Supporting education—now more than ever

Colleges, universities, high schools and academic institutions of all kinds have a major challenge before them this fall, and perhaps for quite some time to come. Indeed, as if their institutional goal of providing an outstanding education to every student wasn’t formidable enough, they now, in the era of COVID-19, have to maintain the highest instructional standards while at the same time keeping everyone continually six feet apart for optimum health and safety.

While the procedures and methodologies for doing so are extensive, one practical consideration that comes up again and again is that the added spacing adds up to, well, the need for more space. That means, for example, turning big and often makeshift areas into ad hoc classroom space where students can safely spread out—auditoriums, lobbies, warehouses, hangars, trailers, even outdoor tented areas created out of fields and parking lots.

Reclaiming these spaces and outfitting them appropriately for their new educational mission can take a lot of reconfiguring, from seating to décor to providing power and data connectivity where and when it is needed—and that latter need is where Hubbell can help. The company has several innovative products that can allow educators to get convenient electrical power, USB charging, Ethernet connectivity, A/V, phone jacks and more quickly into nearly any space on a permanent or temporary basis.

And while students and teachers are the ones who benefit from these products every day, a perhaps hidden constituency from their purview—but one that is always top of mind for Hubbell—are the contractors who are charged with installing these products upfront. Contractors’ health and safety is also at risk every day, and Hubbell products are designed to also help them meet their challenges in the era of COVID-19, with products offering streamlined procedures that support one person installation and reduce the need for multiple people to be in tight spaces on a project—and get them on and off the job site faster too. Meanwhile, the enhanced speed and ease of installation also help contractors save time and money for our customers in common—the educational institution.

To help schools and their trusted contractors make the best choices for themselves and those that depend upon them, Hubbell has published a number of helpful documents and resources. The brochure Wiring Systems Education Facilities Solutions for Delivering Power, Data and AV discusses a number of solutions in detail, while the Distance By Design Quick Reference Guide provides an at-a-glance review of products that help provide both labor saving and jobsite distancing benefits for projects of all kinds. I invite you to download both pdfs right now, free of charge. FYI—an interesting added bonus to the online version of the one page Reference Guide is that it includes QR codes that are also hot linked, each designed to instantly get you to more detailed information on each product line no matter what device you are reading on.

A few quick examples

Since everyone’s needs are different, I encourage you to take a look through these documents—they are chock full of helpful information. Based on my experience in the education market, and having spoken to many contractors who we partner with to serve them, I can mention a few products to whet your appetite a bit and help you start to see some of the many safety-optimizing possibilities.

Perhaps one product that I hear the most compliments about is Hubbell’s pre-wired raceways. Usually when contractors install a raceway the labor intensive work involved is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle with dozens of covers, plates, fittings, elbows, end caps and other parts all laid out on the ground and several people working on top of each other to fit all the pieces together. Inefficient, and, in the age of social distancing, potentially unsafe. Fortunately, that erector set methodology can be a thing of the past. Hubbell’s pre-wired raceways are just that—a complex subassembly built to your exact specifications with high QA standards in our factory, and delivered all ready to install—a fast, one man job in most cases. Less labor, less chance for error, and, certainly, safer. I should note that contractors often tell us that, while Hubbell isn’t the only company to offer the pre-wired raceway concept, Hubbell engineers have perfected it. For example, in addition to the meticulous consultative planning process Hubbell offers, the company has an exacting methodology to ensure optimum aesthetics with covers and cover plates cut from the same extrusion, avoiding that unfortunate mismatched look common to this product area in general. And, Hubbell uses a system whereby raceways are packaged, shipped, organized and labeled by room, making deployment easy at the jobsite. It’s a customer-focused service that gets a lot of accolades and appreciation from contractors across the country.

There’s a lot of excitement around Hubbell pre-wired raceways in the education market right now, but that’s far from the only product that is helping educators and their contractors meet their challenges come the fall semester. When it comes to configuring an “ad hoc” space like a tent or trailer with power and data quickly and efficiently—or temporarily adding capacity to any room—there’s nothing quite like the Hubbell Floortrak PRO. No jackhammering concrete or drilling the walls, just lay it down and with minimal wiring at most you’ve got all the access you need. And if you need to move that capacity to another room in six months—you can do so quickly and easily.

If I had to mention one more product generating a lot of excitement in education circles, it would be Hubbell’s proprietary SNAPConnect devices. This innovative design allows contractors to prewire a pigtail in the rough-in stage and then quickly snap in the receptacle during installation, saving several minutes per piece and allowing fewer workers to do more faster. But what educational institutions really like is that, once installed, nearly anyone can pull out the receptacle and replace it with a new one—no electrician required. Need to change from duplex to USB? No problem, just snap it in. Students a little too rough on the receptacle and it needs replacement? No problem, just snap it in!

There’s a lot more to tell you, but why not check it out for yourself? Download the Wiring Systems Education Facilities Solutions for Delivering Power, Data and AV brochure and/or the Distance By Design Quick Reference Guide right now. And if you have any questions, call us or your local Hubbell representative any time.

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