Primary Contact for State Adoption
Division of Codes and Standards
101 S. Broad St.
P.O. Box 802
Trenton, NJ 08625-0802
State Agency Office Head
Regional Energy Efficiency Organization
State Code Analysis
Model Code Savings Potential
|Statewide Savings Potential (2010-2030)||Residential||Commercial|
|Consumer Cost Savings||Residential
per 1,000 ft2
|Life-cycle (30 year)||$4099||$2110|
|Simple Payback||2.7 years||7.4 years|
|Positive Cash Flow||0.4 years|
|Code Cost-Effectiveness Analysis||2021 IECC, 2018 IECC, 2015 IECC||ASHRAE 90.1-2016, ASHRAE 90.1-2013, ASHRAE 90.1-2019|
|Energy Code Impacts||Energy Code Impacts, State Fact Sheet||Energy Code Impacts, State Fact Sheet|
|EIA State Energy Profile||EIA State Energy Profile||EIA State Energy Profile|
The state of New Jersey passed the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act on October 7, 1975. The Act became effective on February 3, 1976. All construction codes and their enforcement were controlled by the provisions stated in the act. Uniform Construction Code Regulations (NJAC 5:23-1 et seq.) went into effect on January 1, 1977.
The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code is divided into subcodes (model codes and standards) that are adopted individually by the Commissioner of Community Affairs. The energy subcode contains the energy provisions.
The New Jersey Register dated July 6, 1998, indicates that the Division of Codes and Standards has adopted (as amended) the 1993 Building Officials and Code Administrators (BOCA) International National Energy Conservation Code (NECC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) Lighting Energy Management (LEM)-1 standard as its energy subcode. Amendments modifying the energy subcode require commercial buildings (other than R-3, R-4, R-5, and R-2 less than or equal to three stories high as defined in the building subcode) to comply with ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-1989.
Legislation enacted in June 1996 gives the Commissioner of Community Affairs authority to forego the adoption of model codes provisions that are inconsistent with the intent of the Uniform Construction Code Act. The 1995 MEC, referenced in the 1996 BOCA International, National Codes, was not adopted because it was determined to be inconsistent with the intent and purpose of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act.
Several stakeholder groups are arranging to meet with NJ Deptartment of Community Affairs to urge adoption of 95 MEC including basement insulation. The first draft of a recently completed energy code needs assessment indicated strong support for the 95 MEC in NJ. However, builders and state staff questioned the value of basement wall insulation. The report's authors will provide additional analysis of basement wall insulation in the state (BCAP May/June 2000).
On February 20, 2007, NJ adopted the 2006 IECC with amendments. for residential construction and ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2004 for commercial with minor modifications. A six month interim period allows compliance to their previous code or new code.
On September 7, 2010, the 2009 IECC/ASHRAE 90.1-2007 as part of NJ's Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.18 became effective.
The New Jersey standard requires that new buildings larger than 15,000 square feet constructed for the sole use of state entities achieve LEED Silver certification, a two-globe rating on the Green Building Initiative Green Globe rating system, or a comparable numeric rating from another accredited sustainable building certification program. The law exempts free-standing parking facilities, multiple use maintenance facilities, and storage facilities from the requirement. The law will be enforced by director of the Division of Property Management and Construction in the Department of the Treasury in cooperation with the New Jersey Building Authority. With some exceptions, the state is also required to purchase Energy Star products when available.
Executive Order #24, requires all new school designs to incorporate LEED Version 2.0 guidelines to achieve maximum energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in school facilities.
The Executive Order also requires that the New Jersey Economic Development Authority establish a subsidiary corporation, The New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation (SCC), to be responsible for the school facilities project and the state's compliance with the new order. The SCC was subsequently replaced by the New Jersey Schools Development Authority (SDA) in 2007. The SDA mandates that all projects meet all LEED prerequisites and achieve sufficient criteria to score at least 26 points on the LEED rating scale, wherever possible. Registration with USGBC is not required. In its latest biannual report the SDA estimates that approximately 80% of the 70 projects that have taken place since Executive Order No. 24 would have achieved LEED certification had they submitted the necessary application forms.
The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act provides that model codes and standards publications shall not be adopted more frequently than once every three years; however, a revision or amendment may be adopted at any time if the Commissioner of Community Affairs finds that an imminent peril exists to the public's health, safety, or welfare. An announcement in the New Jersey Register is the legal mechanism that establishes the editions of the model codes and standards that have been adopted. Amendments containing all necessary technical and editorial changes generally occur after this Register announcement.
To enforce the requirements of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act, the code officials must be licensed by the Licensing Section of the Bureau of Code Services, Division of Codes and Standards. The construction code enforcement agency having jurisdiction enforces the uniform construction code requirements. The Department of Community Affairs enforces the code for municipalities that have not established a construction code enforcement agency, as well as for state buildings.
In general, an owner applies to the construction code enforcement agency for a construction permit. After completing a plan review the agency issues a release and performs inspections. Therefore, compliance with the code is determined during the plan review and inspection process.
The following requirements are also in the regulations: 1) all permit applications shall include not less than two copies of specifications and plans drawn to scale, with sufficient clarity and detailed dimensions to show the nature and character of the work to be performed; and 2) the construction official and appropriate subcode officials shall periodically inspect the building during construction as necessary to ensure that all work conforms with the approved plans and the requirements of the regulations.
Residential buildings applicants have four options for complying. The options are: submission of written calculations, enrollment in the Energy Star program, compliance with prescriptive packages, or use of the RESCheck software.
Commercial building applicants have two ways of showing compliance. The methods are long hand calculations and the use of software.
Commercial software is available from the same site as the residential software. The software is called COMCheck and is listed under compliance tools. There is no New Jersey version of the commercial software. New Jersey is using the 2007 version of ASHRAE 90.1. The software downloaded from the site should be based on this standard. This software can be used for most commercial building designs. COMCheck cannot be used to demonstrate a whole building performance (energy budget) approach. The whole building performance approach takes advantage of code provisions that are not normally used, such as credits for day lighting. It will allow for trade-offs between building components and can be used for the majority of commercial buildings.