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.

PreFabBlog 4

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