New Jersey Building Codes

New Jersey building codes are a set of stringent regulations that govern all aspects of construction, ensuring safety, structural integrity, and energy efficiency in the state. From residential homes to commercial structures, these codes dictate everything from design and materials to inspections and permits. Staying well-versed in New Jersey’s building codes is essential for architects, builders, and property owners to create secure and compliant structures.

new jersey

Current Commercial Code

Uniform Construction Code (NJAC 5:23-3.18)
Uniform Construction Code (NJAC 5:23-3.18)
Based on the 2018 International Building Code (IBC)
Passed in 2019, effective since September 1, 2019

Current Residential Code

Uniform Construction Code (NJAC 5:23-3.18)
Uniform Construction Code (NJAC 5:23-3.14)
Based on the 2018 International Residential Code (IRC)
Passed in 2019, effective since September 1, 2019

Climate Zones: 4A, 5A


Code Adoption and Change Process

Code Change Process

Legislative and Regulatory Process: The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act stipulates that model codes and standards publications not be adopted more frequently than once every three years. The Commissioner of Community Affairs may make an amendment if it is found that an imminent peril exists to the public’s health, safety, or welfare, or that the current code is contrary to the intent of the legislation mandating the code. The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) itself does not have the legislative authority to amend the code to include new material from codes not yet adopted.

Code Change Cycle

The three-year code cycle is concurrent with the publication of new editions of the model codes.

Next Code Update
  • Proposed Codes: 2021 International Building Code (IBC), 2021 International Residential Code (IRC), and 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
  • Review Process: The adoption process involves a period of public comment and review by various committees and the Department of Community Affairs (DCA), which oversees the state’s Uniform Construction Code.
  • Anticipated Adoption Date: While there is no official confirmation yet, if New Jersey continues its pattern, the adoption could be expected around late 2023 or 2024. This would allow time for review, any state-specific amendments, and for stakeholders to prepare for the transition.

History

Late 2023/2024 (Anticipated) Proposed Codes: 2021 International Building Code (IBC), 2021 International Residential Code (IRC), and 2021 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). Review and anticipated adoption process involves public comment, committee reviews, and oversight by the Department of Community Affairs (DCA).
2019 Adoption of the 2018 editions of the International Building Code (IBC), International Residential Code (IRC), and International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), effective September 1, 2019. These codes ensure modern safety, accessibility, and energy efficiency standards.
January 2013 Implementation of duct testing requirements is delayed until this date.
September 7, 2010 A DCA final rule adopting new state building codes is published in the New Jersey Register (42 N.J.R. 2043a) and becomes effective. The rule incorporates the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007, with a six-month transition period. Implementation of duct testing requirements is delayed until January 2013.
September 8, 2009 DCA proposes a rule amending the energy subcode of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code to incorporate the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2007.
August 2009 DCA issues a request for public comments on its proposed adoption of the 2009 International Code series, including the 2009 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2007.
August 6, 2009 Governor John Corzine signs S. 702 into law, authorizing DCA to amend the State Uniform Construction Code’s energy subcode. The energy subcode may be amended by the DCA without regard to the statutory three-year minimum interval for adopting revisions until before 2012.
February 20, 2007 New Jersey adopts the 2006 IECC with amendments. ASHRAE/IESNA 90.1-2004 is adopted as the new commercial code with minor amendments. There is a six-month transition period for compliance.
October 23, 2006 Legislation (A 3595) to promote energy efficiency and conservation in buildings is introduced and passed on June 21, 2007. It authorizes the Commissioner of Community Affairs to amend the energy subcode and directs the publication of a green building manual.
January 1, 1977 The Uniform Construction Code Regulations (NJAC 5:23-1 et seq.) go into effect. The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code is divided into subcodes that are adopted individually. The energy subcode contains the energy provisions.
October 7, 1975 The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code Act is passed, becoming effective on February 3, 1976. All construction codes and their enforcement are controlled by the provisions stated in the act.

Contacts

Robert Austin
Construction Official
New Jersey Division of Community Affairs
Email: raustin@dca.state.nj.us

Lou Mraw
Supervisor of Enforcement
Office of Regulatory Affairs
Division of Community Affairs
Email: lou.mraw@dca.nj.gov

Carolyn Sarno Goldthwaite
Senior Program Manager
High Performance Buildings
Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP)
Email: cgoldthwaite@neep.org


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