Edition: Vol. 05, No. 06
Edition date: June 14, 2012


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

BCD Office Closures

None at this time

BCD Events

None at this time


June 5: Board of Boiler Rules

June 6: Mechanical Board - canceled

June 21: State Plumbing Board - canceled

July 11: Residential and Manufactured Structures Board

July 17: Rulemaking Hearings

July 26: Electrical and Elevator Board

Statewide Interpretations

None at this time

Jurisdiction Questions or Issues

Email: localjurisdictioncontact.bcd

Aeron Teverbaugh

News Updates - June 14, 2012

Using Chemeketa Community College’s online system

BCD has had great success partnering with Chemeketa Community College to provide our customers with the option of online learning. For the past year we have used this online option for portions of the special certification training and both the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code and the 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code, Chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions courses. We have had over 250 students participate in these classes.

When the Accessibility course became available to our constituents in January, we learned that there were problems getting through the initial registration process. We talked to some of the students who encountered problems and worked with Chemeketa to improve the information we provide on our website. The step-by-step instructions have helped many of our Spring quarter students get through the registration hurdles. But, we are still hearing that it isn’t easy.

The good news is that once you are registered you can use the same account for any future courses in the Chemeketa system. Unfortunately, we do not have control over Chemeketa’s admissions, registration, or payment interface methods. We are supplying them with feedback and looking at producing a step-by-step video to help first-time users get through the process. We apologize for any difficulties you have had with the system and hope that once you actually got into the course, the effort was worth it. We feel that Chemeketa’s powerful software has provided us with the capability to produce high caliber courses at very little cost to us or the students.

If you have any questions or comments contact Sherri West, training and public affairs coordinator, at 503-373-7509 or sherri.d.west@state.or.us.

Staff updates

Rex Turner is onboard as the new regional services coordinator for central Oregon. He will be working in Salem for the balance of June and begin working in Bend around July 9. Rex brings a wealth of experience to BCD, with fourteen years private sector experience in engineering and project management. Most recently he served as the building official for Klamath County. His office will be in Bend and he can be reached at 541-306-1126 or via email at rex.l.turner@state.or.us.

Regional Services manager Michael Morter resumed his role as the regional coordinator for the Mid-Valley and Southern Oregon areas. In turn, Brett Salmon moved from regional services to the policy and technical services section where he will serve as a policy analyst. Phone and email contact information for Michael and Brett remain the same.

As mentioned a few months ago, when Chris Huntington accepted the position as deputy administrator he agreed to assist with the policy management duties until we permanently fill the vacancy. We now have approval from the Department of Administrative Services to fill the position and are beginning the recruitment. We will not be filling the former green building services manager position because of the significant progress we have made in the integration of sustainable construction practices. To continue this integration, the green building services employees, Mark Campion, Gabrielle Schiffer, and Mark Heizer have transitioned into the policy and technical services section where they will each continue to focus largely on the same work as before.

Lastly, Andrea Simmons accepted the appointment as the enforcement manager in early April. Andrea brings a valuable set of skills to the job, including experience with the U.S. Attorney's office prior to her long service with the division as a policy analyst and manager.

Arc-fault current interrupter expansion delayed 120 days

On June 7, 2012 BCD filed a temporary rule delaying the expansion of arc-fault current interrupter (AFCI) protection to dwelling unit areas beyond bedrooms. The division's action follows the Oregon Electrical & Elevator Board recommendation to delay the expansion of AFCI requirements until 2014. After an April 25, 2012 public meeting where the Oregon Electrical Specialty Code Advisory Committee received testimony from contractors, manufacturers, and representatives from National Electrical Manufacturers Association and UL, the division concluded that there is good reason to delay the July 1 planned implementation of the AFCI expansion. We believe that jurisdictions and contractors need certainty about the code requirements; therefore, we adopted emergency rules that will postpone the expansion of the requirements for AFCIs into areas other than bedrooms until Nov. 1, allowing us to gather additional information. Once we have had a chance to further investigate the questions surrounding AFCI the requirement will either become effective Nov. 1 or we will take action to delay the implementation for the remainder of the code cycle. If you have any questions, contact Aeron Teverbaugh.

Elevator and platform lift requirements for expanded mezzanines

In an effort to help alleviate potential confusion under the new accessibility provisions regarding access to mezzanines, the Structures Code group put together a statewide interpretation to help clarify the triggers in existing facilities. The interpretation can be found on BCD's website.

Specialized finals inspector training wraps up

BCD is finishing up specialized finals inspector (SFI) training courses. The on-line portion of the SFI training ended on June 1. We are holding two opportunities for participants to take the live portion of the course. The first two-day session was held in Salem at BCD on June 7 and 8. Participants had a chance to ask questions and talk about real-life experiences. Instructors also passed out practice exams so inspectors could get a feel for what the certification exam will be like. The second opportunity for the live course will be held at the Springfield Justice Center on June 28 and 29. We have received incredibly positive feedback so far. Participants in the course must also complete 40 inspections prior to sitting for the examination. The next step is for us to evaluate the specialized inspector training courses and see where we can make improvements. If you have any questions or suggestions, contact Aeron Teverbaugh.

Electrical and Elevator Board electrical installation clarification

The Electrical and Elevator Board clarified one particular type of electrical installation that requires a licensed electrician. The board, in resolving a compliance case, stated that the installation of listed electrical conduit in a trench is an electrical installation. Because the statute defining an electrical installation can be confusing to individuals not directly working in the electrical trade, the board asked us to post their statements in order to provide clarity. In short, the board explained that the installation of conduit electrical can't be looked at alone. The electrical code looks at all pieces of the installation - conduit, wiring, grounding, etc. - and each part needs to be installed to code. While listed electrical conduit may not necessarily conduct electricity, it is an important part of the overall installation and if not done properly the entire installation may be jeopardized.

Oregon's solar code is a national model
for streamlining installation and permitting

The Oregon Solar Installation Specialty Code was highlighted as a best practice in the recent Interstate Renewable Energy Council report, Sharing Success - Emerging Approaches to Efficient Rooftop Solar Permitting. The report identifies innovative strategies being implemented across the United States that reduce the cost of permitting and installing solar PV systems.

You can read more about it on the Better Buildings for Oregon blog.

Oregon poised to be a leader in building green modular classrooms

When enrollment increases but school budgets do not, many school districts in Oregon and around the country have turned to purchasing portable classrooms. More than three years ago architecture students at Portland State University came up with ideas for designing greener, more energy efficient and healthier portable classrooms that cost the same as the conventional models currently on the market.

Green modular classrooms: energy efficient and
healthier portable classrooms come to Oregon.

In August 2011, Governor Kitzhaber designated the Green Modular Classroom an Oregon Solutions project. The Oregon Solutions collaborative process brought together the expertise needed to move the project from concept to product. BCD participated in the Oregon Solutions process and provided technical assistance and guidance on code related questions covering structural, life safety, accessibility, energy conservation, and sustainable construction to the design team. Read more about the project on the Sustainable Business Oregon blog.


Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the Electrical & 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 Electrical & Elevator Board.

Electrical License Suspensions/Revocations

Final Orders

Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the Board of Boiler Rules

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 Board of Boiler Rules.

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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