Edition: Vol. 06, No. 5
Edition date: May 8, 2013


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

BCD Office Closures

Friday, May 24 - Mandatory closure
Monday, May 27 - Holiday

BCD Events

None at this time


May 2: Boiler Class 3A License Committee

May 7: Boiler Class 3A License Committee - Postponed - next meeting TBA

May 14: Review of the 2014 OEESC

May 23: Electrical & Elevator Board - canceled

May 28: Review of the 2014 OEESC

June 4: Board of Boiler Rules

June 5: Mechanical Board

June 11: Review of the 2014 OEESC

June 12: Building Codes Structures Board

June 18: Rulemaking Hearing

June 20: State Plumbing Board

June 26: Construction Industry Energy Board

Statewide Interpretations


Jurisdiction Questions or Issues

Email: localjurisdictioncontact.bcd

Brett Salmon

News Updates - May 8, 2013

Division Announces New Chief Plumbing Inspector

The Building Codes Division is pleased to announce that Dave Kloss has accepted the position of Chief Plumbing Inspector. Dave will fill the position previously held by Terry Swisher until his recent retirement. Dave has been a plumbing inspector for jurisdictions across the state for 18 years. His career includes work as a journeyman plumber, contractor, and apprenticeship instructor. He has been serving as a certified building official and A-level inspector for La Grande and Union County for the past four years. Dave will be joining the division toward the end of this month.

Simple Plan Review: Common Questions

The division is wrapping up the second offering of the Simple Plan Review Course. The course has been offered as a training opportunity for interested permit technicians in order to introduce them to blueprints, plans, and how to find specific code requirements for the items covered by the Simple Plan Review rules.

The temporary rule allows individuals that do not have a plan reviewer's certification to review permit applications for limited types of construction. The rules do not require jurisdictions to use uncertified individuals to review permits for items such as first story decks, fences between six and eight feet in height, carports, or simple remodels. Rather, the rules were designed to give jurisdictions the flexibility to use their uncertified staff to review particular permits, where the building official is confident that staff can understand and use the checklists provided, to quickly issue specific types of simple permit items over the counter. The rules were based on feedback received by the division as part of the HB 3462 training pilot. As part of the permanent rulemaking, the division opened the rules for comment April 1-26. The draft checklists available for interested jurisdictions are being formatted and will be available on the division's forms page when the rules become permanent July 1, 2013. If you are interested in obtaining the draft checklists or in attending the Simple Plan Review class, contact Aeron Teverbaugh at 503-373-1354.

25 Percent Rule - U.S. DOJ Safe Harbor - 2010 ADA Standards

On March 1, 2012, to maintain compliance with the U.S. Department of Justice release of the 2010 ADA Standards, Oregon adopted new accessibility standards based on the 2009 International Building Code.

The division has been receiving questions about the applicability of ORS 447.241 (aka 25 percent rule) to covered elements in facilities that were built or altered in compliance with previous versions of the ADA as enforced through the building code. Many elements that were built to comply with the previous Oregon Structural Specialty Code chapter 11 (1991 ADAAG Standard) may not comply with the 2010 ADA Standards. The question is whether or not it is the intent of the 25 percent rule to require compliance with the current standards where such elements are listed in ORS 447.241(4).

The simple answer is no.

Under Oregon law, legal occupancies can continue without change as long as they are not a safety hazard. The federal adoption of the 2010 ADA Standards also included a general "safe harbor" under which elements covered in facilities built or altered in compliance with the 1991 ADAAG Standard (previous Oregon Chapter 11) would not be required to be brought into compliance with the 2010 Standards until the elements were subject to planned alteration. A similar safe harbor applies to elements associated with the "path of travel" to an altered area.

In short, elements that were approved under the previous OSSC accessibility standards may continue without modification and are not subject to consideration under the 25 percent rule. Where such elements are voluntarily being altered, compliance with the currently adopted OSSC accessibility provisions will apply. For questions, contact Steve Judson at 503-378-4635.

