Edition: Vol. 05, No. 12
Edition date: December 12, 2012


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

BCD Office Closures

Tuesday, December 25, 2012 - Holiday

BCD Events

January 7: Specialized Finals Inspector training - Registration


December 4: Board of Boiler Rules

December 5: Mechanical Board - canceled

December 20: State Plumbing Board

January 9: Residential and Manufactured Structures Board

January 22: Rulemaking Hearing

January 24: Electrical and Elevator Board

January 30: 2014 OSSC Committee

Jurisdiction Questions or Issues

Email: localjurisdictioncontact.bcd

Aeron Teverbaugh

News Updates - December 12, 2012

Arc fault current interruption (AFCI) update

During the past several months, the division has worked closely with our stakeholders to develop a comprehensive AFCI policy for the state. The division has recently adopted temporary changes to the code and proposed permanent adoption of the new standards through the rulemaking process. The new standards expand AFCI protection in dwellings, while providing an alternative should problems occur. The Electrical & Elevator Board reviewed and approved these proposed administrative rules during the November 15, 2012 board meeting. The new requirements become effective January 1, 2013.

Proposed AFCI Changes - January 1, 2013
The division filed several proposed changes to OESC 210.12(A) on November 16, 2012 and it becomes effective January 1, 2013. First, the division replaced "hallways" with "alcoves" as an AFCI covered area. Second, an exception for use of AFCI circuits was added. Third, an informational note after the new exception was included.

  • The exception reads:
    "It shall be permissible to install one or more branch circuits that each supply one or more outlets labeled as "not AFCI protected" serving a single system in a single room of a dwelling unit without AFCI protection. These outlets are optional and do not meet the general purpose receptacle spacing requirements of 210.52."

  • The informational note reads:
    "The State recognizes the arc-fault circuit interrupter as a safety device that generally improves consumer protection. However, because the AFCI technology is still maturing, reliability and affordability of electrical installations should be considered. Therefore, the State intends to encourage the expanded use of AFCIs while allowing for some exceptions to its use."

The proposed rule will now go before the Residential Board on January 9, 2013. The Division will hold a public hearing on the issue on February 19, 2013 at 10:00 a.m.

October 5, 2012

- Continued delay of AFCI expansion (effective through December 31, 2012)

- Also filed temporary rules and gave notice of the changes that would become effective January 1 (some changes adding an exception were made in November)

November 15, 2012

- Electrical and Elevator board reviewed proposed changes to OESC 210.12(A) (effective January 1, 2013)

January 1, 2013

- Temporary requirement becomes effective

January 9, 2013

- Submit proposed changes to Residential and Manufactured Structures Board

February 19, 2013

- Public hearing on permanent adoption of proposed changes

If you would like to review the proposed rule, click HERE.
If you would like to review the AFCI Statewide Code Interpretation, click HERE.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Brett Salmon, Electrical Program Policy Analyst, or Dennis Clements, Chief Electrical Inspector.

Improvements to the Specialized Finals Inspector course

The division is planning to offer a revamped version of the Specialized Finals Inspector (SFI) Course starting in January. BCD is continually trying to find ways to improve upon the successes of the 3462 pilot program. Unlike cross training programs the 3462 pilot is being implemented and taught exclusively by the division. After collecting feedback from participants and jurisdictions we are implementing some changes for the upcoming SFI course. The key changes to this new version include an alternate evaluation in lieu of fieldwork and making sure that the certification examinations focus on the scope of work an individual will be providing.

This new process allows for state assessment to determine that there is adequate knowledge and skills to perform the scope of work under the certification. The scope of a certification can be tailored (but not expanded) to meet an individual's skill level, allowing them to utilize at least a partial certification while they get up to speed on more challenging areas. Applicants may choose to use the fieldwork approach too.

BCD also recognized the difficulties in adapting the existing exam data base to a new and different type of certification. We have developed new questions specific to the 3462 pilot program. Additionally, while certification can't be obtained until all the requirements are met, students will take the certification exam at the end of the course, before the evaluation process is completed.

In order to assist with implementing changes to the pilot program the division has hired John Powell to lead many of the division's training efforts in all programs. John has been engaged in developing study-guides and individually evaluating specialized inspector participants. He has also been developing new questions for the examinations. Unlike the cross training programs, Mr. Powell will be evaluating individuals who opt for the alternate path to the fieldwork evaluations. He is working with jurisdictions and individuals to provide ride-alongs, individual evaluations, and administering the certification exam.

There is limited space available for the newest version of the Specialized Inspector Course, applications are available now. The first part of the course will begin on January 7, 2013 with the online modules.

To participate, or if you have any questions, please contact Aeron Teverbaugh or Sherri West.

Update on Oregon Energy Efficiency
Specialty Code and adoption for 2014

The Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) code update, as part of the Structural program, will follow the same schedule as the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) and the Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code (OMSC) codes. New versions of these codes will be released in early 2014 as the 2014 Oregon Specialty Codes.

The 2010 OEESC represents significant improvements over the 2010 version of ASHRAE 90.1. Oregon currently exceeds federal minimum energy efficiency requirements. Oregon could have issued its certification to the federal government meeting 90.1-2010 nearly two years ahead of the deadline.

The Code Review Committee's primary goal is bringing forward revisions, which fix and clarify current code language, also streamlining the use and understanding of the code. Additionally, the department wants suggestions on how to make compliance to the standards easier to achieve and enforce consistently statewide. The Committee will review the 2012 IECC and public proposals. Because the 2010 OEESC is nearly equal to the 2012 IECC, the Code Committee is not seeking significant changes to the requirements for the 2014 OEESC.

The division will soon open the period for public comment and proposals. Those interested in the process can sign up for announcements on the Energy Program page of the BCD website. Revisions approved by the Code Committee will be forwarded to the Board for final review and approval.

If you have questions or need more information please contact Mark Heizer at 503-373-0205.

Oregon's green modular classroom is affordable

The Smart Academic Green Environment (SAGE) is making the case for affordable green modular construction. While SAGE does cost about 15-20% more, it will have low monthly utility bills because it uses about half the electricity of a typical portable. Siting costs for SAGE will also be less because the steel floor structure eliminates the need for an expensive concrete foundation (see picture above).

Building Codes Division's (BCD) green building team has been engaged with the design and development of SAGE since August 2011 when Governor Kitzhaber designated it an Oregon Solutions project. Because of the division's responsibilities in regard to manufactured and modular dwellings, the Pre-Fabricated Structures Program conducted plan review, permitting and inspection of the prototype classroom. The prototype was constructed at Blazer Industries in Aumsville and exhibited at the Greenbuild 2012 conference in San Francisco during November (see picture above).

Two large national distributors of mobile buildings have signed on to market SAGE. The Gervais School District, which is consolidating its schools into one K-12 campus, ordered 20 of the 'made in Oregon' green modular classrooms for the 2013-14 school year.

For more information on the project go to BCD's Better Buildings for 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 and Elevator Board.

Conditioned Licenses

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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