Energy Code Requirements
The Department of Community Affairs has adopted changes to the Uniform Construction Code regarding the enforcement of the energy code. The adoption requires applicants to show compliance with the energy subcode and sets forth specific ways of showing compliance.
Residential IECC/2006Residential buildings applicants have four options for complying. The options are: submission of written calculations, enrollment in the "NJ energy Star Homes" (NJESH) program, compliance with prescriptive packages, or use of the REScheck software. Listed below is a brief description of the compliance options.
Handwritten calculations are an acceptable, although somewhat unattractive, method of showing compliance. They are time consuming to both create and review. The Department anticipates that this will be the least used option.
Applicants can also demonstrate compliance by showing that they are enrolled in the "NJESH" program. "NJESH" is sponsored by NJ Board of Public Utilities through its Clean Energy Program where the buildr is given rebates for constructing homes that are more efficient than the energy code requires. As part of the program, the local utility company or its consultant does both a plan review and field
inspections. Therefore, if the bulder is enrolled in the program there is no need for either a plan review or field inspections for energy code compliance by the municipality.
Applicants may also use REScheck software to show compliance. The software essenetially performs the energy calculations described above and allows trade-offs between building components. For example it will let you under-insulate walls for a commensurate over insulation of the ceiling. It also allows trade-offs between HVAC equipment and building components. The software may be downloaded from the U.S. Department of Energy's web site. (www.energycodes.gov). Please see Bulletin 07-2 for further guidance.
The final method of complying is with the use of prescriptive packages. The packages show typical insulation levels, glazing percentages, window characteristics and equipment efficiencies. If an applicant's design shows insulation levels and equipment efficiencies that are the same or higherthen the typical levels, and window "u" values and glazing percentages that are the same or lower then the typical levels, then the design complies. No other calculations are needed. The apppllicant simply needs to indicate which package was selected. A copy of the various packages is included below. Please see Bulletin 07-2 for the applicable prescriptive packages.
There are forms for single family dwelling and for multifamily dwelddings for each of the four heating degree day regions in the state.
Commercial ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004Commercial building applicants have two ways of showing compliance. The methods are long hand calculations and the use of software. For commercial buildings, longhand calculations have the same draw-back that they have for residential applications, they are time consuming to generate and check. The Department anticipates that the software will be the preferred option.
Commercial software is available from the same site as the residential software. The software is called COMCheck and is listed under "compliance tools." There is no New
Jersey version of the commercial software. New Jersey is using the 2004 version of ASHRAE 90.1. The software downloaded from the site should be based on this standard. This software can be used for most commercial building designs. COMCheck cannot be used to demonstrate a whole building performance (energy budget) approach. The whole building performance approach takes advantage of code provisions that are not normally used, such as credits for day lighting. It will allow for trade-offs between building components and can be used for the majority of commercial buildings. Please see Bulletin 07-2 for further guidance.
Questions on the energy subcode can be directed to the code assistance unit by telephone at (609) 984-7609
U.S. Department of energy
International Code Council (ICC)
American Society of Heating,
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning