Edition: Vol. 02, No. 15
Edition date: September 3, 2009

Printable version

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

BCD Events

Commercial Green Building and the Building Code

September 22 - Hood River

September 23 - Hillsboro

Ongoing - Building Officials Legislative Update Training

Board meetings

September 10: Manufactured Structures and Parks Advisory Board meeting

September 24: Electrical and Elevator Board meeting

September 30: Building Codes Structures Board meeting (rescheduled from August 5)

Public meetings and hearings

September 10: Solar Energy Code Committee

September 22: Rulemaking hearings

9:30 a.m. - Mid-cycle amendment to the Oregon Residential Specialty Code

10:00 a.m. - ePermitting implementation rules

10:30 a.m. - Consistent form and fee methodology correction


News Updates - September 3, 2009

Housing, Fire Protection, and Downtown Revitalization

Existing commercial buildings not fitted with sprinkler systems can present a considerable challenge under the code when the building or space changes to a "residential" use. OSSC section 903.2.4 requires the installation of an automatic sprinkler system throughout the entire building, but retrofitting a sprinkler system "throughout" to accommodate residential units on a second floor for example; may prove impractical or cost prohibitive.

Through the adoption of Statewide Alternate Method 08-05, the International Existing Building Code (IEBC) offers some relief through alternative compliance paths. These may be of value in the residential/downtown revitalization discussion. Read more …

The code adoption process continues for several codes

The committee work for both the Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code (OMSC) and the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) is complete. The Mechanical Board approved the 2010 OMSC at its August meeting. The next step in the process for the OMSC is the public rulemaking hearing on October 20, 2009. The mechanical code is currently in the initial prep process at the International Code Council (ICC) prior to publishing and the final version is due to be approved by the division in early December.

The structural code committee's recommendations for the 2010 OSSC will be reviewed by the Building Code Structures Board at their meeting on September 30. A November 18, 2009 public rulemaking hearing is expected on the structural code.

The division continues to work on the energy provisions based on the work of the Oregon Commercial Energy Conservation Advisory Committee. Once complete, the energy efficiency methods will be given to the committee for feedback. The final version of these provisions will then be reviewed by the Building Code Structures Board and will become effective with the other codes in April of 2010.

BCD begins process to update the 2002 Oregon
Manufactured Dwelling and Parks Specialty Code

The current manufactured dwelling installation code in Oregon is the 2002 Oregon Manufactured Dwelling and Parks Specialty Code (MD&P). The division proposes to adopt an amended version of the 2002 MD&P, developed by the Building Codes Division, entitled 2010 Oregon Manufactured Dwelling Installation Specialty Code (MDISC).
The MDISC was developed to achieve the following goals:

  • Stay within the statutory framework for manufactured dwelling installations
  • Align the code with federal installation requirements
  • Provide a uniform and consistent Chapter 1
  • Separate manufactured dwelling park construction from the installation code

The following links will provided you with additional information on this process:

Please contact Albert Endres, manufactured housing chief, at 503-378-5975 or Albert.G.Endres@state.or.us, if you have questions or would like additional information.

NEW: Construction Industry Energy Board

House Bill 2950, which was part of the Governor's energy efficiency agenda, created a new advisory board. The Construction Industry Energy Board (Energy Board) will help the division by advising BCD on energy efficiency issues. The Energy Board will be made up of two members of the Electrical and Elevator Board, two members of the Residential Structures Board, two members of the Building Codes Structures Board, and a representative of the Department of Energy. The individual boards will begin selecting their members for the energy board later this month. The board will help the division to streamline the process of enacting new energy efficiency provisions across the residential, commercial, and electrical codes. The division expects that the Energy Board will have its first meeting in mid-October.

Division Interpretation on Zonal Ductless Mini-Split HVAC Systems

The division has been receiving questions about the disconnect requirements for zonal ductless mini-split HVAC systems. Mini-splits are gaining in popularity as the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance engages in an effort to market ductless mini-split systems to displace less efficient electric resistance space heating in existing homes. Zonal ductless mini-split HVAC systems can be both heating and air conditioning equipment. There are significant differences between these systems and the traditional split system. For example, in a mini-split system a single branch circuit feeds the outdoor component, and the indoor unit is fed from the outdoor component. Because of this, a question about proper disconnects arose under the Oregon Electrical Specialty Code. The division issued interpretation number 2009 Oregon Electrical Specialty Code Article 424.19 - Disconnect Requirements to clarify the disconnect requirements.

Oregon State Plumbing Board summary of
enforcement cases from August 21 meeting

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 Oregon State Plumbing Board.

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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