But one minor rewiring in such a large document may savebuilders millions of dollars, they say. On July 17, the NFPAStandards Council overturned a committee recommendation and a voteby association membership two months earlier, which had defeated achange in the code that the NMHC and NAA had sought for years. Theopposition groups has been seeking a provision to allow them to usenon-metallic, sheathed wiring--also known as romex wiring--inbuildings more than three stories tall.

The National Multi Housing Council and the National ApartmentAssociation are celebrating a change in the code that allows themto save money, time and labor on constructing apartment buildings."The wiring doesn't know what story it's on," contends Ron Nickson,vice president of building codes for NMHC. "If it's safe on athree-story building, why isn't it safe in a high-risebuilding?"

Nickson said a provision was added to the 100-year old NEC codeabout 20 years ago that prohibits romex wiring in taller buildings.At issue here is the reasoning that buildings with fewer storiesare made from combustible material--mainly wood--and tallerbuildings are made from gypsum, concrete steel studs and the likeand require a non-combustible wiring.

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