Category Archives: Codes & Regulations

Information on codes and regulations that effect architecture in New Jersey.

The BIG Ask

By Jerome Leslie Eben, AIA
AIANJ Member of the ArchiPAC Steering Committee

For those who do not know, ArchiPAC is the only federal political action committee (PAC) speaking up for members of the AIA. The mission has been and continues to be to support candidates running for the US House and Senate who support AIA’s initiatives to preserve the profession and promote positive solutions for the built environment. The Stearing Committee works with both sides of the aisle and this has been a key strategy for moving the AIA’s legislative agenda through Congress.

In one way or another I have been involved with ArchiPAC for over a decade. Back in 2006 we had jus 23 donations that totaled $3,351. Our numbers of donators and individual donations have steadily increased and by the end of last year, we had raised just over $10K.

With just two and one half months left we are some $3K short of that goal. Increasing our goal, which this year was to 10% above last year’s numbers, would elevate effectiveness and compete with our counterparts in the building and construction industry. By doing so we would in effect elevate the debate on Capitol Hill by bringing awareness to the issues that impact the practice of OUR profession from tax policies that affect cash flow to energy policies that impact how buildings are designed.

The above explanation leads to the BIG ask from me to all of you to make your donation before December 31st of this year.  It is easy to do so long as your check is not a corporate one. I am especially asking our entire current and past leadership to step up and make your donation and help with the ask so others will also contribute.

You can make your donation by visiting the contribution website or mail a check payable to ArchiPAC to AIA Headquarters at 1735 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20006



Thank you

[email protected]

“Hurriplan” Training Reigns on AIA New Jersey Architects

by: Laurence E. Parisi, AIA – Regional Disaster Assistance Coordinator


aianj_hurriplan1Recent training sponsored by The New Jersey Society of Architects was held at the Holliday Inn, in East Windsor, NJ. This two day event brought a wealth of pre-hurricane strategic planning knowledge to a community of some 60 New Jersey architects all eager to grasp valuable insight into Hurriplan. This skillfully prepared program which had its origin at the University of Hawaii is funded by FEMA and was presented by three well versed and highly knowledgeable instructors who also happen to be practicing architects. This trio of Hurriplan instructors dedicate themselves to bringing this vital knowledge based program into fruition as it relates to climate change and the ever evolving threats to coastal communities. Whether you believe it or not climate change is here.

Admittedly, when I first heard the name “Hurriplan” I questioned its validity. After a few hours into the program I realized I was mistaken. I began to visualize that the premise and concept of this program was sound, formidable and very much in line with the objectives of AIANJ’s Homeland Security mission statement.

Our first day included training on the aspects of pre-hurricane planning with a full and detailed background on specific design criteria in order to mitigate the damage that is surly caused by Cat 4 hurricanes that have graced the coastal shores of New Jersey.

The second day led us to a design charrette for a safe house for the city of Cape May proposed on a school site within the proximity of the of hurricane alley.

Presentation drawings prepared by attending architects were posted and critiques were given by the instructors on the beneficial characteristics of each design parti. Overall the designs as submitted were excellent.

As emphasized by Don Watson, FAIA, Architects should be at the forefront as leaders of a community movement to provide protection in the way of advanced planning to mitigate damages and conserve property and preserve life and the built environment.aianj_hurriplan2

Course Instructors,

Don Watson, FAIA, unassuming and the lead instructor of the Hurriplan course is a former dean of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a present professor there as well. He is also a visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture. He is a practicing architect who has dedicated his career toward the energetic resolve of what are the bases for and of disaster mitigation.

Dean Sokotomoto,FAIA, B. Arch. University of Oregon, M. Arch. Cranbrook Academy of Art and a graduate of Yale with a degree in Environmental Design. He is a Hurriplan instructor and also is a practicing architect with offices in Hawaii and Connecticut. A forerunner and co-creator of this Hurriplan program he is a vital force with this dynamic trio.

Illya Azaroff, AIA, Hurriplan instructor is an Associate Professor at New York City College of Technology (CUNY) where he is a recognized expert in disaster mitigation and resilient building strategies. He is also a practicing architect with offices in Brooklyn, NY. Illya is very active with AIA-NY and a friend and ally to AIA-NJ. He is a forerunner in the disaster assistance program in NY and also is the AIA-NY Regional Representative. His knowledge in hurricane planning is further qualified by his undergraduate studies in meteorology.

Overall, Hurriplan is a worthwhile program for the advancement of the architectural community. Taking advantage of this and other programs offered by AIA-NJ is more than advisable it is beneficial to the relevance of your architectural practice. Look for other learning programs offered by AIA-NJ that will be coming to your knowledge community soon.

