Edition: Vol. 05, No. 05
Edition date: May 9, 2012


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

BCD Office Closures

Friday, May 25 - Furlough Day

Monday, May 28 - Holiday

BCD Events

None at this time


May 2: Building Codes Structures Board

May 15: Rulemaking Hearing

May 24: Electrical and Elevator Board

June 5: Board of Boiler Rules

June 6: Mechanical Board

Statewide Interpretations

None at this time

Jurisdiction Questions or Issues

Email: localjurisdictioncontact.bcd

Aeron Teverbaugh

News Updates - May 9, 2012

Seismic and wind load bracing calculators -
Oregon Residential Specialty Code

Seismic and wind load bracing calculators are now available on the Residential Structures Program page. BCD designed these calculators to help code users with the mathematical calculations for determining the required length of wall bracing as required by the 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code.

These calculators are not intended to teach users how to do a lateral bracing calculation nor to teach the technical requirements of the code. They are intended to simply perform the math functions and to aid in presenting work to the local jurisdiction in an easy-to-follow format. Users need to be familiar with the code requirements when using the calculators to be able to take advantage of their versatility.

Microsoft Excel is needed to open and use the calculators. The document will open in all versions of Excel. Once completed, the forms can be printed out and included with the applicant's documents when submitting plans to a local jurisdiction. For more information, contact Steve Judson at 503-378-4635 or steven.w.judson@state.or.us.

Radon updates for new public buildings approved by board

On May 2, 2012, the Building Codes Structures Board (BCSB) approved for public hearing certain code changes to the Oregon Structural Specialty Code that address statutorily driven radon mitigation standards. These requirements are only applicable for new public buildings constructed in Baker, Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill counties with initial building permits issued on or after April 1, 2013.

BCD originally worked with stakeholders in the development of a new section 1811 addressing "slab on grade" installations. The BCSB adopted this section in the fall of 2010 with the understanding that further refinements would be offered before the April 1, 2013 implementation.

The proposed code changes to chapters 1, 17, and 35 and section 1811 represent the culmination of the continued work with the stakeholders in providing the necessary enhancements as noted above. Highlights include:

  • Exemption in section 1811 for buildings achieving prescribed ventilation/air change rates.

  • Addition of several clarifying definitions in section 1811.1.

  • Deletion in section 1811.2.3.2 through 1811.2.3.6 of redundant requirements addressing concrete mixture, handling, and placement. Topics are adequately addressed elsewhere in the OSSC.

  • Augmented prescriptive requirements in section 1811.3 for both "Active Soil Depressurization" systems and "Gas Conveyance Piping Systems."

  • Adoption of specific referenced standards in chapter 35.

  • Inspection expectations for jurisdictions and special inspectors (chapters 1 and 17).

The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, July 17 in Building Codes Division's Conference Room A, located at 1535 Edgewater Street NW, Salem, OR 97304.

For more information, contact Richard Rogers at 503-378-4472 or richard.rogers@state.or.us.

Oregon Electrical Specialty Code committee
reviewed AFCI requirements

On March 22, 2012, the Electrical and Elevator Board asked BCD to hold a public meeting to gather information related to Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters (AFCIs). The 2011 National Electric Code expanded arc-fault circuit interrupter protection beyond dwelling unit bedrooms into dens, living rooms, and other similar areas. When the Oregon Electrical Specialty Code (OESC) committee originally reviewed code proposals in 2010, they heard a lot of testimony related to AFCIs. Participants in the code meetings complained that AFCIs were prone to nuisance tripping as a result of older appliances or certain combinations of appliances mimicking the wavelength AFCIs associate with arc faults. At the time, the committee recommended delaying implementation of the expanded AFCI protection until July 1, 2012. BCD reconvened the OESC committee to make a recommendation to the board regarding the upcoming expansion of AFCI protection.

