Northwest Community College

Electrical System Upgrade



  • Electrical
    From preconstruction to construction to post project support and service, Houle provides all your electrical construction and renovation needs.

Scope of Work

Completed: 2015

Owner: Northwest Community College

Northwest Community College (NWCC) is a rapidly growing college located in Terrace, BC. The electrical distribution system, originating from 1965, showed signs of age and trouble. Since the electrical system required replacement, NWCC decided to upgrade the entire system. The College issued a request for proposal late spring, for all work to be completed before school started the first week of September. Houle’s proposal was the only one submitted whose schedule met the deadline.

Houle replaced the existing aging hydro pole. The replacement included the 25,000 volt switchgear on the pole. 800 feet of underground 25,000 volt cable was switched out by pulling it through existing manholes. The main disconnect switch and transformer was replaced and upgraded to accommodate future growth. In addition to the high voltage work, Houle replaced the low voltage CDP panel feeding branch panels to the entire college. Provisions were made to accommodate the installation of a future generator. Once installed, the switchgear, fuses, transformer, and cables were tested.

Houle was awarded the project less than 2.5 months before completion date, giving Houle a very small window of opportunity to fabricate the transformer and switchgear. With NWCC summer students residing on campus and the need to preserve food in the cafeteria, power was required during the shutdown period. Houle supplied a temporary generator to mitigate power disruptions.

Since NWCC operated using 25,000 volts, none of the installation could be completed prior to shut-down. To complete the project on time, 16 carefully selected suppliers and subcontractors needed to complete their part of the project. Cooperation with all trades was the key to the success of this project.

Houle’s original aggressive schedule submitted in the proposal allowed for ten days of shutdown. Due to time constraints, NWCC could only allow for six days. The Houle team completed the entire project in less than five days (102 hours). The team was able to custom fabricate the high voltage switchgear and CDP panel to fit the existing conditions. In addition to having materials ready and waiting, contingency plans were in place to accommodate any unforeseen issues.

“I am completely satisfied with Houle’s professionalism, before, during and after the project was complete. Communication was great with weekly teleconference planning meetings, and regular site meetings. They delivered the project on time and at the price quoted. I would definitely contact Houle Electric to work with them on any future electrical projects.”

~Brian Coverdale, Lead Hand/Foreman, Northwest Community College