News Updates - August 5, 2010
In February, BCD employees began informally soliciting feedback from division stakeholders asking the following question:
"As BCD thinks about the work we do, particularly during the next couple of years, what are the things in your organization or your environment that we should know about as we plan that work?"
During the last few weeks, we've received terrific input about how BCD's work impacts our partners throughout Oregon. Some of the feedback included questions about how BCD implements the 1 percent surcharge fee dedicated to training, an interest in increasing on-line training opportunities, questions about licensing enforcement, and suggestions for improving the minor labels program and our regulatory timeframes. The questions and comments have been thoughtful and are helping to shape the division's two-year strategic plan.
If you would like to respond to the above question and send your comments, suggestions, or questions to our attention, please send an email to Michael Morter, BCD regional program services manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or Chris Huntington, BCD policy & technical services manager at email@example.com.
Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines Revised
On Friday, July 23, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signed the final regulations revising the Department's Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, including its "Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines" (ADAAG). With regard to building codes, the ADAAG's serve as the "minimum guidelines" to ensure that buildings and facilities are accessible in terms of architecture and design to individuals with disabilities. Historically, these guidelines were the genesis for Oregon's "Chapter 11" regulating accessibility in the state.
To minimize compliance burdens on municipalities and entities adopting model building codes, the revised ADAAG's have been "harmonized" with chapter 11 of the 2009 International Building Code (IBC).
The Federal rule includes a general "safe harbor" under which elements covered in facilities that were built or altered in compliance with the 1991 ADAAG Standard (current Oregon Chapter 11) would not be required to be brought into compliance with the 2010 ADAAG Standards until the elements were subject to planned alteration. A similar safe harbor applies to elements associated with the "path of travel" to an altered area.
In general, the federal rule will become effective six months after publication in the Federal Register. Eighteen months after publication, compliance with the 2010 Standards will be required for new construction, alteration and barrier removal.
In anticipation of this announcement, Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) is working closely with stakeholders in the preparation of an amended version of the 2009 IBC Chapter 11. Oregon amendments are necessary in keeping with statutorily driven accessibility requirements which provide for greater accessibility than the Federal standards. Consistent with the U.S. Attorney General's implementation timelines noted above, BCD anticipates adoption of the amended IBC Chapter 11 with an effective date of January 1, 2012. This should provide ample time for training and required rule making.
Additional information regarding the revised ADAAG's is provided here.
Web Based Training Replaces Live Classes for
Manufactured Dwelling Installers and Inspectors
Effective Aug. 1 the "live" training class for manufactured dwelling installer and inspector applicants previously offered by the division has been replaced by a web based study guide. The study guide covers the 2010 Manufactured Dwelling Installation Specialty Code (MDISC) and applicable statutes and rules. Switching from a live class, which was only offered in Salem, to a Web based class saves participants time, money, and miles, besides providing greater flexibility to the industry, local government, and the public. Applicants may prepare at their own pace and schedule the examination closer to where they live or work.
These requirements apply to anyone who is in the business of installing manufactured dwellings or assisting in the installation of manufactured dwellings (including skirting), and to anyone who performs inspections of manufactured dwelling installations for a local jurisdiction.
In April 2010, the division began offering web based code change continuing education for the newly adopted MDISC. Licensed installers and certified manufactured home inspectors are required to complete this code change course, which covers significant changes in the MDISC. In addition to this course, the division has developed a more general web based version of the MDISC course specifically designed for certified manufactured home installation inspectors that targets things like applicable administrative rules. This continuing education course (CEU) is not required; however, manufactured home installation inspectors are required to obtain a specified number of continuing education hours every three years. Completing this course will provide inspectors four hours of CEU.
If you have any questions regarding this article, please contact Rich Baumann at 503-373-7559 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on Oregon Residential and
Plumbing Specialty Code Change Committees
The Oregon Residential Specialty Code and Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code (ORSC and OPSC) committees continue to review public proposals for their respective codes, along with model code changes and existing Oregon amendments.
Future meeting dates for both committees are listed below. All committee meetings are video streamed live over the internet. Click the "view live meetings" link on BCD's website.
Aug. 10: 9:00 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Aug. 11: 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Aug. 25: 9:00 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Aug. 24: 1:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Both the ORSC and OPSC committees have websites where you can view the code proposals and other committee documents. The anticipated effective date of the 2011 OPSC is April 1, 2011 and the 2011 ORSC code is scheduled to be effective July 1, 2011.
If you have questions or need further information regarding the Residential Code Review Committee, please contact Mike Ewert, residential and mechanical code specialist, at email@example.com or at 503-373-3729.
If you have questions or need further information regarding the Plumbing Code Review Committee, please contact Terry Swisher, chief plumbing inspector, at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 503-373-7488.
Solar Installation Code Heads to Hearing
The Oregon Solar Installation Specialty Code (OSISC) and accompanying rules are scheduled for an Aug. 17 public rulemaking hearing. The division has been developing a solar package to clear up inconsistency in how solar is installed, plans are reviewed, and activity is permitted across the state. The OSISC is a stand-alone code addressing photovoltaic installation. The code contains a prescriptive path for simple installations.
Some of the key elements of the accompanying proposed rules are:
Non-complex prescriptive installations will not require plan review under the proposed code.
A solar structural fee methodology to standardize structural permit valuations for installations.
Clarification of the solar plan review requirements and electrical permit fees for renewable energy systems. The existing renewable energy permitting fees do not address many of the larger systems being installed today. The division worked with stakeholders to clarify electrical permitting for solar installations.
Clarification for wind power renewable permits to reflect current practice.
The Electrical and Elevator Board approved the electrical rules at their July 22 meeting.
The division anticipates that the rules and code will become effective on Oct. 1, 2010. Conscious of the demands on the local jurisdictions, the division is working on a commentary version of the code explaining the provisions and the considerations behind them.
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.