Edition: Vol. 07, No. 10
Edition date: October 24, 2014


Important information from the Oregon Building Codes Division to local building departments.

BCD Office Closures

Holiday - Tuesday, Nov. 11

Holiday - Thursday, Nov. 27

Statewide Interpretations


Jurisdiction Questions or Issues

Email: localjurisdictioncontact.bcd

Brett Salmon

News Updates - October 24, 2014 - Updated Edition

October News Updates Summary

Upcoming Training
• ORSC code-change training begins October 21.
• 2015 Residential Electrical Training course begins November.

Deadlines Approaching
• Building Inspection Program Data Request Forms and Memorandum of Agreements due back to the division by December 1, 2014.
• Group Two building inspection program renewals due January 1, 2015.

High Rise Wood Frame Construction in Oregon
• The OSSC is not intended to inhibit innovative ideas or technological advances.

Most Updated Codes Now in Effect
• OSSC, OEESC, and OMSC were effective July 1. ORSC, OPSC, and OESC were effective October 1.
• Oregon Boiler and Pressure Vessel Specialty Code expected effective date January 1, 2015.

Other Updates
• Summary of the major 2014 OESC code changes below.

**Training Reminder** 2014 Oregon
Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) Changes
(Optional Training in October*)

Covers 2014 code updates in all disciplines, including OESC and OPSC Code Change Training requirements for residential-only inspectors.

The ORSC Code-change course is an optional training that any residential inspector or plans examiner could attend to complete OESC or OPSC code change training for their certification. This class will meet all of your required code change requirements for residential structures in one four- hour session. It is specifically designed to limit the number of hours in the class room for those individuals who are cross trained to perform both residential electrical and plumbing inspections. A cross trained individual in residential plumbing and electrical programs can get their required code change training done in four hours through this class instead of taking the OESC and OPSC courses separately. We encourage you to sign up now!

The first half of the course will cover changes to the electrical and plumbing requirements for residential structures.

Significant electrical code change topics will include:
• Installation and protection of NM cable
• Discussion of grounding and bonding requirements

Significant plumbing code change topics will include:
• Solar thermal installations
• Horizontal wet venting
• Air Admittance Valves (AAV)
• Repairs to existing sewer lines using ASTM F1216
• Scope of residential CAP certification changes

The second half of the course is optional (structural/mechanical and residential inspectors are not required by the division to attend a code change class). The class will cover the most significant changes to the 2014 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) which became effective October 1, 2014 and frequently misinterpreted sections of the code. Instructors will address the following changes:

• Determination for floodplain construction

• Deck Anchorage

• Permit exemptions

• Drainage Plane

• Investigative fees

• Mini-Split Systems

• Wireless Alarms

• Safety Glazing

• Structural and mechanical changes

• Stairs / Landings

This course is scheduled for a single live class in the Portland metro area and two online webinars hosted on the division’s website. The division does have capacity for up to 22 students in our classroom at BCD in Salem if the webinar option is not available for your inspectors.*

October 21

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

October 28
Plumbers and Steamfitters – Local 290

20210 SW Teton Ave.
Tualatin, OR
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

October 29

8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

*(Note: The four hour OESC and OPSC courses also satisfy the residential electrical and plumbing inspector and plans examiner training requirements. If an individual has taken the four hour code change course for the OESC or OPSC already, they do not need to sign up for this residential course.)

The division encourages building officials to register their residential inspection staff for this course. Please contact Dana Fischer, Training Program Support Coordinator, at 503-373-7509.

**Training Reminder** 2015 Residential Inspector Training Course

Update: The division has revised this course and expanded it to provide more options for the needs of a building inspection program and for prospective electrical inspectors.

Beginning November 12, BCD plans to offer a Residential Electrical Inspector Training Course. The cost will be $750 per student which includes the cost of the certification. Please watch for an email notice and an update to the training webpage for registration information.

