New Jersey Energy Code

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2018 Energy Code

New Jersey has officially adopted the 2018 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The ReVireo team is dedicated to assisting all New Jersey design, development, and construction professionals in the effort to reduce the cost, difficulty, and risk involved with energy code compliance! Effective March 3rd, 2020, all new construction projects in New Jersey are required to permit under the 2018 IECC.

The transition from 2015 IECC to the 2018 IECC is incremental when compared to the transition from 2009 IECC to 2015 IECC that occurred in 2016. Below is an overview of the major changes for both residential construction projects (one- and two-family dwellings, townhouses and multi-family buildings 3 stories or less) and commercial construction projects (any buildings not defined above as residential, including multi-family buildings 4 stories or more).

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Residential Energy Code

The following are key changes that design, development and construction professionals of residential construction projects (one- and two-family dwellings, townhouses and multi-family buildings 3 stories or less) will need to plan for in the energy code change from 2015 to 2018 IECC.

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Window U-factors

The reference window u-factors have been lowered (made more efficient) for all permit pathways. The new required baseline for window u-factors changed to 0.32 from 0.35 for Climate Zone 4 and changed to 0.30 from 0.32 for Climate Zone 5.

Mechanical Ventilation Efficiency

There are new minimum fan efficiency requirements for ERVs and HRVs, which must now have an efficacy of 1.2CFM per watt. The 2015 IECC had added fan efficiency requirements but did not include ERVs or HRVs. The 2018 IECC intentionally specifies the efficiency requirements for ERVs and HRVs.

Lighting

The required minimum percentage of high efficacy lamps (light bulbs) has increased to 90% from 75%.

Energy Rating Index (ERI) Pathway

The target ERI to permit homes under the ERI Pathway (based on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index score) was changed to make it easier to permit homes under this pathway.

Commercial Energy Code

New Jersey amended the 2018 IECC so that the referenced ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 replaces the formerly referenced ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2013.

The following are key changes that design, development and construction professionals of commercial construction projects (any buildings not defined above as residential, including multi-family buildings 4 stories or more) will need to plan for in the energy code change from 2015 to 2018 IECC.

New Compliance Pathway – Performance Rating Method

ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2016 offers a new compliance pathway at permit stage called the Performance Rating Method. This compliance pathway uses Appendix G energy modeling, which was previously only used for above-code programs such as ENERGY STAR and LEED. This pathway will be useful for projects that are pursuing an above-code program and can now use their energy model to demonstrate compliance, as opposed to additionally completing a COMcheck or an Energy Cost Budget energy model.

Building Envelope - Air Tightness

There are new inspections required for building air tightness that specifically requires project teams to develop an air barrier design and installation verification program that includes a design review to confirm compliance with air barrier requirements and periodic field inspections.

Fenestration Performance Increase

Fenestration performance has been increased in both NJ Climate Zones (CZ4 & CZ5). The increases should not create major challenges for project teams but refer to the table below for a breakdown of u-factor requirement changes:

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Lighting Power Densities

The requirements for Lighting Power Densities have become more stringent. This means that buildings are required to lower the installed lighting wattage per square foot. These requirements follow the wide-spread adoption of more efficient LED lights, though you will find that you can often still comply with the requirements using linear fluorescents and compact fluorescent fixtures.

Mechanical Systems

There are several mechanical changes according to different building system types. Generally, these changes affect controls and/or monitoring of mechanical systems. HVAC system efficiency requirement increases are generally modest and in line with products currently available on the market.

ReVireo offers a full suite of commercial energy code compliance services including energy modeling, design consulting, COMcheck & permit pathway documentation, commissioning, and HVAC testing & balancing.

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Residential

Residential Services

Our residential energy code compliance services include energy modeling, design consulting, REScheck & permit pathway documentation, HVAC manual calculations, inspections, envelope (blower door) testing and duct leakage testing. ReVireo can complete all energy code forms.

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Commercial

Commercial Services

Our commercial energy code compliance services include energy modeling, design consulting, COMcheck & permit pathway documentation, commissioning, and HVAC testing & balancing. ReVireo can complete all energy code forms.

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