Older Auditorium Gets Power at Every Seat

Older Auditorium Gets Power at Every Seat

Legrand’s Wiremold OFR Series Overfloor Raceway installed in the University of Illinois’ dated auditorium

The Challenge: As technology advances, classrooms need to change. Many older facilities for education were designed before laptops were mandatory, and a streamlined power solution was often not an early consideration. This was the case for the 230-seat Large Animal Clinic auditorium, located at the University of Illinois’ College of Veterinary Medicine.

Initially, the school ran power in Wiremold® 2400 Series raceway along the outer walls of the two-aisle auditorium when students first started bringing their laptops and tablets to classes. This worked in part: The left and right tiers of seats had power, but the center rows required extension cords.

Using extension cords presented a serious trip hazard in the steeply banked lecture hall. This danger caused concern for the school, who reached out to Legrand for another solution for providing power.

The New, Customized Solution: Because there was no access under the floor, and vertical drops were not a possibility either, it made sense to run electrical wiring over the floor. Legrand presented Wiremold OFR Series overfloor raceway, which is designed to securely route electrical wires and cables across the floor.

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

This challenge did not stop the Legrand team. Kunkel asked for an answer, and it was provided. “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 timeline. I was impressed,” he said.

OFR Series overfloor raceway provided a better alternative to old-style rubber wire guards, which aren’t permanent and can’t be easily secured to the floor. Unlike other products, this ADA-compliant system attaches directly to the floor covering, even on carpet, tile and wood. Installers don’t have to remove or cut into existing floor coverings. Additionally, the cover, made of textured black powder, resists scuffing and scratches. It’s also very difficult to remove without the proper tools, which discourages unwanted access.

OFR was installed from the wall behind the lectern, across the floor and up the center riser in stair-step fashion up to the top tier. The OFR then feeds the 2400 raceway, which was installed laterally across the front of every other tier. Receptacles on the 2400 raceway were flipped over, pointing up. This installation gives students power at their feet and right behind them, depending on where they sit. There was now a durable, permanent and easily accessible power solution for every single seat in the lecture hall – just what the school needed to adapt.

To learn more about Legrand, please visit: https://www.legrand.us/.

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