The Architectural Impact of 2017 NEC Meeting Room Outlet Requirements

The 2017 National Electrical Code was recently adopted by Massachusetts on January 1, 2017. Under this code, meeting rooms with an area of 1,000 square feet or less are now required to be provided with a minimum number of electrical outlets as follows:

  • Wall outlets shall be provided such that no point measured horizontally along the floor line of any wall space wider than 2 feet is more than 6 feet from an outlet (NEC 210.71(B)(1) & 210.52(A)). Floor outlets within 18 inches of the wall may be counted towards this requirement (NEC 210.52(A)(4)).
  • A meeting room that is at least 12 feet wide and that has a floor area of at least 215 square feet shall have at least one receptacle outlet located in the floor at a distance not less than 6 feet from any fixed wall for each 215 square or major portion of floor space (NEC 210.71(B)(2)).
  • Where a room or space is provided with movable partition(s), each room size shall be determined with the partition in the position that results in the smallest size meeting room (NEC 210.71(A)).

Once the minimum number of fixtures is determined, the outlets can be located as determined by the designer or building owner, and don’t necessarily have to fall within the dimensions above (NEC 210.71(B)). An example of two compliant layouts are shown at left. Due to the glass partitions in the lower room, the preference may be to locate the wall outlets to the stud wall.

Depending on your project, installing floor outlets may also create challenges, especially in existing buildings. Existing assembly spaces are permitted to remain as is; however new assembly spaces in existing buildings are subject to compliance with this requirement.

If you’re running into this on your project and are having difficulties developing a solution, please do not hesitate to contact us.