News Updates - April 10, 2013
Code Committee Updates
The Structural Code Committee concluded its review and adoption process for the 2014 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) on Thursday, April 4, 2013. The Building Codes Structures Board is scheduled to review and make recommendations to the division on the code on Wednesday, June 12, 2013. The division anticipates an August public rulemaking hearing with an anticipated effective date for the code of April 1, 2014. If you want to review the committee’s approved recommendations on code proposals, chapter-related review and other documents please view the committee website.
For more information contact:
Richard Rogers at 503-378-4472 or Steve Judson, P.E., at 503-378-4635.
Oregon Electrical Specialty Code – AFCI
The Electrical and Elevator Board and Residential and Manufactured Structures Boards approved changes to the Arc-Fault Circuit Interrupter provisions of the Oregon Electrical Specialty Code for residential construction. In the March Newsletter BCD announced proposed changes to the code provision as a result of the public hearing in February. While the permanent rules were expected to go into effect June 30, the division and board have decided to move the effective date up to May 1 in order to expedite allowance of the expanded alternatives allowed by the permanent rule. On May 1, AFCIs will be required in most areas of a residence, but installers can use an exception to the general rule in order to provide non-AFCI protected receptacles serving multiple rooms.
For more information contact:
Dennis Clements at 503-378-4459.
Energy Code Adoption Process
The Construction Industry Energy Board (CIEB) will be acting
as the code review committee for the 2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency
Specialty Code. In 2009, House Bill 2950 established the CIEB
to streamline the process of adopting new energy efficiency standards.
The board is made up of members from the Building Codes Structures
Board, the Residential and Manufactured Structures Board and the
Electrical and Elevator Board who have practical experience in
their fields of construction and one member who is an employee
or officer of the State Department of Energy appointed by the
Director of the State Department of Energy. The board makes recommendations
to the director related to energy efficiency. Because the Energy
Code impacts specialty codes beyond those represented by the CIEB,
including the plumbing code and the mechanical code, the division
invited two members from the plumbing and mechanical boards to
consider proposals related to their codes along with the CIEB
as the 2014 OEESC Code Review Committee.
Because Oregon already meets or exceeds the latest national standards, thanks in part to a robust code adoption in 2010, there are no significant changes anticipated. The code review committee’s primary focus will be bringing forward fixes and clarifications of current code language and streamlining the use and understanding of the code. The committee will also be looking to enhance compliance and statewide consistency. The committee will review public proposals and existing Oregon amendments using the 2010 OEESC as the base document.
The division received proposed code amendments between January 14 and February 28. Division technical staff will review the proposals and staff the 2014 OEESC Code Review Committee.
Review of the proposed code changes will begin in May. The board is scheduled to meet on June 26, 2014 to review and make a recommendation to Building Codes Division to adopt the code, with an anticipated effective date of April 1, 2014.
For more information contact:
Mark Heizer at 503-373-0205.
2010 OSSC Chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions course
The spring quarter edition of the 2010 OSSC Chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions course the division provides through the Chemeketa Community College eLearn system is available for registration until June 1, 2013. If you are already registered or planning on registering for this course you have until June 15 to complete it. Registration information is available at the web site. Remember that if you register for the course during the spring term and do not complete it, you will have to re-register, pay the fee again, and retake the whole course to receive credit. If you have any questions or need more information contact Sande Calkins at 503-373-7404.
BCD Staff Update
The division, has made several changes and additions to our staff recently. Here is an update on some recent changes that we would like to share:
We are pleased to announce that ePermitting manager Lori Graham will be managing the Policy and Technical Services section. Lori has experience in code development and administration as well as strong experience and ties with local government.
Shawn joined the Policy and Technical Services group as the new Assistant Electrical Chief. He has worked in various facets of the electrical industry for more than 15 years. He has worked as an instructor focusing on photovoltaic installations for eight years and been involved in an apprentice training committee.
Statewide Services manager Celina Patterson has accepted our offer to manage the ePermitting section. Celina has several years of experience running the division’s largest section and has experience with the Accela product we use in ePermitting.
Tom Phillips has rejoined the Building Codes Division as the Regional and Local Government Relations Manager. Tom will assist with local government outreach, regional coordination, and local government affairs. He will focus on many of the efforts we are pursuing to improve statewide consistency, training, coordination, and assistance to local governments struggling to maintain viable programs.