DOE Energy Code Training

Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Building Energy Codes Program

TOMORROW:  The Energy Codes Commentator

Daylighting Controls in Commercial Buildings

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program is excited to announce the next event in its Energy Code Commentator training series!

Daylighting Controls in Commercial Buildings

Featuring Rahul Athalye, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Thursday, September 8th at 1pm (eastern)

Registration is now available by clicking the above link!

What’s the Energy Code Commentator?

The DOE Building Energy Codes Program hosts a webinar-based training series called the Energy Code Commentator.  The series spans a variety of special topics of interest to all energy code stakeholders–for both residential & commercial buildings. Events will be held regularly on the second Thursday of each month at 1pm (eastern).  Check out the DOE Building Energy Codes Program training portal for the scheduled lineup and recordings of past events!

If you have suggestions for future topics or speakers, please submit them to [email protected].


Earth Day Irony

AIAeagle_2016By Russell A. Davidson, FAIA

As the U.S. Senate passed its long-delayed energy bill April 21, the irony was acute. Here was the world’s greatest deliberative body voting to kill carbon-cutting requirements for the federal government – on the eve of Earth Day and the signing of the COP 21 climate treaty in Paris.

In three short lines in more than 800-pages of legislation, the Senate repealed a policy that is already helping buildings owned by Uncle Sam – the nation’s largest landlord – cut greenhouse gas emissions. Specifically, the Senate voted to eliminate Section 433 from the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which requires that new and majorly renovated federal buildings meet incremental targets leading to net zero energy consumption by 2030. The House last year also voted to repeal this provision in the landmark statute, an action which President Obama at the time said he would veto.

Through design, our profession is helping guide building owners, consumers and governments – particularly Uncle Sam – to be leaders in energy conservation and reduced dependence on the use of fossil fuels. Residential and commercial buildings account for almost 40 percent of both total U.S. energy consumption and carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. According to government statistics, better designed buildings have already saved our country approximately $560 billion in energy costs since 2005.

So why is Congress so determined to roll back this common-sense and money-saving provision? Section 433’s opponents (primarily the fossil fuel lobby) claim that it is simply too difficult to implement. But that ignores the realities of a market where such renovated federal buildings like the Wayne Aspinall federal courthouse in Colorado and the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in Portland, Ore. are meeting the 2030 targets right now. In fact, the renovated Portland building was delivered 10 months early, saving taxpayers more than $900,000 in the process.

Meanwhile, stakeholders from a broad array of industries have been working with the Energy Department to implement this rule in a way that is smart, efficient, and effective.

Requiring significant energy reduction targets in new and majorly renovated federal buildings demonstrates to the private sector that Uncle Sam can set an example for other nations to follow. The targets help spur the development of new materials, construction techniques, and technologies to make buildings more energy efficient. And they show that significant energy reductions are both practical and cost- effective.

That’s why not only architects, but more than 300 other groups oppose efforts to weaken this energy-saving policy. We hope this short- sighted repeal is stripped from any bill that emerges from a House-Senate conference. And if it isn’t, the president should veto this mis- guided legislation.

Russell A. Davidson, FAIA, is president of the American Institute of Architects.

AIANJ Lightweight Task Update

AIAeagle_2016AIA NJ President Justin Mihalik, AIA, was interviewed on May 25 on News 12 NJ regarding the AIA-NJ Taskforce on Lightweight Construction.  The task force issued it’s findings, hoping for positive changes that foster greater public safety.

Read the full article here –


Understanding RREM & LMI Homeowners Rebuilding Program

RREM Outreach Flyer 5 2016

NJ DCA Announces RREM and LMI Training Session

The New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA), Sandy Recovery Division is hosting a Training Session about the Reconstruction, Rehabilitation, Elevation, and Mitigation (RREM) Program and Low- to Moderate-Income (LMI) Homeowners Rebuilding Program from 12:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 30th, at the Moonachie Civic Center in Moonachie, Bergen County. Below, please find a flyer with additional information. This session is intended for both architects already working with homeowners in the program and those interested in working with homeowners in the program.

People interested in attending are asked to RSVP to Lisa Ryan at [email protected] at least one day prior to the Training Session to reserve their spot and to submit any suggested questions or topics they would like addressed if time permits. If you have any questions about this program, please contact Lisa Ryan.

Lisa M. Ryan
Director, Strategic Communications
Sandy Recovery Division
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
PO Box 823
Trenton, NJ 08625-0823
(609) 292-7083
[email protected]

Builder Outreach Flyer 3-2016


CE Academy Continuing Education Event

CE Academy organizes 4-8 hours of continuing education in a seminar format so you can earn multiple CE Hours (LU’s) in one day. All courses are educational in content and AIA registered. Many courses also offer continuing education hours for GBCI, GBCI for LEED Professionals, ADA (American Disabilities Act), State specific requirements, and other specialty hours.

