Edition: Vol. 01, No. 10
Edition date: November 5, 2008

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

BCD Events
November, December 2008

The City of Clatskanie has applied to assume the electrical program from Columbia County. Objections must be received by November 14, 2008.

Course Series

November 15, 2008: Inspection Report Services

Solar Hot Water

Board meetings
November, December 2008

November 6: Residential Structures Board: Additional meeting, teleconference

November 20: Electrical and Elevator Board

December 2: Board of Boiler Rules

December 3: Mechanical Board

December 19: Oregon State Plumbing Board

Public meetings and hearings

November 18 - Rulemaking hearings:
9:30 a.m. - Adoption of the 2008 Oregon Elevator Specialty Code

10:00 a.m. - Interim amendments to the Oregon Residential Specialty Code

10:30 a.m. - Local code amendment request

11:00 a.m. - Electrical vehicle charging stations

November 19 - Task force meeting:
9:30 a.m. - ORSC Section R703.1 Task Force

Contact a Code Chief

Dennis Clements
Chief Electrical Inspector

Ron Crabtree
Chief Elevator & Amusement Ride Inspector

Albert Endres
Manufactured Structures Chief

Mike Graham
Chief Boiler Inspector

Richard Rogers
Structural Program Chief

Terry Swisher
Chief Plumbing Inspector

News Updates - November 5, 2008

How the IEBC (with Oregon amendments) works

The Web based course on the IEBC as a statewide alternate method is scheduled for next week on November 12th and 13th. The course will be presented in two parts, the first 2 hour segment will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday and the second 2 hours will be from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. If you would like to sign up for the course, please do so before noon on Monday, November 10th.

Your computer connection must have a DSL or cable connection (or a network equivalent to these). You must have Microsoft Windows 2000 or better and Internet Explorer 6.0 or Firefox 1.5 or higher. The platform will also work with Apple Macs. You must have speakers or earphones and a soundcard for the audio portion of the course, along with a microphone to participate in the discussion by asking questions. We suggest that you have the earphone/microphone combination with a USB connection for the best audio results. If your microphone and speakers are separate connections we may have a more difficult time with your audio, but it should still work. Please contact Sherri West for more information or with questions about your equipment at 503-373-7509 or sherri.d.west@state.or.us.

The Governor’s climate change agenda and building in Oregon

On October 27, 2008, Governor Ted Kulongoski announced his climate change agenda at Oregon Health Science University (OHSU) Center for Health and Healing, the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) platinum certified building in the state and the nation. If approved, the comprehensive series of proposed legislation will help Oregon lead the nation on sustainable development and green jobs.

Portions of this climate change agenda and the proposed legislative concepts connected to it are aimed at providing local government with the tools to help homeowners and businesses lower and manage their energy bills. The legislation would create methods to help finance energy efficiency upgrades and support piloting a 'feed-in-tariff' program similar to a German program that led to the installation of more than 2,500 megawatts of solar electricity. The agenda also includes the goal of developing net-zero energy use building codes, expanding the Business Energy Tax Credit program, and developing energy performance certificates for homebuyers.

Statewide alternate method rulings

With the series of statewide alternate method (SAM) rulings that the division has been issuing, we wanted to remind everyone that SAMs have the same effect as code. ORS 455.060(4)

Alternate methods allow individuals to incorporate methods and materials not otherwise covered by the building code. Before issuing an alternate method ruling, the division asks the appropriate advisory board to approve the technical and scientific facts behind the method or material. If the administrator approves the alternate method and issues a ruling, the alternate method applies throughout the state. Applying an alternate method statewide helps maintain uniformity, gives predictability, and prevents having to reinvent the wheel for approved alternate methods.

Jurisdictions cannot require a builder to use a SAM, but if a builder chooses to build to a statewide alternate method, jurisdictions must accept it. OAR 918-008-0110 As always, jurisdictions have the option of issuing a site-specific alternate method when it is appropriate.

Frequently asked questions regarding moisture content of wood framing

The 2008 Oregon Residential Specialty Code requires that contractors or owner-builders provide the local jurisdiction with a written acknowledgement of the moisture content of wood framing members. Due to confusion over enforcement of this provision, the division adopted a temporary rule in July followed by a permanent code amendment, effective October 1, 2008, to clarify and simplify the compliance process. Since the adoption of this temporary rule, certain questions have persisted regarding what is required under this new code provision. The division has developed a document that answers the most commonly asked questions concerning this moisture content requirement. This document is available online at the division's Web site.

Regional Program Services

Regional Coordinators are on the move

From being invited by the southern chapter of building officials to participate in a roundtable with Jackson County homebuilders, to making presentations to staff members of Hood River County and the City of Hood River on the new ePermitting system, the Regional Program Services (RPS) team is on the move. The regional coordinators have been out in the field, touching base with local building departments and their customers. The idea of the RPS is to improve communication between BCD and those involved in the building industry throughout the state. The regional coordinators have taken on this challenge and they are building a reputation for listening and working with the people in their regions.

Just look at their activities in the next week! They will be:

  • visiting Miranda Homes' manufacturing facility to see greener methods of constructing homes

  • headed to Klamath Falls to speak to a crowd of local homebuilders and touch base with a variety of people

  • speaking at the Community Green Building Conference in Bend; and

  • visiting the north coast to meet with several jurisdictions

These folks just don't sit still!


Business Process Workgroup forges ahead

In the last days of October, the ePermitting team gathered with a group of permit specialists from across the state. This group hoped to start gathering information and reviewing what permitting practices are used by different jurisdictions. The amazing thing they discovered was the similarity in methods used to process permits. But they also found the terminology used by different jurisdictions is not the same.

You may wonder why it matters what people call things. When the ePermitting team begins assembling the actual system, they want everyone to understand the words they use to describe what they are talking about. A common language will be an important part of making the system universal.

Another goal of the workgroup is to help define the steps needed to acquire a permit. When do you charge a fee or take a deposit? How many times does an inspector need to look at the project? The ePermitting team is digging into and getting the details on these types of questions. In an effort to do this, the team is meeting weekly with several task force groups. Each task force is focused on key content areas relevant to the permitting process. They will also be making site visits driven by questions that come up during this information gathering. All of this work will benefit the creation of an ePermitting system geared to work for all jurisdictions.

The deadline for jurisdictions to submit a letter of interest for the new system has been extended to December 19, 2008. With all the interest in learning more about the new ePermitting system, the scheduling of regional demonstrations and informational meetings needed to be broadened. If your jurisdiction is interested in learning more about the new statewide ePermitting system, please contact Patrick Allen at 503-378-2872 or patrick.allen@state.or.us.

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Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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