installed a 7.7 kWAC solar system on top of our newly remolded pre-fabrication building at our Lafayette location. The design and installation of this system will ultimately make this building net-zero for electrical consumption. Huston sees the value in generating alternative energy for our company as well as the environment. This is the first installation of solar panels on one of the buildings, but we do have plans to do more at our other locations. We have received many positive comments on our new addition as it can be seen by the road.
Have you thought about installing solar panels for your home, business or institution? Huston Solar is a turn-key solar developer and installer. We will handle all the local jurisdiction permitting, interconnection agreements with the utilities, and designing to ensure a smooth process from start to finish. We have experienced technicians and designers who are always available over the phone or in-person to help pick the system that best fits your needs. Contact us today or request a quote.VISIT OUR NEW SITE: www.hustonsolar.com

Huston Dives In To Help On Purdue Aquatic Center

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In August, Huston Electric provided and installed new LED lighting over the competition pool and diving well in the Purdue Aquatic Center. After being awarded the project, Huston got the right to work acquiring fixtures and planning ahead. The schedule only allowed for 3 weeks with completion required by the middle of August. The first step was to demo the existing large and heavy light fixtures and frames.

In their place, Huston provided and installed new Lux Dynamics Wave LED light fixtures. From demo to final clean up the project took 2.5 weeks to complete. This was thanks to a great Purdue staff, our skilled electricians, and the help of two 77’ atrium lifts. The new, LED lights should pay for themselves in a short 14 months and with the new fixtures weighing only one-third of the old, Purdue has even mentioned using the roof for alternative purposes. The Purdue University staff seem very pleased with Huston’s ability to provide a high-quality product within the time restraints given. David Boudia, Olympic diver and Purdue Alum were excited about the new lighting in the Aquatics Center and even took to social media to applaud Purdue on the new upgrade.
 

Huston plays big role in Rise on Chauncey build

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Huston Electric’s involvement with the build of The Rise on Chauncey began at the end of 2017. As a design-build job, Huston played a large role early on in designing the electrical layout of the building. Once the plans were complete, Huston’s prefab team started early on prepping all the power and lighting for the 281 apartments and main spaces.

Not only did Huston provide all the electrical work and power but all of Huston’s divisions played a role in what you see today. Huston Generators installed two permanent backup emergency generators. Huston Tech installed all of the CATV, voice/data cabling, WIFI access points and fire alarm systems. Huston Signs installed two sets of channel letters, a perpendicular sign, and a set of custom exposed neon letters. The building was completed in August of 2019 and stands as one of the best examples of Huston’s quality workmanship. Through collaboration within our divisions Huston can be the solution to a lot of the problems with constructing a new building. We will continue to provide service for all of The Rise’s future needs in the fields of electrical, TeleTech, generators and signage.

Huston Electric provides array of electrical services for cutting-edge Purdue project

The new Flex Lab facility totaling 108,000 SF for College of Engineering at Purdue University will assist in providing easily modifiable lab spaces to accommodate a wide range of research activities.

LOCATION: Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind.
HUSTON ROLE:

Electrical
Telecommunications system
Fire Alarm
Lighting Controls
Generator
BIM Modeling
Prefabrication

 
PROJECT SUMMARY:
Huston Electric provided an array of electrical services for this cutting-edge project on Purdue University’s campus. The Flex Lab facility accommodates the ever-changing field of engineering with re-combinable bench space and support labs, high-bay research space, low vibration basement labs for optics, and a complementary landscape of hoteling offices, open work areas, hot desk space and “work cafes”.  The 103,000-square-foot, three-story-plus-basement, multidisciplinary research facility is located in Discovery Park, an area located just south of Purdue’s main campus. Construction began in the summer of 2016 and concluded in the fall of 2017. 
 
Huston Electric utilized their electrical prefabrication shop to send rough-in assemblies (MC and Conduit) along with uni-strut stands and supports to the job site for on-time delivery to meet an aggressive project schedule for CM Pepper Construction and Purdue University. Huston was able to cut down the number of days needed for in wall rough-in and also cut down the number of days needed for trim out allowing floors to finish ahead of schedule. 
 
Huston Electric has physical locations in Kokomo, Lafayette and Indianapolis, Indiana. Huston Inc. was founded in 1939 and has divisions specializing in electrical contracting and service, home and business automation, telecommunications, visual communications and signage, generators and compressors.

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Huston plays big roll in installing Ross Ade Stadium Lights!

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Huston Electric installed 15 light poles with 320 LED sports lighting fixtures to complete this 5.6 million project on Purdue University’s Ross-Ade Stadium over the course of three months.

LOCATION: Purdue University, Ross Ade Stadium,  West Lafayette, Ind.
HUSTON ROLE:

Electrical Power
Stadium Lighting Installation
Lighting Controls
Prefabrication

PROJECT SUMMARY:
Huston Electric had the opportunity to light Purdue’s Ross Ade Football Stadium for the first Purdue Home Football game, September 8th, under new LED lights. 
 
Huston worked with Wilhelm Construction to complete a $5.6 million dollar project that will allow Purdue’s football team to now host night games. The university approved the project once the Big Ten Network gave the go ahead.
 
Doug May, Wilhelm Construction Superintendent on the project, worked alongside Huston’s team and said this was the first time he worked with Huston Electric, and he was very impressed with the team’s professionalism and proactive attitudes.
 
“This was my first time working with Huston and I would work with them again. They were very good about sticking to the tight deadline and working out design problems that could potentially impact the schedule,” May said.
 
The project consisted of:

15 light poles, 11 that span the east side of the stadium and one in each of the four corners of the field.  
Ribbon-style lighting will connect the 11 east-side poles and will be replicated on the west side, attached to a new 360-foot catwalk atop the Ross-Ade Pavilion.
320 LED sports lighting fixtures, each one individually controllable via a DMX control system, which will allow for full remote adjustment options. There will be 140 diodes per fixture, for an approximate total of 45,000 diodes.

The lights will yield 320,000 total watts of power and more than 36 million lumens of light output. The first night game took place on September 8th, with no further night games scheduled at this time.

 

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