5 Minutes With Our New Projects Director

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We are delighted to be growing (and growing fast) at MODULA. All our products and systems – Modular Wiring, Busbar Power Distribution, Lighting, Lighting Controls – are thankfully performing well.

To facilitate further growth, and deliver the best possible experience for our customers, we’re thrilled to announce the appointment of David Perkins as our new Projects Director. David joins us from Axiseng, where he worked as a Principal Electrical Engineer. He holds an MSc in Engineering from Brunel University London and a BSc in Electrical Services Engineering & Energy Management from Dublin Institute of Technology. By way of an introduction, we asked him a few important questions.

1.            What type(s) of projects do you most like to work on?

The projects I like to work on the most, and which provide personal satisfaction, are those where I have full involvement with the client/design team from the outset. Being part of the full project life cycle – assisting with the design, providing guidance to the process, and managing the construction phase to handover and completion, this is the ideal project process to be part of. This would apply to projects across all sectors from mission critical & advanced facility, to healthcare, commercial, educational, public and residential.

2.            Do you have a particular project you worked on in the past that you are most proud of?

I have worked on many projects, across various sectors, over the years, both as an electrician and engineer. But, the project I would consider to be the stand-out is the UCD Science Hub and East Project, due to the nature and scale of the project. I was the site-based project engineer, but I also successfully prepared the tender bid, and final proposal for the project, prior to taking up the full-time role on site. This was a campus type scheme which entailed the construction of three substantial buildings, containing large lecture theatres, auditorium, laboratories, lecture rooms, break out spaces, study spaces, restaurants, and amenities. An existing science building was also refurbished as part of the scheme, along with a major medium-voltage cable upgrade of the campus. The project duration was four years and was delivered on time and on budget.

3.            In your opinion, what are the most important trends now happening, from an electrical design perspective?

One of the most important trends being observed in the electrical industry at present is the requirement to provide fully scalable, and flexible installations for fast-track projects. This is most prevalent in the pharma, semi-conductor, and data centre markets where major clients are building advanced, mission critical facilities at an unbelievable pace. This is where modular based electrical wiring systems, and construction are beginning to become pertinent to the timely delivery of such projects as they allow for parallel processing. Another is the performance of lighting, controls, and energy management through the full integration of the various stand-alone building systems like light, BMS and security systems, in relation to acquiring accreditation for new buildings in terms of LEED, and WELL. The design of lighting and associated controls to provide the human-centric element, along with providing supplementary building data on third-party systems, through new protocols like DALI-2, is a trend and demand we are seeing now on daily basis.

4.            Do you think COVID-19 has taught us anything that will change aspects of how we design our buildings in the future?

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a realisation that remote working is something that can be done, and successfully at that. This means that a shift in the approach to the design of office buildings to suit reduced staff capacity, and health and well-being, is evident in many of the new commercial developments. For example, the use of hot-desks, and reduced capacity in workstation quantities, are now being considered as a means of managing the numbers of staff within office buildings. Re-thinking the control and operation of ventilation systems with the aim of lowering the concentrations of indoor air pollutants or contaminants, by increasing the amount of outdoor air coming indoors, touchless accessories for access control, lifts, and control systems are now standard. Further, smart building control systems like DALI-2, for example, utilise the data from the sensors to monitor the quantity, and movement of people within a building, which will provide an important aspect of building management and potentially, virus-spread prevention.

5.            What are you most looking forward to in a post-COVID world?

I am most looking forward to returning to normality which, for me, is removing the masks, meeting with friends for food and drinks, whenever and wherever we like, and to be able to go away on holidays to my favourite places abroad.

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