Course Description: The course is designed to help students understand the codes and processes for performing electrical inspection of dwelling units covered by the Oregon Low-rise Residential Dwelling Code. The course is divided into nine units that cover various components of electrical installations and inspections for residential units. Completion of all nine units provides each student the opportunity to receive an Oregon residential electrical inspection certification. A student does not have to be currently qualified to take this course.

Course Format:
• Students will attend a 4 hour class once a week on Wednesdays for approximately 20 weeks (except holiday weeks where the course may be moved to another day).
• Students may attend classes via webinar or attend the live class in Salem (students must choose one class type for the entire 20 weeks).
• During the 20 weeks, students will complete field inspection homework with the A-Level inspector in his/her own jurisdiction.
• Students who attend the live class at BCD’s Salem office may have the option to complete the field inspection homework with the A-Level inspector in his/her own jurisdiction or with BCD staff.
• Participation is limited to 25 slots for each webinar and to 20 in-person seats at BCD’s Salem office (total 45 participants).

Please contact Dana Fischer, Training Program Support Coordinator, at 503-373-7509 to pre-register.

Training Calendar At-A-Glance

Building Program Renewal Reminder for Group Two –

As year end approaches, Group Two building inspection programs will need to submit a program renewal application to the Building Codes Division no later than January 1, 2015. Group Two jurisdictions are listed below:


Douglas County

Klamath County


Wallowa County





Washington County



Linn County




Grant County




Crook County




Yamhill County

Curry County



Sweet Home



Junction City

Morrow County



Group Two jurisdictions can anticipate receiving program renewal materials by email very soon. Click here for the renewal dates for all building programs. Contact Tyler Larson, Policy Analyst, at 503-373-1227 if you have any renewal questions.

**REMINDER** Building Program Data Request
Form/Memorandum of Agreement – DUE DECEMBER 1

In July, as part of the building inspection program renewal process, the division sent Group One programs two new documents:

• Building Program Data Request Form
• Memorandum of Agreement

Based upon the initial responses received, the division is now requesting that the remaining building inspection programs complete these two documents by Dec. 1, 2014. The documents are explained below:

1. Building Program Data Request Form – This form will help the division gather fiscal year data (FY 2012-2013) for each building inspection program (permits, plans review, inspections, number of employees, budgets and intergovernmental agreements). The division will collect and analyze this information each year in order to help building inspection programs better understand and plan for statewide construction trends.

2. Memorandum of Agreement – In response to comments from the Assistant Attorney General, the division is now requiring that each building inspection program sign a memorandum of agreement to formalize the delegation of authority from the state to local governments that intend to continue operating a building inspection program on the state’s behalf.

Contact Brett Salmon, Interim Manager, Policy & Technical Services, at 503-373-7613, if you have any questions.

Regulation of High Rise Wood Frame Construction in Oregon

Innovations in engineered wood products coupled with advances in contemporary code and reference standards are paving the way for the approval of High Rise Wood Frame (HRWF) structures nationally and internationally.

In Oregon, the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) is the adopted performance code for the regulation of HRWF structures. Both a prescriptive approach as well as an engineered or custom path is available for building owners, designers, and contractors.

In laying out well defined parameters for HRWF’s through the prescriptive path, the intent of the OSSC can be misconstrued as placing limitations on or prohibiting taller wood structures. This simply is not the case.

The OSSC is not intended to inhibit innovative ideas or technological advances. The fact that a material, product or method of construction is not addressed in the code is not an indication that such material, product or method is prohibited.

While prescriptive paths generally limit wood frame construction to 5 stories, modern design approaches for engineered wood products can provide for the acceptance of HRWF buildings well in excess of prescriptive paths, even in high seismic zones like Oregon.

Products such as cross laminated timber, glued laminated wood and laminated veneer lumber not only expand the possibilities for the structural approval of higher wood buildings, but also address fire, life-safety concerns given their ability to char at a very slow and predictable rate.