CE Academy will manage the reporting of your credits to the AIA and email you certificates of completion after the event.

Questions or register online here.

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NOTE:  This is not an AIA New Jersey event, the provider is a registered Continuing Education provider, please contact them directly with any questions.


2015 NJ Code Update

AIAeagle_2016On September 21, 2015, NJ formally adopted the 2015 ICC series of codes including the International Building Code (IBC), the International Residential Code (IRC), the International Mechanical Code (IMC), the International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC) and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) along with the National Electric Code NFPA 70-2014.

As with all NJ subcode revisions there is a 6 month grace period in which the design professional can chose to use either the current or previous version of the code. The grace period is about to expire, and all applications submitted for plan review after March 21, 2016 will be required to use the 2015 codes.

The National Standard Plumbing Code 2015,  was not adopted until January 4 2016, so the option to use the previous version of the plumbing subcode only, is still available until July 6, 2016.

This is the first code update since 2009 and it comes with literally hundreds of changes.

Below is a small sample of some of the significant changes to the code.

  • Wind born debris regions that trigger the requirement for impact resistant glazing have been modified. This will affect many buildings along the NJ Shore.
  • Institutional uses, including medical offices & assisted living facilities will be affected by the addition of “Occupancy Conditions.”
  • Most of the Barrier Free Subcode requirements have been moved to Chapter 11 of IBC.
  • Egress requirements from mezzanines have been changed.
  • New sprinkler requirements for buildings with assembly occupancies on roofs.
  • New requirements for low level “Exit” signs in some occupancies.

Visit the NJ Department of Community Affairs (DCA) home page for a complete list of code adoptions with links to full versions of the codes online.

Robert Longo, AIA
AIANJ Codes & Standards Chair

President’s Message -Illegal Practice

JAM_headshotEarlier this month a story broke out of California from Fox News on two people who posed as licensed engineers and using stolen software, drew up plans for homes, apartments, commercial properties and strip malls in at least 56 cities in Southern California since 2003.  These two men worked for a Professional Engineering firm and were “moonlighting” and were even poaching clients of the firm that employed them, which is what eventually led to the demise of their illegal actions.  “There has never been a case involving alleged engineering fraud of this magnitude”, was a quote from the Detective on the case, who further was quoted saying,“ we just don’t know if the houses are safe, unsafe or suitable for habitation”.

I have spent many of my years as the Chair of the Licensing Subcommittee on the AIANJ Legislative & Government Affairs Committee, and throughout that time received communication from many members about people practicing architecture illegally in their community and what AIANJ would do about it.  When I explained that it was their individual responsibility as a Registered Architect in NJ to report to the State Board of Architects of said illegal practice, the members were not willing to act.  Why?  Well in most cases they were afraid of some kind of repercussions.  What repercussions could be worse than the effects that illegal practice has on our profession?  Cheaper fees, sub-par services including construction without supervision, etc.  I have said to each and every person who talks to me about this subject that it is OUR responsibility to police OUR industry.  I personally submitted a complaint against a “designer” who proudly displayed their lawn sign, proudly marketed their services on their Facebook page with testimonials from clients and proudly presented themselves as an Architect.  It was the lawn sign that told me the person was not a registered architect and led me to check with the State Board of Architects website and voila, no license!  The designer gave all the necessary evidence through their Facebook page and website for me to use against them.  I submitted a complaint to the State Board of Architects and a couple months later received a copy of the findings of the Board, which resulted in over $9,000 in fines.  But the fines were not only levied against the designer, but against the registered Architect who signed and sealed the plans.

There is no doubt in my mind that there are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of dollars lost to the illegal practice of architecture here in NJ.  The people practicing illegally are employees who are moonlighting, designers who went to architecture school but just don’t want to commit to the licensing process, design-builders, contractors, the list goes on.  AIANJ is committed to take this problem on by way of educating the public about illegal practice and the dangers of those people who are posing as registered Architects.  This subject is very important to the organization, but we cannot do this alone.  We need our members to act vigilantly and report illegal activity to the State Board of Architects by filing a complaint.  The form is very simple and takes 15 minutes to complete.  I am also providing a link to a AIANJ Blog article on this subject providing more detailed information on filing a complaint.

We must all understand that the real repercussions by not filing a complaint are allowing those who are practicing illegally to continue to do so and to have a direct impact against our businesses and livelihoods.  Once we take this seriously, we will begin to elevate the Value of the Architect.


Justin A. Mihalik, AIA

AIA New Jersey 2016 President