Edition: Vol. 06, No. 1
Edition date: January 10, 2013


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

BCD Office Closures

Friday, January 18 - Mandatory closure

Monday, January 21 - Holiday

BCD Events

None at this time


January 9: Residential and Manufactured Structures Board

January 22: Rulemaking Hearing

January 24: Electrical & Elevator Board - Canceled

January 30: 2014 OSSC Committee

February 6: Building Codes Structures Board

February 12: 2014 OMSC Committee

February 13: 2014 OSSC Committee

February 19: Rulemaking Hearing

February 20: Construction Industry Energy Board

February 21: State Plumbing Board

February 26: 2014 OMSC Committee

February 27: 2014 OSSC Committee

Jurisdiction Questions or Issues

Email: localjurisdictioncontact.bcd

Brett Salmon

News Updates - January 10, 2013

Still time to register for Specialized Finals Inspector course

The division is planning to offer a revamped version of the Specialized Finals Inspector (SFI) Course starting on January 21. The first day of class has moved back from January 7. BCD is continually trying to find ways to improve upon the successes of the 3462 pilot program.

After collecting feedback from participants and jurisdictions we are implementing some changes for the upcoming SFI course. The reason for these key changes to this new SFI Certification training is to make it more flexible for jurisdictions. This flexibility includes:

  • An expert instructor to coordinate both the live class sessions and alternate evaluations

  • Making the live class sessions of the course easily available and custom fit to participant schedules

  • An alternate evaluation in lieu of fieldwork

  • Making sure that the certification examination focuses on the scope of work an individual will be providing

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 ben 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.

The first portion of the course is available through the Chemeketa Community College eLearn system. The online class is available 24/7 from January 21 until March 18. That gives participants 8 weeks to complete the curriculum. The second portion of the course is made up of live classroom sessions. When, where, and what scheduling format these take will depend on the participants schedules and time availability. BCD understands the concern for inspector's time and we want to be as flexible as possible.

The new certification process allows for an 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.

There is still space available for the newest version of the Specialized Inspector Course; applications will be accepted until January 21.

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

Plumbing Board approves FOG code amendments

The Oregon State Plumbing Board, at its December 20, 2012 meeting, approved amendments to Chapter 10 of the 2011 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code regarding grease inceptors for fats, oils, and greases (FOG). The code amendments became effective January 1, 2013.

Representatives of Oregon's local governments, plumbing contractors, businesses, and the building codes division developed these amendments, which were subsequently approved by the Plumbing Board. These amendments support the statewide building code model, reduce confusion, and will ultimately reduce the amount of FOG introduced into the wastewater collection system. FOG in the wastewater collection system causes blockages, increases utility costs, and disrupts wastewater treatment plant operations. Key changes to the code are:

1. Dishwashers and garbage disposals are required to be connected to grease interceptors.
2. If a garbage disposal is used on a system also using a hydromechanical grease interceptor, a solids separator must be installed downstream of a garbage disposal and upstream of the grease interceptor.
3. A dishwasher may be connected to a hydromechanical grease interceptor.
4. Maintenance requirements were removed from the code. Maintenance is not covered under the state building code. Maintenance provisions are not enforceable by building officials or plumbing inspectors as part of the state code.

The division suggests that businesses follow best practice guidelines suggested by product manufacturers and continue working with waste water utilities on best practices. Additionally, nothing in these amendments allow any individual to require different plumbing products or materials after final approval by the building official.

For more information, contact Terry Swisher at 503-373-7488.

Expedited Permitting of Geothermal Power Plant

Building a large geothermal power plant with new technology and aggressive construction timelines can be challenging especially for jurisdictions in the more remote and rural parts of the state where local building departments have limited resources. The 23 megawatt geothermal power plant near Vale known as the Neal Hot Springs project used the State's Rapid Approval Assessment Process and did not hit these road blocks.

Business Oregon designated Neal Hot Springs as "essential to the economic well-being of the state" that enable BCD to expedite the permitting. Approved by the Oregon Legislature in 2003, the Rapid Approval Assessment Process (ORS 455.466) allows BCD to provide assistance and determine what combination of state and local resources will most effectively move the project forward.

For more information on the Neal Hot Springs project go to the Better Buildings for Oregon blog or contact Jerod Broadfoot, BCD eastern regional coordinator, at 541-240-1256.

2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code Updated Amendments
- Radon Mitigation Public Buildings

The adoption of the 2013 amendments to the 2010 OSSC radon provisions represents the final step in implementing Senate Bill 1025 as approved by the 2010 Legislature. The bill required the Building Codes Structures Board to adopt radon mitigation standards for certain types of new residential buildings and new public buildings. These requirements are applicable in Baker, Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, Polk, Washington and Yamhill Counties. New public buildings located in the affected counties must comply with the new provisions sections when submitted for plan review on or after April 1, 2013.

While standards existed for the mitigation of radon in residential structures, there were no contemporary promulgated standards available for commercial "slab on grade" construction.

In the absence of the same, BCD 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 prior to the April 1, 2013 implementation.

The 2013 updates to Chapter's 1, 17, 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 thru 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 changes have been prepared as insert pages for the 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code and are formatted for insertion in loose leave binders.

2010 OSSC chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions online course

In an effort to provide a very affordable and easily accessed course on the 2010 OSSC Chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions, BCD designed an online class that has been available on Chemeketa Community College's (CCC) eLearn system since January 2012. Due to the magnitude of changes that have been made to the OSSC's Chapter 11, BCD is requiring a class on the revisions as part of the code change continuing education obligations for inspectors and plans examiners stated in 918-098-1450 of the Oregon Administrative Rules. This is in addition to the requirement to complete a course on the OSSC.

This online course is self-paced and there is a link to access it on BCD's website CCC eLearn page. The course is the equivalent of four hours of classroom training. There are four lessons that each consist of several presentations, an assignment, and a quiz. There is a printable certificate available at the end of the course. The registration fee for the class is only $35 and is paid directly to Chemeketa. Once registered for the course, students will have access to the site 24/7 and can go at their own pace. Just remember that you must finish the course within the same Chemeketa quarter as you started. For example the winter quarter started January 7 and if you register any time soon (up to March 8) you must finish the course by March 23. The spring term for the course will begin April 1.

For more information contact BCD training coordinator Sherri West at 503-373-7509.

2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code

Beginning January 14th, the division will begin accepting code amendment proposals for the 2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code. The current energy code in Oregon is the 2010 edition of the Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC), which is based on the 2009 International Energy Efficiency Code (IEEC) with Oregon amendments. The 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. The division anticipates that the versions of these codes will become effective April 1, 2014.

Read more about the OEESC code amendment process. If you have questions please contact Mark Heizer at 503-373-0205.


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.

Conditioned Licenses

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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