Edition: Vol. 01, No. 08
Edition date: October 8, 2008

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

BCD Events
October, November 2008

GreenPlumbers Course Series

October 18, 2008:
Water Efficient Technology

November 1, 2008:
Climate Care

November 15, 2008: Inspection Report Services

Solar Hot Water

Board meetings
October, November 2008

October 17: Oregon State Plumbing Board

November 5: Building Codes Structures Board

November 20: Electrical and Elevator Board

Contact a Code Chief

Dennis Clements

- Chief Electrical Inspector
- 503-378-4459

Ron Crabtree
- Chief Elevator & Amusement Ride Inspector
- 503-378-3866

Albert Endres
- Manufactured Structures Chief
- 503-378-5975

Mike Graham
- Chief Boiler Inspector
- 503-373-7499

Richard Rogers
- Structural Program Chief
- 503-378-4472

Terry Swisher
- Chief Plumbing Inspector
- 503-373-7488

News Updates - October 8, 2008

BCD amends 2008 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC)

At its October 1, 2008 meeting, the Residential Structures Board approved two division-proposed amendments to the ORSC. The division adopted the amendments by temporary rule and intends to forward the amendments to hearing for permanent adoption. The first amended Section R602.10.9 of the code to prohibit the use of alternate braced panels in interior braced wall lines, which will improve both the structural integrity and seismic safety of a dwelling. The second amendment reinstates model code Section R613.2 to the ORSC. This section establishes a minimum distance from the floor for both windowsills and glazing, and also addresses a life and safety issue facing small children in dwellings.

BCD makes energizing request form letter available

The division's new rule for the use of letters requesting to energize an electrical installation prior to inspection took effect on October 1, 2008. In the past, unregulated requests were occasionally abused, and often the contractor failed to inform the inspecting jurisdiction that an installation required inspection. This created safety concerns for licensees, their customers, and inspectors, as well as potential liability issues for utilities.

As part of implementing the rule, the division has adopted a form letter that will introduce uniformity to the request process. The letter makes clear what information is necessary before a request can be approved by a utility, including who made the request, where the installation is located, and the inspecting jurisdiction that is to be contacted. Instructions included on the letter explain to licensees their responsibility to notify inspectors that an installation has been energized and request an inspection. Use of the letter will promote safety and consistency in the request process, and ensure that licensees can get their customers' power turned back on much faster.

Statewide code interpretation clarifies work clearance around residential furnaces

The division issued a statewide code interpretation of Sections M1305.1.3 and M1305.1.4 of the ORSC, and Article 110.26 of the OESC on August 15, 2008, clarifying that mechanical equipment and appliance access is regulated under the mechanical provisions of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC), not the Oregon Electrical Specialty Code (OESC). The code interpretation recognizes that, although Article 110.26 of the OESC sets workplace requirements for 'electrical equipment,' it is more appropriate to apply the mechanical provisions of the ORSC because the applicable sections specifically address mechanical appliances, such as furnaces.

Elevator minor label program

The state elevator program opened its doors to the minor label program on October 1st. Minor labels are lower cost permits that can be used for minor repairs. Minor label inspections are performed on one out of ten minor label installations. Elevator contractors can buy minor label permits to replace or repair:
- elevator signaling equipment
- piping connections, valves; or fitting
- speed governors
- door or gate reopening devices
- entrance assemblies
- cartop controls, door operators, or security card readers
- hydraulic machine motors
- hydraulic control valves
- elevator car lighting or fans
- car enclosure linings and floor coverings
One replacement or repair may be performed on each permit. One minor label may be used in an elevator car, every 30 days. Elevator minor labels will save contractors time and money and thus, should decrease the inconvenience to elevator users during minor repair work.

History of Oregon's Low Rise Code

In response to numerous inquiries regarding Oregon's Low Rise Code, the division has prepared a short synopsis detailing the history, location of the various provisions, and board oversight of this code. We hope this explanation will help clear up any confusion caused by the various changes in the Low Rise Code over the years. You are encouraged to make a copy of the chart provided in the history to have as a reference as to where different portions of the code are located.

Regional Program Services

League of Oregon Cities fall conference
BCD and the Regional Program Services section were represented at the fall conference of the League of Oregon Cities (LOC). Michael Morter, regional coordinator for the Willamette Valley, coast and southern regions, attended the conference and spoke to city administrators and elected officials who visited the BCD booth. Gabrielle Schiffer, Green Building Services section, was also present at the conference talked to attendees about BCD's efforts in greening the building codes. Making BCD staff available to jurisdictions through conferences like this is an important goal of the regional coordinators. Michael plans to attend the Association of Oregon Counties conference in November.

David Galati, Regional Program Services manager, recently accepted a position in the Highway Division of the Oregon Department of Transportation. He will be working with local governments, helping them to get transportation projects funded and built. BCD is in the process of recruiting for the position.


Next steps - gathering of the business process workgroup
The ePermitting project is taking another big step, gathering important detailed information to help develop the customized pieces of the system. The Business Process Workgroup is made up of permit and IT specialists from jurisdictions across the state who will be gathering on October 22 to work through a two day process of answering specific questions for the ePermitting project team. The workgroup's mission is to identify local building jurisdictions' permit processes, collect findings, and establish consistent terms and methods. They will accomplish this by answering questions on focus areas like application intake, plan review, permit issuance, fees, inspections, and many other functions of the permitting process. They will also be discussing other aspects that will affect the new system such as address management and licensed professional management.

Following this two-day session, the ePermitting team will be testing the workgroup's findings in the field and seeing if they meet the jurisdictions' needs. The workgroup hopes to get more detailed information from the jurisdictions' key staff, adding to their data. The team wants to develop an ongoing dialogue with the jurisdictions, which will help them in creating a system that is 80% built, meeting the requirements of all jurisdictions, with the ability to customize to customers needs for the remaining 20%.

If your jurisdiction is interested in the ePermitting system, you should complete a letter of interest and get it to BCD no later than October 31. Obviously, many jurisdictions may need a more detailed presentation from one of our information teams made up of technical staff, program staff, and representatives of Accela. BCD is willing to organize these information sessions before the October 31st deadline. Please contact Patrick Allen at 503-378-2872 or patrick.allen@state.or.us if your jurisdiction has any questions or would like to schedule a presentation.


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Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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