On November 5, 2012, the adoption of a new rule, plan release with conditions, was published in the New Jersey Register. It is effective immediately. This article seeks to provide a brief explanation for the development of this rule and then a summary of the changes it makes.

Background: The Department had received complaints about the lack of predictable timeframes in rehabilitation projects, particularly in tenant fit-outs upon a change of tenancy. The lack of predictability in timeframes meant that business owners and project managers could not provide an accurate move-in timeframe for their tenants or clients. In response to the concerns that were expressed, the Department formed a small working group. Serving on it were representatives of the business community, property managers, design professionals, and code enforcement officials. The focus of the small working group was to devise a process to provide predictability in the plan review process for…

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In New Jersey, various building codes change every three years. The following building codes are presently scheduled to change this coming Spring:

–          International Building Code – NJ Edition 2009

–          National Standard Plumbing Code – 2009

–          International Energy Conservation Code NJ Edition 2009

–          ASHRAE 90.1.2007

–          International Mechanical Code – 2009

–          International Fuel Gas Code – 2009

–          International Residential Code – NJ Edition 2009

–          ANSI – A117.1 – 2003

The National Electric Code, 2011 was adopted May 7, 2012 and is not expected to change further until May 2015.

Once the approved list of new codes is issued, a list with the proper names will be provided. Also the date the codes will be officially adopted will be provided which is typically six months after they are approved. This is known as a “grace period” where the old codes or the new codes can…

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The use of an Integrated Design Process has been growing around the globe. In today’s world of technology and information sharing, owners are finding that there are many benefits to this process, most notably a lower overall cost and a better end product.

The design of a building, or most any project for that matter, requires the integration of a multitude of information, all which must be seamlessly integrated into the end product. An integrated process, sometimes call a “Whole Building Process”, is one which includes the participation of users, Architects, Engineers, Contractors, Code Officials, Estimators, Specifications Writers, and Consultants from many other specialized fields. The best buildings are created as a result of active and ongoing, collaboration of all the players.

Generally the end user identifies the need for a building. An experienced architect can perform a Facilities Audit to identify existing space use and the need for expansion…

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