This piece was originally published in the July 2016 issue of electroindustry.
Don Iverson, Midwest Field Representative, NEMA
As the 2017 National Electrical Code® (NEC) approaches the final stages in its development, several states have begun the adoption process. NEC advocates in those states are optimistic about being early-adoption leaders in 2017.
Illinois is a local-adoption state. This means that municipalities with a building department may adopt and amend building codes at their leisure. Recently, Winnebago County, which encompasses the cities of Rockford and Loves Park, as well as unincorporated areas, adopted the 2015 International Code Council (ICC) building codes and the 2014 NEC with several amendments. Many districts had amended the NEC to exclude critical fire and electrical safety provisions in their communities. With this adoption, arc-fault circuit interrupters and ground-fault protection were added without amendments to the current building codes adoption package. Adoption took effect in April.
The state legislature voted in March to adopt the 2014 NEC without amendment, with an effective date of July 1. This adoption process began in 2014, with the state fire marshal’s office and the local electrical industry supporting fire and electrical safety.
In March, Denver adopted new building and fire codes, including the ICC’s 2015 editions of the International Building Code, International Residential Code, International Fire Code, International Existing Building Code, International Mechanical Code, International Plumbing Code, International Fuel Gas Code, and International Energy Conservation Code with amendments.
In Denver’s residential code, provisions were added to section R326 that would require future allowances for vehicle charging equipment:
R326.1 Electric vehicle charging. For new one- or two-family dwellings, each with a dedicated attached or detached garage, a minimum continuous load of 4800VA shall be included as part of the electrical service load calculations. This additional load shall be permitted to allow the inhabitant(s) the installation of a charging station for electric vehicles without the need of upgrading the electrical service of the dwelling. In addition to the spare power capacity, the premise’s electrical panel shall have at least two spare spaces for the installation of a two-pole breaker for the charging station and conduit shall be routed from the electrical panel to the garage, unless wiring and receptacle for such use are installed.
Exception: Additions to existing one- or two-family dwellings and townhomes constructed per the International Residential Code are exempt from this requirement.
HUD Manufactured Housing Standards
In 2015, I was asked to sit on the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC) Technical Subcommittee. The committee’s task is to assist in updating the current HUD 3280.801 document, which provides required standards on homebuilding for the makers of manufactured housing. The electrical portion of this document references the 2005 NEC with amendments.
In January, I attended the MHCC meeting in Louisville, Kentucky, where I explained the extent of the code changes from 2005 to 2014 to the main committee. Currently, the subcommittee is working on the electrical portion of HUD 3280.801, with several scheduled meetings to finalize the proposal.
The goal is to submit the 2014 NEC proposal package to the MHCC at its meeting in August.