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Case Study: Urban Commercial Building Retrofit – Electrification Upgrade

When a retrofit project came up requiring the installation of a fire-rated solution that could also deliver a significant increase in ampacity without consuming extra space, it was no surprise one company chose nVent PYROTENAX System 1850 fire-rated MI cables.

From the start of the project, it was clear MI technology, with its superior free air rating, would be a good fit, with over 67,000 feet of wire needing to be installed. Cisco Munoz, Project Manager knew from prior projects that only MI cable could deliver the required ampacity in the allowed space.

Challenge Number One:

There wasn’t a lot of space for all of the power cable needed for the project.


MI is a space saver compared to conduit or wire, meaning up to 4 times more power can be delivered for the same amount of space.

Foreman Martin Beirne also noted that MI cable is durable, waterproof, and can “take a bit of a knocking around,” making it a good choice for heavy-duty projects.

Challenge Number Two:

The installers had not worked with MI cable previously and needed training on how to install it during the project.


nVent PYROTENAX systems are easy to install, and once training was completed, the project was able to move quickly. “They couldn’t believe how the cable started when it was first pulled and hadn’t been shaped yet, to when it was completed and dressed. It really made a transformation,” said Beirne.

MI cable doesn’t have to pull in from various locations, in fact it can be on one constant pull. “We did seven sets on one pull,” said General Foreman James Labarbera. “That’s considerable. Our longest pull was five hundred and ten feet. You don’t have to worry making a splice, adding a splice. The factory splice that comes with the MI is amazing.”

Challenge Number Three:

Some of the project included installation in a parking garage, a challenge that came with its own set of obstacles, including:

  • Fire sprinklers
  • Piping
  • Lighting
  • The height of the structure

The project also required that cable had to be pulled from three floors down, into a basement, across a garage and into a service room – a daunting installation. There were concerns the MI cable would not be able to handle a vertical pull. There was also a leasing issue in the vertical installation, meaning there was a small space available for the installation.


Working with MI cable meant installers were able to choose where the cable ran in relation to these obstacles. “We were enabled to go between the conduits, perpendicular to the house risers that were already established,” said Labarbera.

The MI cable was able to be installed vertically with no issues, a much easier job than anyone anticipated. The successful installation of MI cable in the small, vertical space would not have been possible with conduit and wire.

“Having the comfort of knowing that cable won’t fail when you need it the most, knowing that it’s there, that’s very important. The MI benefit over all is tremendous,” said Labarbera.

Other Benefits During the Project:

  • Traditional methods require a junction box every 360 degrees of bending. MI cable can have multiple bends without the need for a box.
  • The cable is waterproof, chemical proof, fireproof
  • Weight savings while maintaining the malleable nature of the cable
  • Lifetime warranty providing a comfort zone for the customer

“To those companies that never worked with MI, don’t be afraid of it. Pick up the phone and make a very comfortable profit on this particular product,” Munoz said.

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