The following is in the 2011 Draft, I think this trend is beyond the purpose of the NEC. Of course listed floor boxes, particularly poke throughs are expensive and likely have a high profit margin.
210.55 Meeting Rooms. In meeting rooms located in office buildings and hotels/motels, a receptacle outlet in a listed floor box shall be installed in the center of each room. For a dividable meeting room a single receptacle outlet in a listed floor box shall be installed in the center of each partitioned area. [ROP 2-276]
2-276 Log #3700 NEC-P02 Final Action: Accept
(210.55 (New) )
Submitter: Vince Baclawski, National Electrical Manufacturers Association
Recommendation: Add a New Section 210.55 Meeting Rooms to read as
210.55 Meeting Rooms. In meeting rooms located in office buildings and
hotels/motels, a receptacle outlet in a listed floor box shall be installed in the
center of each room. For a dividable meeting room a single receptacle outlet in
a listed floor box shall be installed in the center of each partitioned area.
Substantiation: The purpose of this new section is to increase the number of
access points to the electrical supply to reduce reliance on the use of extension
cords and the number of extended and potentially overloaded in meeting
rooms. Without centrally located receptacles, extension cords are used with
power strips (which are often daisy chained) attached at wall outlets. Extension
cords are a tripping hazard and damaged extension cords are a shock and fire
hazard. The increased use of laptop computers and projection equipment has
led to greater demand for electrical receptacles in convenient locations. The
NEC needs to recognize this trend by requiring receptacles to be installed in
listed floor boxes in the center of meeting areas, thereby reducing the need for
Panel Meeting Action: Accept
Number Eligible to Vote: 12
Ballot Results: Affirmative: 10 Negative: 2
Explanation of Negative:
ORLOWSKI, S.: First, NO documentation was provided to show the current
provisions are a cause of a real fire or other life/fire-safety problem that
would be solved if the floor boxes were mandated. Second, it is unfortunate
that the scope of the NEC does not relate to the NEC being the “minimum”
requirements for “practical safeguarding” for electrical installations. The
proposed requirement is nothing more than mandating a “convenience
outlet that in fact may never be used. With few exceptions, the placement of
receptacle outlets in commercial/industrial occupancies has always been a
design consideration of the architect on consultation with the owner or tenant.
With now mandating this floor receptacle Panel P02 has now made the NEC a
design manual. It cannot be anything else because mandating a floor receptacle
in the “middle of the room” can serve no other purpose than requiring design
criteria the members of this Panel want.
WILKINSON, R.: This is a design matter and should be rejected.
Comment on Affirmative:
WEBER, R.: Once again, the panel has made the correct decision on
accepting this proposal regarding the need for a listed floor receptacle in
meeting rooms located in office buildings and hotel/motels to meet the needs
of today’s IT system requirements and use. The panel may need to look at the
room size and be flexible on the most efficient location for the listed floor
receptacle....but it should be made available and save the daisy chaining of
power cord strips that are now used because of the lack of availability of a
power connection point in the meeting room space.