In today’s workplace, meetings rarely take place without at least one type of electronic device being involved. But when electrical outlets are limited and demand is high, people just want to find a way to plug in their devices and they don’t stop to think about safety. As a result, meeting rooms are often cluttered with daisy chains of extension cords and power strips, forming trip hazards and running the risk of overloading circuits. But with an update to the National Electrical Code (NEC), that all changes.
Until recently, the NEC only had rules regarding the placement of electrical outlets in residential homes, not meeting areas in commercial buildings. The 2017 update to NEC’s Section 210.71 requires meeting rooms 1,000 square feet or less have wall outlets (nonlocking type, 125-volt, 15 or 20 ampere) spaced in accordance with NEC 210.52(A)(1) through (4). Floor receptacles need to be no less than 6 feet from a fixed wall and there needs to be one receptacle for every 215 square feet of floor space in rooms that are at least 12 feet wide. If a meeting room is larger than 1,000 square feet but can be partitioned into smaller areas that are under 1,000 square feet, each partitioned area is required to meet these standards.
These requirements are intended to help reduce cord clutter and daisy chains, improving safety and productivity. But installing floor receptacles isn’t easy, particularly if you’re trying to bring an existing space up to code. Thread from Steelcase offers a quick and simple way to comply with the new rules without undertaking a disruptive and expensive project.
With an ultra-thin design, Thread seamlessly fits underneath carpeting without being visible or posing a trip hazard. A modular track system simply guides the wires to low-profile connectors, allowing you to create power stations without the need for trenching or coring. With this kind of flexibility, Thread makes it possible to reconfigure floor outlets if a space needs to be rearranged later on. Thread’s lightweight power hubs are available in two heights and each hub includes a total of six outlets powered by a single circuit 20 amp system.
While the updates to NEC Section 210.71 will make a difference to meeting areas in commercial buildings, they don’t apply to many other locations where electrical outlets are in high demand, like classrooms, coffee shops, or airports. Thread is definitely not just for the office. With its simple installation process, Thread can be used in a wide variety of environments to help create better experiences with minimal disruption to everyday activities.