Heads up: There are no suggested sections in this chapter.
Heads up: There are no amended sections in this chapter.
  1. This subchapter, adopted pursuant to authority of the State Uniform Construction Code Act (P.L. 1975, c.217), and entitled "Rehabilitation Subcode," shall be known and may be cited throughout the regulations as N.J.A.C. 5:23-6, and when referred to in subchapter 6 of this chapter, may be cited as "this subchapter" or "this subcode." Unless otherwise specifically provided, all references to article or section numbers, or to provisions not specifically identified by number, shall be construed to refer to such article, section or provision of this subchapter.
  2. Scope: Except as otherwise specified, this subchapter shall control all matters concerning the repair, renovation, alteration, reconstruction, change of use, and addition to all buildings and structures and their service equipment as defined herein and shall apply to all existing buildings and structures in the State of New Jersey.
    1. This subchapter shall not be applied to any building or portion thereof that has never been occupied. In such buildings or spaces, the requirements of the other subcodes of the Uniform Construction Code for new construction shall apply.
    2. All work shall be classified by the construction official, in consultation with the appropriate subcode official(s), as one or more of six categories: repair, renovation, alteration, reconstruction, change of use, and additions. Specific requirements are established for each work category.
      1. If a structure is demolished except for a de minimis amount, the construction official shall designate the replacement structure as a new structure and apply the requirements of the Uniform Construction Code applicable to new construction.
    3. Work of more than one category may be part of a single work project.
      1. Where a project includes repair, renovation or alteration work, then the work in each such category shall comply with the requirements for that category of work.
      2. Where a project is a reconstruction project which includes repair, renovation or alteration work, then the work in each such category shall comply with the requirements for that category of work.
      3. Where an alteration project results in a new building element, then each such new element shall comply with the requirements for new building elements.
      4. Where a project is a reconstruction project, then the entire work area shall comply with the basic requirements of this subcode. Where a reconstruction project in a building involves more than one work area, then each work area shall comply with the requirements of this subcode. Additionally, reconstruction projects shall comply with the supplemental requirements of this subcode where they exceed the size requirements specified by this subcode in the sections governing supplemental requirements.
      5. Where the use of a building or portion thereof is changed, then the building or portion thereof shall be made to conform to the requirements of this subcode for a change of use. Where work is required by N.J.A.C. 5:23-6.31 for a change of use to be approved, then that work shall comply with the requirements of this subcode for changes of use. Where a project undertaken in connection with a change of use involves repairs, renovations or alterations which are not required by this subcode for the change of use, then the work in each such category shall comply with the requirements of this subcode for that category.
      6. Where the work project involves an addition to a building, then the addition shall comply with the requirements of the other subcodes of the Uniform Construction Code for new buildings. Any repair, renovation or alteration undertaken in an existing building in connection with an addition shall comply with the requirements of this subcode for such category of work.
  3. Compliance: The only requirements of the other subcodes of the UCC that apply are specifically set forth in this subchapter. Compliance with the requirements of the other subcodes of the Uniform Construction Code is not required for work in existing buildings. However, building components already in compliance with the requirements of the other subcodes of the Uniform Construction Code shall be replaced with components that comply. Where no year or edition is given for a standard referenced in this subchapter, the year or edition shall be the one referenced in the other subcode(s) of the UCC.
    1. Buildings in compliance with the current edition of the applicable subcode shall not be required to comply with any more restrictive requirement of this subcode.
    2. The repairs, renovations, alterations, reconstruction, and changes of use and/or additions, of any building or structure currently existing shall conform to the requirements of this subchapter. Where compliance with the provisions of this subchapter would result in practical difficulty, the owner may apply for a variation in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.10.
    3. Any variation previously issued in writing pursuant to the UCC shall remain in force and effect unless the work to be performed during the course of the rehabilitation project causes one of the conditions of the variation to be violated or would otherwise create a hazardous condition.
    4. As an alternative to compliance with the building and fire protection requirements of this subchapter, a permit applicant shall be allowed to evaluate the building in accordance with Sections 1401.5 through 1401.9 of the International Existing Building Code, as referenced by the building subcode, incorporated herein by reference, and to bring the building into compliance with the standards contained therein.
    5. When a project is undertaken in an existing building having a group designation that no longer represents the use due to subsequent adoptions of each subcode, the current group designation that most closely resembles the approved use shall be used as the basis for applying the requirements of this subchapter.
  4. Permits: The requirements of this subchapter shall apply to all rehabilitation work without regard to whether a permit is required for such work. It should not be assumed that a permit is required simply because a requirement is established by this subchapter. Determinations as to whether a permit is required shall be made in accordance with the administrative provisions of the UCC contained at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.
