Case Study: Older Auditorium Gets Power At Every Seat



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The Challenge:


Like many older facilities, the 230-seat Large Animal Clinic auditorium at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine was designed for students who came to class equipped with pens and notebooks. When students began bringing laptops and tablets to lectures, the school ran power in Wiremold® 2400 Series raceway along the outer walls of the auditorium, which has two aisles. This provided access to power at seats in the left and right tiers, but forced students in the center rows to use extension cords to power their devices, which was at best a temporary solution, and presented a serious trip hazard in the steeply banked lecture hall. The school asked Legrand for a solution to providing power outlets in the center rows of the auditorium.


The Solution:


With no access from under the floor and vertical drops out of the question in a lecture hall, the solution was to run electrical wiring over the floor from existing service behind the lectern to the center tier of seats. One possible solution was Wiremold OFR Series overfloor raceway, which is designed to securely route electrical wires and data and AV cables across the floor.


But according to Joe Kunkel, Director of Facilities at the College of Veterinary Medicine, there was a problem. “There was a specific component necessary to support this installation that Legrand did not make. It was an outside corner to allow the system to wrap over each tier.”


Kunkel asked the Legrand team is they could come up with a solution. “The really great thing is that with very little encouragement on my part, Legrand engineered and manufactured that component to fit my needs, and they did it on a very tight time line. I was impressed,” he says.


OFR Series overfloor raceway provided a better alternative to old-style rubber wire guards, which are not permanent and can’t be easily secured to the floor. Unlike some products, this ADA-compliant system attaches directly to floor covering, including carpet, tile, and wood. Installers do not have to remove or cut into existing floor coverings. The textured black powder coat cover resists scuffing and scratches and is difficult to remove without the proper tools, discouraging unwanted access.


OFR Series overfloor raceway was installed from the wall behind the lectern, across the floor, and up the center riser in stair-step fashion all the way to the top tier. The overfloor raceway in turn feeds Wiremold 2400 Series raceway that was installed laterally across the front of every other tier. Receptacles on the 2400 Series raceway, which normally face downward, were flipped over so they point up. Because the raceway was installed at the edge of every other riser, students can access power either at their feet, or just behind them on the next tier up, depending on where they sit. The result is a durable, permanent, and easy-to-access way of providing convenient access to power at every seat in the lecture hall.