Shane Sumption is stepping in as the acting manager of our operations areas, including Statewide Services and Field Services.
After 23 years on the job, Terry decided to take the retirement plunge on April 1. We appreciated having Terry’s pleasant demeanor around the office and thank him for being such a dedicated public servant. Please enjoy your retirement Terry!
Until a new chief plumbing inspector is announced, direct your plumbing program questions to Homer Humelbaugh, assistant chief plumbing inspector at 503-378-4486.
Piloting EV-ready residential construction
Oregon positioned itself as a national leader in electric vehicle infrastructure - also called transportation electrification. There are currently more than 2,000 electric vehicles (EVs) registered in the state. Oregon has the nation’s most robust fast-charging network, completing its portion of the Electric Highway, a system of fast chargers from Canada to Mexico, earlier this year. Oregon is also home to a growing EV industry that includes manufacturers of electric bikes, motorcycles, streetcars, batteries, chargers, and software.
Since 80% of electric vehicle charging is done at home, BCD has worked to streamline and simplify installation of residential charging stations. The division is exploring a new tool to help Oregon maintain its leadership position in the EV space, and will be piloting “EV-ready” residential construction later this year. The purpose of the pilot program is to help us identify the cost of a new requirement for builders and to test the idea of regulatory incentives to off-set the cost of an EV-ready requirement. The pilot may also provide information on the impact of EV-ready construction on encouraging EV adoption.
Later this year, BCD will issue a request for information (RFI)
on EV-ready residential construction. Any local jurisdiction administering
and enforcing a local building inspection program interested in
requiring EV-ready new residential construction throughout its
jurisdiction or in a specific area or development may submit a
letter of interest in response to the RFI. In general, EV-ready
requires that new garages or carports accessory to a one- or two-family
dwelling or townhouse are capable of accommodating the future
installation of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) with
minimal preparation. For instance, the electrical service panel
must have a dedicated 240 volt, 40 amp circuit clearly label as
“EV capable.” Examples of EV-ready construction can
include requirements for a listed raceway securely fastened to
the panel and terminate in a listed box or cabinet within close
proximity of the proposed location of a future charging station.
An interested city or county must include specific incentives
the jurisdiction will offer to off-set any additional costs of
EV-ready requirements. The city or county must also specify what
they would consider EV-ready. To obtain feedback on the impact
of EV-ready in diverse settings, multiple jurisdictions may be
selected to participate in the pilot. The local jurisdiction(s)
selected through this process will receive specific authority
from BCD to exceed the state building code through a local amendment
to the code for the duration of the pilot project. This will allow
the jurisdiction to require, and market, greener construction
provisions than the rest of the state.
Look for more information on the roll out of the EV-ready pilot later this summer. For more information on the proposed pilot program, contact Gabrielle Schiffer at 503-373-7415 or Aeron Teverbaugh at 503-373-1354.
BCD Goes Undercover
A recent Building Codes Division sting operation in Washington County netted four unlicensed contractors purporting to be able to perform electrical and plumbing installations. The unlicensed contractors were identified through ads posted on Craigslist. Oregon law prohibits advertising or claiming to do electrical or plumbing work unless properly licensed as a contractor.
“Conducting these types of operations is an effective way for us to address unlicensed people and businesses that advertise on the Internet,” said Andrea Simmons, the division’s enforcement manager. “The anonymity offered by the Internet attracts unlicensed folks so these stings are a way to get them to come to us.”
The division was able to use an empty duplex, pose as the owners and ask the unlicensed contractors to place a bid. When the contractors arrived and agreed to do the work, they were notified of the sting and the related penalties.
One of the unlicensed contractors was a property management company. Following the sting, the division reviewed the company’s maintenance activities on their rentals. It discovered they were also allowing their maintenance staff to perform unlicensed electrical repairs. The division is working with the company, who ultimately faces fines for both the advertising and maintenance issues, to ensure safety concerns are addressed.
Maintenance activities on rental properties and multi-family dwellings are an enforcement focus for division staff, one of the reasons a duplex was used, according to Simmons.
The division anticipates continuing its sting operations as one way of protecting Oregon consumers and properties, and ensuring an even playing field for licensees.
For more information on the sting, or if you have access to an empty residence that can be used for a future sting, contact Brent Griffiths at 503-508-5673.
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.