Comparison of Single-User Toilet Room Layouts

With the adoption of the accessibility provisions of the 2009 International Building Code (IBC), accessible single-user restroom provisions and room sizes have changed significantly. Chiefly, lavatories are no longer allowed to encroach within the five-foot minimum width between the side wall of the water closet and the lavatory. To help this and other transitions in the 2010 ADA Standards, the U.S. Department of Justice published a guide titled "Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design."

Of particular interest in addressing single-user restroom designs, the guide includes depictions of several such restrooms configurations and compares 2010 ADA Standard compliant designs with those compliant under the 1991 Standards (Previous Oregon Chapter 11). The 2010 ADA Standard/2009 IBC compliant designs may be useful to designers looking for options where space is at a premium. Because the guide uses nearly identical section numbering as the ICC/ANSI A117.1 adopted by Oregon to implement the ADA, it is easy to correlate the 2010 ADA Standard information in the guide to the Oregon code requirements.

It should be noted that bathroom designs for dwelling and sleeping units must comply with ICC/ANSI A117.1, Chapter 10. For questions, contact Steve Judson at 503-378-4635.

Code Committee Updates

Structural Code
The Building Codes Structures Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday, June 12, 2013, to review and make a recommendation to the Building Codes Division. The anticipated effective date of the new code is April 1, 2014. To review the committee's approved recommendations on code proposals, chapter-related review, and other documents, go to the committee website.

For more information contact:
Richard Rogers at 503-378-4472 or Steve Judson, P.E. at 503-378-4635.

Mechanical Code
The Mechanical Board is scheduled to meet Wednesday, June 5, 2013, to review and make a recommendation to the Building Codes Division. The anticipated effective date of the code is April 1, 2014. To review the committee's approved recommendations on code proposals, chapter-related review, and other documents, go to the committee website.

For more information contact: Mark Heizer at 503-373-0205.

Energy Code
Review of proposed code changes for the 2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) will begin on Tuesday, May 14, 2013, at 9:00 a.m. A second meeting will be held Wednesday, May 29, 2013. The board is scheduled to meet on June 26, 2013, to review and make a recommendation to the Building Codes Division to adopt the code, with an anticipated effective date of April 1, 2014. Chapter-related review and other documents are available for review on the committee website.

For more information contact: Mark Heizer at 503-373-0205.

Regulation of Cranes and Derricks

The topic of crane safety is getting a lot of public attention right now. The Building Codes Division does not regulate the assembly and disassembly of construction-related cranes and derricks. All aspects of the assembly of construction cranes and derricks rests solely with BCD's sister agency, Oregon OSHA. OR OSHA's Ron Haverkost notes that they do not defer to local building departments for the enforcement of any requirements for cranes and derrick assembly and disassembly.

Oregon OSHA's extensive crane rules were recently updated and address all aspects of crane and derrick assembly and disassembly.

Highlights include:

  • Ensuring that ground conditions are adequate to safely support the equipment

  • New requirements applicable to assembly and disassembly

  • New requirements for maintaining sufficient clearance from power lines hazards

  • New requirements for pre-erection inspection of tower cranes

  • Requirements for engineered footings for tower cranes

For more information on Oregon OSHA's crane standards for the construction industry, click here or contact Ron Haverkost at 503-947-7421.

Use of Biomass Boilers Growing in Oregon

Biomass boiler at Illinois Valley High School
Photo Credit: Marcus Kauffman

With nearly half of Oregon's 63 million acres covered in forest, it can often make financial sense to use locally available biomass for generating heat and power. This is especially true in areas of the state not served by natural gas where boilers use imported fuel oil. In those places, installing a high-efficiency biomass boiler can save between $20,000 and $120,000 annually on heating costs.

In 2009, the Oregon Boiler Board decided to allow the installation of high-performance boilers and pressure vessels built to internationally recognized standards in Oregon.

This decision helped set the stage for the installation of innovative, efficient biomass boiler technology.

For more information on existing and upcoming biomass projects check out the latest post on the Better Buildings for Oregon blog.


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.

Plumbing suspensions and revocations

Final Orders after Hearing

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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