The OESC committee met April 25, 2012 to consider maintaining the current requirement for AFCIs in bedrooms only, further delaying the scheduled July 1, 2012 expansion. The committee heard testimony from contractors, manufacturers, and representatives from National Electrical Manufacturers Association and UL. The committee unanimously expressed concerns about the expansion. They expressed that the successful deployment of AFCIs should be viewed as a partnership between manufacturers and the contractor community, but that currently the contractor community seemed to be bearing the bulk of the responsibility for unwanted tripping of the AFCIs due to equipment incompatibility. The committee is recommending to the Electrical and Elevator Board that the expansion of the AFCI requirement to other areas of a dwelling be delayed for the remainder of this code cycle. The board will meet on May 24 to consider the recommendation. For questions on the process, contact Aeron Teverbaugh at 503-373-1354 or aeron.teverbaugh@state.or.us. For questions on AFCI requirements, contact Dennis Clements at 503-378-4459 or dennis.l.clements@state.or.us.

Update on the Specialized Finals Inspector course

BCD announced the dates and locations for the two-day live portion of the Specialized Finals Inspector course. The division scheduled the two-day class in two different locations to maximize the convenience for as many participants as possible. Participants in the Specialized Inspector training must complete the two-day class in order to sit for the certification exam. One two-day session will be held in Salem at BCD on June 7 and 8. A second opportunity will be held in Springfield at the Springfield Justice Center on June 28 and 29. Participants can take both days at the same location or take day one in Salem and day two in Springfield. The two-day live class is an opportunity to ask questions of the instructors, see examples of final inspections, and take a practice exam. Participants in the course must also complete 40 inspections before sitting for the examination. To sign up for a location or if you have any questions about the course, contact Aeron Teverbaugh at 503-373-1354 or aeron.teverbaugh@state.or.us.

Oregon Reach Codebooks now available

Your patience has been rewarded! Copies of the 2011 Oregon Reach Code are now available to purchase from the International Code Council (ICC) website.

Based on the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), Oregon's optional Reach Code contains both the commercial provisions, which became effective July 2011 and the residential provisions, which became effective Oct. 1, 2011.

As you may recall, the Oregon Reach Code is the result of legislative direction (SB 79) passed in 2009. The bill directed BCD to develop and adopt an optional code that is more energy efficient than the statewide mandatory code.

As an optional code, designers can choose to follow the entire code, resulting in a reach code building, or use any one of the many individual components covered in the Reach Code such as passive design, daylighting, and vegetative roofs.

For more information, contact Mark Heizer at 503-373-0205 or mark.r.heizer@state.or.us.

2010 OSSC Chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions course

BCD's spring quarter edition of the 2010 OSSC Chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions course, provided through Chemeketa Community College's eLearn system, will be available for registration until June 1, 2012. If you are already registered or planning on registering for this course, you will have until June 16 to complete it. Remember that if you register for the course during the spring term and do not complete it, you will have to retake the whole course, including the registration fee and process, to receive credit. For more information, contact Sherri West, training and public affairs coordinator, at 503-373-7509 or sherri.d.west@state.or.us.

New statewide permitting program for using graywater

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) began accepting permit applications for sub-surface irrigation of landscaping with graywater in April 2012. The agency's new graywater permit program is the result of House Bill 2080, which passed in 2009. The legislation refers to graywater as nonpotable or "used" water from bathtubs, showers, sinks, and washing machines.

BCD participated on the graywater advisory committee, the group that came up with recommendations for rules to regulate graywater for beneficial outdoor use. The rules, which were approved by Oregon's Environmental Quality Commission in August 2011, define three types of graywater based on level of treatment and purpose. In addition to treatment, the rules establish monitoring requirements, setbacks, access and exposure controls, and site management practices to protect public health and the natural environment.

Information on how to obtain a graywater permit is available on DEQ's website or by contacting the following program staff:




Ron Doughten

Statewide program coordination


Diane Naglee

Eastern Region


Connie Schrandt

Northwest Region


Dan Wiltse

Western Region


DEQ's graywater program complements BCD's statewide alternate methods (SAMs) on rainwater harvesting and water conservation systems, which focus on using graywater for flushing toilets. Approved in 2008, the SAMs apply across the state to both residential and commercial construction. Rainwater harvesting and graywater for flushing toilets systems are regulated by the Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code and require a plumbing permit from the authority having jurisdiction.

For copies of Oregon Smart Guides on rainwater harvesting or water conservation systems, contact Gabrielle Schiffer, BCD's green building coordinator at 503-373-7418 or gabrielle.m.schiffer@state.or.us.


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.

Plumbing License Suspensions and Revocations

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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