The New York Engineers Blog
The New York Engineers' MEP Engineering blog provides best information and tips on MEP design, Energy saving, building codes, and new trends in the industry.
As explained in a previous article, the Uniform Construction Code provides the requirements for all new construction and renovation projects in the state of New Jersey. The code includes a series of subcodes for specific building systems and for certain occupancy types, and one of them is the Energy Subcode (NJAC 5:23-3.18). It establishes the minimum energy performance requirements for new constructions and building additions in New Jersey.
New York City plans to reduce its emissions by 80% by the year 2050, compared with the levels measured in 2005. Both energy efficiency and renewable energy generation are key elements of emissions reduction, and commercial buildings represent a significant portion of energy consumption in NYC. As a result, any upgrades that reduce the energy footprint of buildings can greatly contribute towards the city’s sustainability goals.
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Automatic sprinkler systems play a very important role in making buildings safe for occupants, since they are one of the first lines of defense if a fire breaks out, along with fire alarms. A properly-designed automatic sprinkler system can quench minor fires by itself, and buys additional time for the fire department if there is a major fire.
Lighting system design is a very important aspect of construction projects, and the best performance is achieved when lighting is specified through detailed calculations and not “rules of thumb”. However, lighting has a key difference with other building systems like HVAC and plumbing: there is a subjective and artistic factor involved. Lighting systems must provide adequate visibility, but they also set the ambiance of built environments.
As discussed in some of our previous articles, New Jersey is strongly focused on making its buildings greener, and this is achieved in great part through the NJ Clean Energy Program. One of the sub-programs is SmartStart Buildings, which provides financial incentives for energy efficiency measures in commercial and industrial facilities. Both new constructions and existing buildings are eligible for the rebates provided through the program, and the NJCEP has incentive tables and pre-programmed worksheets to simplify the rebate calculation procedure.
Potable water can only be distributed effectively among faucets, showers, toilets and other plumbing fixtures if delivered with sufficient pressure. The minimum flow rate and pressure values for New York City are specified in Chapter 6 of the NYC Plumbing Code, and they vary depending on the specific type of fixture. The required values for some of the most common plumbing fixtures are the following:
Cable installation is one of the activities that demands the most man-hours from electricians in building construction and renovation projects. The use of a reliable wire management system makes the installation simpler and safer, and cable bus is very useful when dealing with medium-voltage conductors. The NFPA 70 National Electrical Code dedicates Chapter 3 to Wiring Methods and Materials, including raceway systems for conductors above 600V.
The Uniform Construction Code is the basis for all construction projects in New Jersey, and it can be found in the NJ Administrative Code (NJAC), Title 5, Ch. 23. The code provides general requirements for projects, including a series of subcodes dealing with specific building systems: space heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electricity, etc. In turn, subcodes use national and international standards as their base, while adding specific requirements for New Jersey.
New Jersey offers many incentives for property owners, most of them focusing on energy efficiency and renewable generation, as well as Urban Enterprise Zones. Construction incentives improve the financial outlook of projects, either by lowering their net cost or by adding to the benefits achieved.
Building access can be blocked partially or completely during a fire or other emergency situations, which means firefighters need alternate ways to enter or leave the building. Since rooftops can be used for these purposes, the NYC Fire Code establishes minimum clearances and accessibility requirements.