Several jurisdictions in southern Nevada have begun enforcement of the next edition of construction codes, including the Southern Nevada Electrical Code, which is based on the 2008 National Electrical Code® (NEC). Jurisdictions include the cities of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Boulder City, Mesquite, as well as Pahrump Regional Planning District, Clark County, and Clark County School District.
The process to update the codes began in 2009 with formation of the code subcommittees by the Southern Nevada Building Officials (SNBO). Each subcommittee reviewed the new editions of the assigned codes and proposed amendments. The stated desire of the building officials was to minimize amendments; they asked for documentation and rationale for all submissions.
For the electrical code, several existing amendments were eliminated and there was discussion on other modifications. Some new NEC requirements also were reviewed. Two provisions that generated significant discussion were the expansion of arc-fault circuit interrupters (AFCI) and tamper-resistant receptacles (TRR). Based on direction from building officials, there was little or no justification to alter or remove these provisions.
While the reduction in local amendments and inclusion of major revisions to the 2008 NEC should be seen as a significant step toward meeting NEMA’s goal of adoption without amendment, it should be noted that adoption of this set of codes is advisory. Each individual jurisdiction must adopt the codes separately.
In the name of consistency, building officials strongly recommend adoption of the codes as recognized by SNBO. As a word of caution: there are reports that some of the local jurisdictions might modify some of the SNBO-recommended provisions, notably the TRR requirements. NEMA will continue to monitor the local adoption activities in the area and will report on any new developments.
Joe Andre, Field Representative | firstname.lastname@example.org