  5. Enforcement Responsibilities: Responsibility for the enforcement of the provisions of this subchapter shall be as indicated in parentheses at the end of each section, subsection, paragraph or subparagraph, as appropriate (for example, in a subsection of several paragraphs, the enforcement responsibility shall be in parentheses after the subsection's last paragraph). For provisions of other subcodes of the Uniform Construction Code referenced herein, enforcement responsibility shall be as indicated in N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.4.
    1. Assignment of enforcement responsibility for a requirement does not imply that work undertaken that would not otherwise require a permit under the provisions of N.J.A.C. 5:23-2 of the Uniform Construction Code would now require a permit. Assignment of enforcement responsibility means that when there is a permit required or a complaint lodged, the designated subcode official is responsible. The parenthetical notes shall have the following meanings:
      1. "Building" means that responsibility is assigned to the building subcode official.
      2. "Fire" means that responsibility is assigned to the fire protection subcode official.
      3. "Electrical" means that responsibility is assigned to the electrical subcode official.
      4. "Plumbing" means that responsibility is assigned to the plumbing subcode official.
      5. "Elevator" means that responsibility is assigned to the elevator subcode official.
    2. Responsibility for the enforcement of mechanical requirements in buildings of Group R-3 or R-5 may be assigned as delineated in N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.4 at the discretion of the construction official.
  6. Pre-Existing Buildings: Buildings or structures legally in existence at the time of the adoption or subsequent amendment of this subchapter may continue in use and nothing herein shall be interpreted as requiring the repair, renovation, alteration or reconstruction of such building, except as provided at N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.32, Unsafe Structures.
  7. Relationship of this subcode to other codes, rules, and ordinances, shall be as follows:
    1. It is the intent of this subcode to provide a uniform, Statewide, harmonious system of rehabilitation regulations applicable to all existing buildings and structures in the State. No code, ordinance, rule, regulation of any municipality, county, board, department, commission or agency thereof, shall establish any requirement for any matter covered by this subcode.
      1. Exterior light fixtures that replace existing light fixtures shall comply with a municipal ordinance adopted to control light pollution.
    2. It is the intent of this subcode to establish requirements for reconstruction projects which are at least as stringent as the requirements applicable to that area under the Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70, the Regulations for Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings (N.J.A.C. 5:10) and the New Jersey State Housing Code (N.J.A.C. 5:28). This subcode shall not be interpreted as establishing requirements less stringent than these codes.
    3. Certificates of occupancy issued for projects in compliance with the requirements of this subcode are specific to the work undertaken and shall not obviate the need for the building to be brought into compliance with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 5:70-4.
      1. Notwithstanding the above, a variation issued in writing pursuant to the UCC in connection with a rehabilitation project shall remain in force and effect provided that all of the conditions of the variation continue to be met and shall be accepted for purposes of establishing compliance with N.J.A.C. 5:70-4 for the portion of the building to which the variation applies.
    4. This subcode is not intended to establish minimum standards of habitability for housing. No provision of any State or municipal housing code or the equivalent which establishes minimum standards for natural light, natural ventilation, minimum habitable floor area per occupant, or requirements for heat shall be deemed to be affected or superseded by this subchapter.
    5. Where work is proposed to an existing commercial farm building or where the use of a building is changed to a commercial farm building, the building shall be permitted to comply with the requirements of N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.2(d). For items not specifically covered by N.J.A.C. 5:23-3.2(d), the project shall comply with the requirements of this subchapter applicable to Group S-2.
    6. The repair, renovation, alteration, reconstruction or change of use of health care facilities shall be in accordance with this code and with the "Guidelines for Design and Construction of Health Care Facilities," Facilities Guidelines Institute, current edition. All health care facilities shall comply with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101, the Life Safety Code, as referenced in the rules promulgated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In the event of any conflict, the more restrictive code provision shall govern.
  8. Correction of Violations of Other Codes: Alterations or renovations mandated by any property, housing, or fire safety maintenance code or mandated by any licensing rule or ordinance, adopted pursuant to law, shall conform only to the requirements of that code, rule, or ordinance and shall not be required to conform to this subchapter unless the code requiring such alterations so provides.
  9. Variations: Building owners wishing to use an alternative to compliance with specific provisions of this subcode shall submit request(s) for variations in writing in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.10. For variation requests involving fire safety, the construction official shall consult with the fire official. If the fire official is also licensed as a fire subcode official under the Uniform Construction Code, then the approval of the fire official shall be required on such variation requests.
  10. Asbestos hazard abatement projects and lead hazard abatement projects shall not be categorized as reconstruction projects in and of themselves despite the fact that occupancy of the work area is not permitted. However, all related construction work undertaken in connection with such projects and all replacement materials used shall comply with the applicable provisions of this subcode.
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