6A — April 25 - May 15, 2014 — Spring Preview — M id A tlantic

Real Estate Journal

A rchitecture

By Kurt Kalafsky, The Aztec Corporation New Jersey building codes: “Do I really have to follow them?”

p r o j e c t ? ” The qu i c k a n swe r i s “All of them” but it’s a bit more com- p l e x t h a n that. Build- ing codes are written into W

eareoftenasked the question “Which codes impact my

ing to anyone not familiar with them. You should first know how New Jersey building codes are put into law. The New Jersey Legislature can pass construction laws. It can also delegate rulemaking authority to administrative agencies like the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. In most cases, it is this Department that authorizes New Jersey building codes. Like most states, however, what the Department of Com- munity Affairs does is adopt third-party building codes.

For example, the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association.

Department of Communit Af- fairs has a Division of Codes and Standards. Individuals

adopted, you can go to the New Jersey Department of Commu- nity Affairs Codes and Regu- lations website (http://www. state.nj.us/dca/divisions/codes/ codreg/). On this page, you will find a list of Adopted Codes and Standards. For example, at the time of this writing, the first code listed was the Inter- national Building Code-NJ ed., 2009 which means that New Jersey has adopted the 2009 International Building Code with certain changes that have been made spe- cific for New Jersey. There is also a National Electric Code 2011 and many other building codes. — Below the code names the source of each adopted code is listed. While the codes can come from either the International Code Council or national associations deal- ing with certain construction industries, the State of New Jersey can also create its own sub-codes like the rehabilita- tion sub-code which pertains specifically to existin, previ- ously occupied buildings. — To the right of each code is information on state amend- ments. If a specific code is applicable to your project, you should always know what am- mendments have been made, as they override the standard code. Even if you purchase a code book, you cannot rely solely on that code book when engaging in construction and building projects in New Jer- sey. The Uniform Construction Code (UCC) is part of the New Jersey Administrative Code. It also lists which codes have been adopted by the State of New Jersey but more importantly it spells out all of the exceptions. For example, New Jersey has adopted the American National Standard ICC/ ANSI A117.1- 2003 for its accessibility codes but the UCC has 41 exceptions that ovverride and/or omit specific items and/or complete sections of this code. In Closing, Codes and Stan- dards can be confusing and are subject to interpretation, but that may be the subject of my next article. It’s always a good idea to consult a professional that has the knowledge and ex- perience of working with them on a daily basis. Kurt Kalafsky is the prin- cipal of quality control and compliance at the Aztec Corporation of Aztec Archi- tects, LLC. n

“Building codes are written into law to protect the health, safety and human welfare of the general public, but the volumnious codes, sub-codes and ordinances can be daunting.”

These outside organizations create building codes that are adopted by states. New Jersey will also amend parts of the adopted international or national codes to suit local needs or desires. The State of New Jersey

and companies must comply with the various New Jersey building codes. Here is what you need to know to find out which codes apply to your project: — To find what New Jersey building codes are currently

Kurt Kalafsky

law to protect the health, safety and human welfare of the general public, but the volumnious codes, sub-codes and ordinances can be daunt-




From clients to employees, your environment has an effect on everyone. It’s often the first…and last impression they see. Can your image afford to let those opportunities pass without making the most of them? “Total Architecture” is our mantra at Aztec. Let it make a difference for you.

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Woodbridge Place, 517 Route One South, Iselin, NJ 08830

Call 732.636.8989 or visit www.aztec-architects.com

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