Edition: Vol. 03, No. 01
Edition date: February 4, 2010

Printable version

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

BCD Office Closures

Holiday: Monday, February 15, 2010

Board meetings

February 18: State Plumbing Board meeting

February 23: Construction Industry Energy Board

Public meetings and hearings

None at this time


News Updates - February 4, 2010

Presentation on R703.1 available

In conjunction with recent code changes to ORSC section R703.1 addressing a means of draining water from exterior wall assemblies, the Oregon Building Codes Division partnered with the Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA) in the development of live training classes. These classes were underwritten in part with funds from BCD's 1% Training program and have been made available to both industry and government employees. In an effort to expand opportunities for training, OHBA has agreed to make a free Web based presentation based on the training available through their website.

This is an excellent opportunity to gain an understanding of the scope and application of these new provisions as your schedule allows.

2010 Energy Code approved

On February 3, the Structures Board approved the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) provisions. The code approved by the board includes some significant changes to the state's energy provisions. First, the energy efficiency provisions are being published for the first time as a stand-alone code. The 2010 OEESC will take the place of the Oregon Structural Specialty Code's Chapter 13 energy efficiency provisions.

Second, there is a significant increase in the energy efficiency requirements over the current 2007 provisions. Senate Bill 79 directed the division to increase energy efficiency in commercial structures by 15-25%. The division worked with the Commercial Industry Energy Code Committee and various stakeholder groups to draft specific provisions geared toward increased energy efficiency.

The code incorporates amendments to three elements that primarily impact a building's energy consumption: envelope, lighting and mechanical systems. The building envelope provisions contain requirements for increased insulation, vestibules, and higher performing windows. The lighting provisions include a decrease in allowable light power densities. Also significant energy savings were achieved by reducing the square footage requirements for installing more efficient mechanical systems.

The code will have a public hearing on March 16th. Public comments will be accepted until Friday March 19th. The code is scheduled to become effective on July 1, 2010. The division will implement a 90 day "phase-in" period where individuals may choose to build either to the previous OSSC Chapter 13 energy provisions or the 2010 OEESC.

If you have any questions about the new Oregon Energy Code please contact Aeron Teverbaugh at aeron.teverbaugh@state.or.us or 503-373-2160.

The 1% Training program plans another year of courses

The 1% Training program is the result of ORS 455.220, which directs local building departments to collect a 1 percent surcharge on building permit fees to defray the costs of training and other educational programs. Training should promote safe, effective, and consistent implementation, interpretation, and administration of the code among inspectors, designers, contractors, and licensees across the state.

On January 12 and 13 training providers and BCD staff came together to discuss the direction of the 1% Training program in 2010. These meetings occur annually and give the division a better understanding of what is needed in code-change and code related classes that the program can support.

The biggest issue the group realized they needed to consider was Oregon's economic situation and its influence on the 1% Training program's revenue stream. It became apparent that training providers will need to design courses that include all the necessary information without increasing tuition, also realizing that they can not rely on the 1% Training program to expand its support financially. In other words, training providers need to think outside the box and develop new methods of training that are cost effective and content rich. Look for different presentation methods of some of the 1% Training courses this year.

The other theme of the meetings held in January was keeping to the basics. 1% Training courses will revolve around the 2010 codes, with several code-change courses available. The Structural, Mechanical, and Energy Efficiency Specialty Codes will have code-change courses available in the late spring and summer of 2010. 1% Training is also anticipating there will be a code change or in this case learning the new code course on the new solar code, after it is completed. After these classes have completed the course selection process, the program will decide what other classes to provide in the second half of the year.

There are also several 1% Training program contractors that have courses already designed for 2010. The Oregon State Association of Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors is providing 2008 Plumbing Specialty Code code-change training this year. There is a course presented by the Oregon Home Builders Association on Exterior Wall Envelope: New Code Requirements also offered. Cascadia Green Building Council will be offering a Web based version of the Commercial Green Building and the Building Code class in March. Please contact us if you are interested in participating.