Any design approach would include the involvement of design professionals such as structural and fire protection engineers. A variety of tools are available in Oregon to provide options for the design team to allow the use of HRWF structures:

• Structural engineering approaches using standard principles of mechanics as well as performance based engineering.
• "Alternate Methods" approach adopted in the OSSC. This approach allows for the use of materials or methods of construction which are at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the OSSC in quality, strength, fire resistance and safety. Examples include acceptance of newly developed codes and standards.
• Any national standard or code that recognizes the use of HRWF structures.
• Use of the ICC Performance Code for Building and Structure: By presenting the designer with regulations based on outcome rather than prescription, this document encourages new design methods by allowing a broader parameter for meeting the intent of Oregon’s adopted codes.
• Use of the emerging technology provisions found in Oregon Statute.
• Customer choice plan review by the state for any project if local officials lack the experience or expertise to review.

Oregon is unique in its ability to provide options and real solutions to almost any proposed building design. Those options can be found both within the codes Oregon adopts, but also specific policy direction from the legislature adopted in statute. For more information contact Richard Rogers, Chief Building Official, State of Oregon, Building Codes Division at 503-378-4472.

2014 Code Adoption Cycle is Complete

The following codes were effective July 1, 2014. Click on each link to view the read-only versions available on the BCD website:

2014 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC)

2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) provisions from Chapter 13 of the OSSC

2014 Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code (OMSC)

The following codes were effective October 1, 2014. Click on each link to view the new Oregon Amendments:

2014 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC)

2014 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code (OPSC)

2014 Oregon Electrical Specialty Code (OESC)

Oregon’s State Building Code has moved to a six year adoption cycle with a three year interim code amendment process that focuses entirely on the existing Oregon code. The next adoption cycle for codes updated this year will start in 2017.

For more information, visit the BCD website to access staff contact information in each Code Program.

2015 Oregon Boiler and Pressure Vessel Specialty Code (OBPVSC)
On October 7, 2014, the Board of Boiler Rules approved the recommendations from the code review committee. The committee recommendations are available on the OBPVSC committee webpage. The division will schedule a public hearing in November and will accept comments about the code changes at that time. The anticipated effective adoption date is January 1, 2015. A notice for this hearing will be posted on the BCD website.

For additional information, contact Tyler Larson, Policy Analyst, at 503-373-1227 or Kevin Perdue, Boiler Program Chief, at 503-373-7499.

2014 Oregon Electrical Specialty Code –
Major Code Change Summary

The 2014 Oregon Electrical Specialty Code was effective on October 1, 2014. Below is a summary of some of the more important code change items during this code change cycle:



OESC 110.26(C)( 3)

Panic hardware is now required on equipment rooms that exceed 800 amps. The previous threshold was 1200 amps.

OESC 210.8(B) Exception

This exception allows a non-GFCI protected single receptacle for sewage or sump pumps in other than dwelling units.

OESC 210.52(G)(1) Exception

A 20 amp branch circuit is permitted to supply the outlet(s) in a garage and the required outside receptacles.

OESC 406.9

Receptacles in wet locations require “extra duty” box hood covers.

OESC 690.11

Arc fault protection for DC photovoltaic installations is effective April 1, 2016.

OESC 690.12

Rapid shutdown of PV systems on buildings is effective October 1, 2017.

OESC 705.12(D)(6)

Utility Interactive Inverters that require AFCI protection is effective April 1, 2016.

OESC 210.8(D)

The Division did not adopt the provision to require GFCI protection of dishwashers.

For additional information, contact Shawn Haggin, Electrical Program Assistant Chief, at 503-378-5838.


Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the Board of Boiler Rules

Summary report: These cases were resolved by the division's enforcement section without going to a contested case hearing. No action was required by the Board of Boiler Rules.

License Suspensions and Revocations

Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the Electrical & Elevator Board

Summary report: These cases were resolved by the division's enforcement section without going to a contested case hearing. No action was required by the Electrical and Elevator Board.

License Suspensions and Revocations

Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the State Plumbing Board:

Summary report: These cases were resolved by the division's enforcement section without going to a contested case hearing. No action was required by the State Plumbing Board.

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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