New Jersey construction permit applications filed on or after March 3, 2020, must comply with the state’s 2017/2018 building codes. Familiarity with the updates in this code can help construction companies avoid costly code violations.

Review the most recent changes to New Jersey construction codes for upcoming projects.

New fire sprinkler rules

Educational institutions with occupancy of 300 or more must now have fire sprinklers. The fire sprinkler rules for schools now mirror those for New Jersey indoor sports venus, worship locations and performing arts arenas.

The New Jersey building code also now requires fire sprinklers or other protection for multifamily apartment buildings of fewer than five stories with a single attic. Construction companies can opt for fire-safe insulation or fire-retardant building materials in lieu of fire sprinklers.

Codes for rooftop decks

Outdoor spaces on the roofs of homes, bars and restaurants are trending in both urban and suburban areas in New Jersey. The building code reflects the popularity of rooftop decks, gardens and common spaces with new regulations for structure height, occupancy limits and enclosure caps.

Business occupancy updates

Business locations must now limit occupancy to one person per 150 gross square feet, an increase from 100 square feet per person. The change does not apply to stairwells, exits and doorways. Stock trading floors and other high-capacity areas also have an exemption under the new law.

A periodical legal review of the local and state building codes helps keep construction companies in compliance with these complex and ever-changing laws. Failure to meet the current building standards can result in a lawsuit.