2018 Electrical Code Revision CycleHandbookJanuary 2018

Table of Contents1. BackgroundA. PurposeB. New York City Electrical CodeC. History of New York City Electrical CodeD. Three Year Revision Cycle22. GoalsA. Submit revisions to the City CouncilB. RevisionsC. Consensus33. Code Revision Committee Structure4A. Managing CommitteeB. Technical CommitteesC. Ad-hoc Working Meetings4. Code Revision Cycle Process10A. Department ReviewB. Presentation of Proposed RevisionsC. Committee Review of Proposed RevisionsD. Legal ReviewE.F.G.H.Managing Committee ReviewMediationAd-hoc Working MeetingsCode of Conduct1

1. BACKGROUNDA. Purpose. The New York City Department of Buildings is mandated to keep theNew York City Electrical Code up to date with the latest version of the NationalElectrical Code (NEC). To this end, the Department is organizing technicalcommittees to help review the 2014 version of the NEC and draft amendmentsthat adapt the national standards to the unique requirements of building andconstruction in the city of New YorkB. New York City Electrical Code. The current 2011 New York City Electrical Code(NYCEC) consists of administrative and technical provisions. The technicalprovisions are based on the 2008 NEC with NYC amendments. Theadministrative provisions contain construction and maintenance, licensing, fees,and other provisions that apply universally to the Electrical Code. The ElectricalCode protects public health, safety, and general welfare by establishing minimumrequirements for safe installation of electrical systems.C. History of New York City Electrical Code. New York City has one of the longesthistories of building safety regulation in the United States.The late 19th century and early 20th century witnessed tremendous advancementwith electricity as well as other construction related aspects of building residentialand commercial property in New York City, pushing buildings to heights neverbefore dreamed possible. Building laws accommodated the new technology.Plumbers were licensed in 1881. Rules for elevators were promulgated in 1885.In 1889, regulations governing outdoor wiring were issued. In 1913, New YorkCity published the first set of rules and regulations for all electrical installations,and by 1915 these evolved into the city's first Electrical Code.Adopted in 1915, the New York City Electrical Code reflected the first set ofcodified electrical standards in the United States. This modern code provided afoundation that helped spur the growth our City experienced over the nextcentury. As the last century drew to a close, however, the existing ElectricalCode had become increasingly unwieldy and outdated. Despite substantialchanges and improvements in electrical technology, the code had not undergonea major revision since its 1987 edition.Local Law 64 of 2001 addressed these shortcomings of the Electrical Code byreplacing it with the 1999 National Fire Protection Association’s NationalElectrical Code (“NEC”), NFPA 70. The legislation required periodic revision ofthe Code’s technical provisions, ensuring that the Code will always be up-to-dateand reflect the latest standards. It was followed by Local Law 41 of 2002, aprerequisite to completing the new Code, as it adopted amendments tailoring the2

NEC to the specific needs of the City’s high-density urban environment. The firstrevision in this new scheme was Local Law 81 of 2003, which adopted NEC 2002with amendments. Local Law 49 of 2006, adopting NEC 2005 with amendments,followed three years later. Finally the current code, enacted by Local Law 39 of2011, adopted the 2008 edition of the NEC with amendments, and becameeffective July 1, 2011.After 2011 the New York City Council enacted many local laws to improve thecode including those resulting from our collective experiences in 2013 fromSuper Storm Sandy. These local laws improved the resiliency of the city with theintroduction of mitigation against flood hazards, and improved backup powerreadiness of buildings.D. Periodic Revisions. To ensure the City’s electrical provisions remain current,Local Law 64 of 2001 required a mandatory periodic revision of the Code'stechnical provisions, thereby ensuring that the Code would always be up-to-date.As a result, beginning in 2003, and continuing every third year thereafter, theDepartment of Buildings has been required to submit proposed amendments ofthe Code based upon the latest edition of the NEC to the City Council.2. GOALSA. Submit Revisions to the City Council. All revisions to the New York CityElectrical Code must be incorporated into a local law, approved by the New YorkCity Council and signed into law by the mayor.B. Revisions. This New York City Electrical Code revision cycle is intended toincorporate the 2014 NEC with NYC appropriate amendments. Additionally,amendments will address the following:i.Mirror the NYC Construction Codes revision process. Efforts will be made toharmonize the NYC Electrical Code with the Construction Codes, in bothrevision process and requirements. This effort will mirror the process theDepartment successfully used to revise the construction codes that includesthe use of technical committees that reach consensus regarding the NYCspecific amendments. (See below for more details.)ii. Carry over previous amendments as necessary. Amendments resulting fromprevious code revision efforts will be assessed in the context of the 2014NEC provisions, and incorporated into amendments as necessary.iii. New technology. Efforts will be made to accommodate new, safer equipmentand energy saving technologies by incorporating the latest nationalstandards.3

iv. Cost savings. Efforts will be made to reduce, streamline, or eliminate costly,out of date, or inefficient code provisions while maintaining public safety.C. Consensus. Achieving consensus on all proposed amendments to the 2014NEC is vital to ensuring a code that is balanced and will meet the needs of thediverse built environment of New York City.A consensus-based approach is a process in which committee members worktogether to find a mutually acceptable solution. This definition does not meanunanimity of thought or abandonment of values.Indeed, one of thecharacteristics of a well-constructed agreement is that it represents diversevalues and interests. ‘Agreement’ is an acknowledgment that things can moveforward, that participants support a decision even if it may not be exactly asinitially envisioned. Given the variety of issues under consideration, the resultingagreement often garners varying levels of enthusiasm and support, but onbalance, is one that each stakeholder can accept.The consensus processes used to develop revisions for the New York CityElectrical Code revision process will be bound by the following principles:i.Consensus Decision Making. All technical committees will make decisions byunanimous agreement rather than by majority vote.ii. Inclusiveness. All necessary interests will be represented on the committees.iii. Accountability. Participants will represent stakeholder groups or interests.They will be accountable both to their constituents and to the process.Technical committees must come to consensus on technical provisions andwill review administrative provisions in an advisory capacity. The ManagingCommittee must come to consensus on all provisions.3. CODE REVISION COMMITTEE STRUCTUREThe Assistant Commissioner of Technical Affairs and Code Development (theAssistant Commissioner) or his or her designee is responsible for overseeing thisElectrical Code revision cycle. As necessary, the Assistant Commissioner will assignstaff and resources to complete the code revision.The Deputy Commissioner for Legal Affairs (The Deputy Commissioner) or his or herdesignee is responsible for overseeing the administrative provisions of the ElectricalCode. As, necessary the Deputy Commissioner will assign staff and resources tocomplete this aspect of the code revision.4

To facilitate the code revision process the Department is dedicating staff to the effortand organizing the following industry stakeholder committees:A. Managing Committee. The Managing Committee, formally known as theElectrical Code Advisory Committee (ECAC), is responsible for reviewing andaccepting the 2014 NEC and the NYC-specific amendments that are proposedby the technical and advisory committees. Except for text mediated as part of thisrevision cycle, the Managing Committee must achieve consensus on allproposed revisions in order for the revision to be incorporated into thesubmission to the City Council.i.Managing Committee Time Commitment.Members of the ManagingCommittee must attend all Managing Committee meetings. Committeemembers may be removed or replaced at the discretion of the AssistantCommissioner for repeatedly missing meetings.ii. Managing Committee Members. The Managing Committee will be comprisedof technical committee chairs and vice-chairs, along with construction, labor,real estate, government, professional, and other stakeholders.Members of the Managing Committee will be volunteers, nominated by theirstakeholder organization to represent the viewpoint of such organization onthe Managing Committee. Individuals on the Managing Committee may notrepresent more than one organization, and no organization may have morethan one representative on the Managing Committee.All members of the Managing Committee are subject to a background checkperformed by the city, and approval of the Department.iii. Managing Committee Alternates. Managing Committee members areexpected to attend all meetings. However, per the approval of the chair, acommittee member may send a substitute to attend a meeting in their placedue to illness, urgent personal business, unavoidable scheduling conflict, orother similar reason.iv. Managing Committee Chair and Vice-Chair. The Assistant Commissioner willserve as the chair of the Managing Committee or will designate executivestaff in his or her place. A vice-chair of the Managing Committee may beappointed by the Assistant Commissioner.With the assistance of the coordinator, the chair will be responsible for thefollowing: Maintaining focus, control and progress of committee meetings,5

Determining committee structure for review of assigned text,Setting meeting agendas, schedules and assignments,Identifying committee scribe,Reviewing the local law of proposed text amendments,Identifying issues that require the formation of working committees orother sub-groups to work on committee-related issues,Determining the need for technical guest experts,Encouraging consensus-based resolution, andRequesting mediation for non-consensus items.The vice-chair will serve as chair when called upon.v. DOB Managing Committee Coordinator. The Assistant Commissioner willassign a Department staff member who will serve as the coordinator for theManaging Committee.The Managing Committee coordinator will be responsible for the following: Assisting the committee chair in his/her responsibilities, Distributing documents to committee members, Preparing committee meeting summaries, including attendance records, Documenting committee determinations, Compiling code revisions developed by the committee, Maintaining the official work products of the committee, and Liaising between the committee(s) and the Department, including Managing Committee Guest Experts. As needed, the chair may invite aguest expert(s) to participate in a limited number of committee meetings toprovide guidance to the committee on a specific subject(s). Such guestexpert(s) will not be considered a member of the committee, and their opinionwill not be binding on the consensus process.vii. Managing Committee Working Panels. Working Panels are groups within thecommittee, formed at the direction of the chair, to review and provideguidance to the committee on specific issues. Working panels may consist ofmembers of the Managing Committee, and/or guest experts, as needed. Apanel leader will be designated by the chair to oversee the progress of theworking panel, to prepare findings and to present them to the ManagingCommittee. Working panels are not required to achieve consensus, and theirfindings or recommendations will not be binding upon the ManagingCommittee.6

B. Technical Committees. The technical committees, formally known as ElectricalCode Revision and Interpretation Committee (ECRIC) are responsible forreviewing and accepting portions of the 2014 NEC and drafting NYC-specificamendments as necessary.For the review of technical provisions the committees will utilize a consensusbased process. The technical review will be conducted by six individual technicalcommittees which are responsible for reviewing specific chapters of the 2014National Electrical Code and developing appropriate amendments. Members areassigned to committees based on their subject matter expertise.The technical committees will also be responsible for reviewing the proposedadministrative provisions applicable to the New York City Electrical Code in anadvisory capacity. The Department will consider the recommendations andfinalize the text of the code revision(s) for review by the Managing Committee.i.Continuation of the Electrical Code Revision and Interpretation Committee(ECRIC) Duties. The ECRIC Interpretation Committee will be referred to asECRIC-IC. The ECRIC code revision technical committees will hereafter bereferred to as ECRIC-CRC. These technical committees are not responsiblefor the ongoing interpretation of the electrical code standards, which willremain with the ECRIC Interpretation Committee. Serving as an electricalcode revision member does not exclude one from participating on theinterpretation committee and vice versa. Members of the code revisionprocess may also sit on the Interpretation Committee and vice versa.D. Technical Committee Members Time Commitment: Members of technicalcommittees must attend all technical committee meetings.