News Updates - December 12, 2012
Arc fault current interruption (AFCI)
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
February 19, 2013
- Public hearing on permanent adoption of proposed
If you would like to review the proposed rule, click
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
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
Teverbaugh or Sherri
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
If you have questions or need more information please
Heizer at 503-373-0205.
Oregon's green modular classroom is affordable
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
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
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
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.
Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the Board of Boiler Rules
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