For more information and a class calendar go to the 1% Training program section of the BCD Web site. If you have any questions please feel free to contact Sherri West at sherri.d.west@state.or.us or 503-373-7509.

2010 Specialty Code book availability

The division is adopting a new energy code based on the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which will become effective on July 1, 2010. The division continues to work with the publisher and anticipates the code book being available for purchase in late spring.

The 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) and Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code (OMSC), and the new Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) will become effective on July 1, 2010. The division continues to work with the publisher and anticipates the code books for the OSSC and OMSC being available for purchase in early spring.

All three of these codes will be available on the BCD Web site in draft form in advance of the dates of publication and they should remain largely unchanged. If you have questions about any of these 2010 codes please contact: Richard Rogers (OSSC) at richard.rogers@state.or.us or 503-378-4472; Mike Ewert (OMSC) at mike.d.ewert@state.or.us or 503-373-7529; Shane Sumption (OEESC) at shane.r.sumption@state.or.us or 503-378-4635.

Call for Stakeholder participation: Oregon Reach Code adoption process

The Building Codes Division is convening a committee and various sub-committees to develop the first Oregon Reach Code. The division's goal is to develop in a single document a comprehensive "reach" or "aspirational" code. The code will be a set of statewide optional energy construction standards going beyond the requirements of the state's mandatory codes. The Reach Code will provide jurisdictions with a baseline for evaluating methods of constructing buildings that go beyond current code requirements, and provide builders with an optional "green" code. Discussions around the Reach Code will cover a variety of topics and may include: mechanical systems, lighting designs, overall building design (both residential and commercial), plumbing practices and products, and tactics for aligning the code with the various financial incentives that are available.

If you or someone from your organization is interested in participating on this reach code committee, the division is seeking the names of 1 to 2 people who can represent your organization as members. The overall committee size will be 11 to 12 members. The division is also anticipating convening a number of smaller sub-committees to advise the general code committee. Code committee meetings are expected to begin in late March or early April 2010.The committee will work with the division to develop a proposal for consideration by the appropriate advisory boards.

If you are interested in participating on this committee, please provide the interested parties' name, industry representation, and contact information to Dana Fischer, Building Code Para Technical Specialist at dana.c.fischer@state.or.us or 503-373-0226 before 5:00 PM, February 19, 2010. Once we receive input from our stakeholders and interested parties we will contact you regarding committee membership and meeting dates.

Structures Board supports amendments to
2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC)

The Building Codes Structures Board has concurred with three additional Oregon amendments to the 2010 OSSC. These three amendments are based on the information collected during the division's public hearing process.

The first amendment relates to anchorage of bolts in concrete supporting wood plate sills and walls. This amendment was requested by the Structural Engineers Association of Oregon and is the result of testing done by the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC). The amendment reflects their research and testing results, which demonstrated that the yield strength of the wood sill plate connection governs over the strength of the concrete in the subject connections and controls the anchor bolt capacity. The changes to the OSSC concerning these issues are consistent with those recently approved by the ICC's Structural Committee for inclusion in the 2012 IBC.

The second amendment relates to code requirements specific to the production of wine in Oregon. In preparing the hearing report, the hearing officer became aware that existing Oregon amendments addressing the production of wine had been inadvertently omitted from the 2010 OSSC being considered for adoption. The hearing officer had recommended that the omitted existing Oregon amendments be included and the Structures Board concurred. The hearing officer also recommended that both the definition of a winery in OSSC Section 202 addressing scope be modified and an exception to the occupancy separation requirements be made. The board concurred with the amendments.

The third amendment relates to the placement of vapor barriers when all or a portion of the insulation is moved to the exterior of the building and was suggested by the Oregon Department of Energy. This issue had been vetted through the Commercial Energy Code Committee, but was inadvertently excluded in the review by the Structural Code Committee and the Structures Board. The Structures Board concurred in the amendment.


Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the State Electrical and 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 State Electrical and Elevator Board.

Final orders after hearing: These cases went to a contested case hearing. Each penalty assessment was reviewed and approved by the State Electrical and Elevator Board.

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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