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SME Inc of Seattle offers our customers a broad and deep range of electrical services across commercial and industrial industries and residential properties. From tenant improvement, new build or renovations to assembly lines, healthcare facilities or multi- or single-family residences, the team at SME Inc provides experienced engineers and licensed electricians who have the skill and expertise to design, install and complete any project.

Freeway Motors

Freeway Motors – University VW and University Audi; Freeway Properties, LLC, Owner

2015 ABC Excellence in Construction Award – Electrical & Communications category

GC: Sierra Construction; Electrical Contract: $1.1 MM; Project Timeline: April 2013 – June 2014

Located in the University district of Seattle, the Freeway Motors building is a 173,000 sq ft, three-story structure consisting of an automobile showroom and three service bays on the first floor and an 82,000 sq ft parking garage on the upper two floors for customer parking and inventory.

SME’s scope of work for the project included installation of a 600 amp, 480 volt electrical service including power connections to specialized auto service bay equipment, showroom and service bay LED lighting, sales and administrative offices, lighting and exhaust fans at two parking garage levels, specialty display lighting, overall lighting control system, conduit pathways for security, voice and data communications and installation of a complete fire alarm system.

The electrical design was not fully completed or approved until 12 months into the 15 month construction duration. SME relied on our own design/build experience to maintain the construction schedule and budget. During the first six months of construction, structural footings, concrete and steel walls and flooring systems were underway. These are very difficult construction types to penetrate with electrical systems after the fact. Decisions were made on our part to install electrical conduit, box and sleeve provisions that we believed prudent based on the initial design intentions. Every provision was utilized once the final design was completed.

By implementing value engineering, SME was able to lower costs while allowing us to maintain the construction schedule.

  • Service feeders were changed from copper to aluminum and panelboard feeders were changed to aluminum MC cable.
  • Exhaust fan dampers were designed unnecessarily with dedicated circuits. Based on meetings with the mechanical contractor and understanding the control relationship of all the fans and their respective dampers, the necessary circuits for dampers were reduced by 75%.
  • Lighting controls were designed with two types of redundant control when only one or the other was required by the energy code. We coordinated design meetings with a controls product consultant, determining which control type was best suited for each area and made recommendations for approval towards the most practical and least cost solution.

Prefabrication allows us to perform out-of-sequence work in a controlled environment to facilitate the construction schedule.

  • We routed 181 parking garage fixtures and 103 recessed cans through our prefab shop for installation of power whips and lamps. This allowed for recycling of the cardboard near our shop. Our shop foreman also fabricated a “trailerable” fixture rack so we could tow the fixtures up the helix ramp and to our work areas throughout the garage levels.
  • We built 56 complete and wired assemblies to include the power pack and occupancy or daylighting sensors for the parking garage levels. As an added benefit the field installer’s exposure time, at the wide open garage levels during the cold winter months, was reduced.
  • The design for the stainless steel counter backstop was a compartment to house 116, 120 or 208 volt equipment receptacles. Unfortunately, the stainless steel counters were not available to deliver until the last two weeks of the project. By coordinating with the owner’s counter vendor to early ship the wiring compartments to our prefab shop enabled us to complete our work and deliver the finished compartments to the site to meet our inspection deadlines.

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