The decision to acquire a new electrical installation is usually taken in connection with construction of a new building, new premises or the like. The decision may be taken by the end user of the installation or by a developer who intends to sell or lease the premises to third parties. Modification and renovation may also concern only the electrical installation with no other changes made to the building or premises.
Electrical installation design is a specialised area of design performed as part of construction design. The functional goals (lighting, heating, etc.) of the electrical installation as well as safety factors (choice and placement of equipment, shielding, etc.) are determined in connection with electrical design.
Clients are parties who order the electrical installation and, in most cases, the entire construction project as well. Clients may be e.g. end users (future possessors) or developers who intend to sell or lease the premises to third parties.
Principal designers are the parties responsible for the overall planning of the building or other construction project. Electrical design constitutes one of the areas of specialised design within the framework of construction planning as a whole.
Electrical design was subject to qualification requirements in the same manner as electrical contracting prior to 1996. Although formal qualification requirements no longer apply, electrical installation work according to electrical design must naturally still meet electrical safety requirements.