Chicago To Align Itself With 2017 National Electrical Code

Chicago is setting the example for all big cities in the United States of America, as it is one of the first major cities to adopt the 2017 National Electrical Code. The latest standards of the 2017 National Electrical Code focuses on savings, safety, and sustainability for all the residents of America.

On September 6th, 2017, the City Council of Chicago made a huge decision by voting to adopt the latest standards of the 2017 National Electrical Code. The latest electrical code will make sure that industries in Chicago have higher energy efficiency, refine safety requirements, and lower the energy bills for businesses and residents.

As the city of Chicago is world-class standards and growing economy, it attracts businesses and talents alike. The Mayor of the city, Rahm Emanuel understands the importance of the city. He wants the city to be built for the future so that it lasts for countless generations. As a result of this train of thought, he adopted the 2017 National Electrical Code so that the current building codes get updated to focus on energy efficiency and sustainability.

During the Council City’s meeting in July, the Department of Buildings and Rahm Emanuel brought forward the ordinance for approval. Rahm Emanuel had reinstated the Chicago Electrical Commission in 2015, were the ones behind the recommendation to bring Chicago’s existing building codes up-to-date.

Remarkable Improvement

Thanks to their initiative, Chicago’s building codes will now be on the verge of being in par with the national standards of the country. The following areas will see significant improvement, due to the National Electrical Code:

  • The cost of renovation construction in non-residential and residential rehabilitation will reduce as flexible metal conduit will be used extensively.
  • The lighting design loads can reduce up to 83% because of the latest lighting calculation technologies and methods. As a result of this, electrical usage and installation cost of the electrical fittings will come down significantly in commercial and residential buildings.
  • Installation of solar energy and other types of renewable energy will be up-to-date with the latest industry standards.
  • Newly constructed buildings will have to follow the latest requirements for carbon dioxide and smoke detectors.
  • Health care facilities will receive additional provisions for improved safety and technology.

The 2017 National Electrical Code has 156 articles, which the Chicago building codes have to adopt. Out of those 156 articles, about half of them will be adopted by the city without making any local amendments. On the plus side, the remaining codes will also be adopted by Chicago, after making minor local changes to them.

Out of all the changes made to the amendments, the city of Chicago retained codes that focus on improving electrical safety in buildings and industries. Chicago is going to make sure that everyone in the city follows its strict requirements for emergency generators, emergency lighting, and usage of metal conduit to reduce costs and enhance electrical safety.

A City For The Future

According to Judy Frydland, the Building Commissioner of Chicago, the city had to reinstate Chicago’s Electrical Commission after a break of 14 years, so that they could study and understand how the Electrical Code of Chicago could be updated.

Thanks to the efforts of the Electrical Commission, the building industry will be able to save considerable amounts of money and time, due to ultra-modern technologies. These updated codes will make the life easier for those involved in inspections and permissions as it will reduce the time for these activities.

Since 2016, the Chicago Electrical Commission and city officials have been working together to see how they can adopt 2017 National Electrical Code. Their hard work made sure that Chicago will be a city for the future!

To give the building industry time to understand the NEC 2017, the ordinance will allow permit applications to proceed under the current electrical code or NEC 2017 until March 1, 2018 when the new ordinance will become effective.