New Law Authorizes "Green" Building Code

On August 6, 2009, Governor Jon Corzine signed into law legislation that authorizes the incorporation of “green building” requirements into New Jersey’s Uniform Construction Code

P.L. 2009, Ch. 106 (the “Act”) authorizes the Commissioner of Community Affairs to amend the Uniform Construction Code’s energy subcode to establish enhanced energy-saving construction requirements, which requirements “may exceed the requirements of national model codes.”

While the Act specifically adds the International Energy Conservation Code as one of the model code alternatives to be used as a basis of the energy subcode (thus ensuring that the State’s code will be based on national standards), it also provides that the Commissioner may amend or supplement this energy subcode at any time, although only once, prior to 2012. 

In amending the subcode, the commissioner must rely upon 10-year energy price projections provided by an institution of higher education, and the added costs of such construction requirements must be “reasonably recoverable” through energy conservation over a period of not more than seven (7) years. 

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