News Updates - December 31, 2008
Energy efficiency in commercial buildings is changing
As of December 30, 2008, the division is accepting code
amendment proposals relating to increasing energy efficiency
in commercial buildings through construction practices or methods.
Because energy efficiency is such a broad topic area, the division
is accepting proposed changes to any of the codes including structural,
mechanical, electrical, plumbing, or boiler. BCD will be accepting
code amendment proposals for energy efficiency until February
A Commercial Energy
Conservation Group (CEC) is being formed to advise the division
on proposed code changes related to energy efficiency. The CEC
will review code amendment proposals that have met the criteria
of increasing energy efficiency in commercial buildings. The division
will include the group's input and advice when forwarding proposals
to the appropriate advisory board(s) in August and September 2009.
The Oregon Structural and Mechanical Specialty Codes will be adopted
April 1, 2010.
Electrical licensees designing fire protection systems
The permanent rule allowing general supervising electricians,
general journeyman electricians, and class "A" limited
energy technician licensees to design, plan, and lay out the electrical
portions of a fire protection system goes into effect on Jan.
1,2009. This permanent rule exempts these three licenses from
the requirement that a licensed engineer perform this type of
In May of 2008, Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineering
and Land Surveying (OSBEELS) issued a statement declaring in part,
"unless an exception to the engineering laws apply, the design
of fire protection systems must be performed under the supervision
and control of a registered professional engineer or architect
Because of this OSBEELS statement, licensed individuals, including
licensed electricians employed by fire alarm contractors, were
prohibited from designing fire protection systems. Representatives
of both industry and local government approached the division
and requested BCD address the effect of the OSBEELS action on
the common practice of allowing electrical licensees to design
the electrical portions of fire protection systems.
permanent rule replaces the temporary rule in effect since
July and is the result of numerous conversations between the division
and diverse stakeholders such as electricians, contractors, engineers,
local jurisdictions, and fire and life safety personnel. It clarifies
which licensees may design, plan, and lay out the electrical portions
of a fire protection system.
Local government gets local amendment capabilities
In an effort to help jurisdictions address the needs of their
communities, the division has adopted a rule providing a mechanism
for requesting a local code amendment to the state building code.
Local Amendment Rule, OAR 918-020-0370, becomes effective
January 1, 2009.
The rule contains the procedure for adopting a local amendment
through an ordinance or administrative rule. The rule requires
jurisdictions to provide an opportunity for public comment prior
to submitting a local amendment request to the division. The request
will need to include a report explaining how the local jurisdiction
responded to the substantive concerns raised during the public
comment period. What exactly a "substantive issue" is
will be defined by public input.
The rule prohibits "severance clauses" in local amendments.
The local ordinance or administrative rule approved by the director
represents the "terms and conditions" of the local amendment.
If one of the terms is invalidated, the whole local amendment
becomes null and void because it is no longer what the director
approved. The jurisdiction's building official is responsible
for enforcing and interpreting the local amendment once approved.
The director can approve an ordinance conditionally, in whole
or in part, and may review local amendments as necessary. The
director can withdraw their approval of the local amendment for
reasons including: new information, changes in technology, and
failure of a building official to uphold the terms and conditions
relating to the local amendment. Where chapters or appendices
are included in the code specifically for optional local adoption,
jurisdictions won't have to follow the local amendment procedures.
If you have any questions, please contact Aeron Teverbaugh at
(503) 373-1354 or through e-mail at email@example.com.
A new look for some BCD Web pages
You may have noticed that some of our Web pages have a new look!
We have reorganized some of the individual pages to group similar
topics together in an effort to make the information a bit easier
to find. We have redesigned the Web pages to provide a "one-stop
shopping" experience, allowing you to access all the information
for a specific topic in one place. These updated pages include:
all things rulemaking, from newly adopted rules, to rulemaking
advisory committees, to BCD's OAR compilation
all board activities, including upcoming meetings, links to
each board's individual page, open board positions, and the
a page devoted to the many advisory committees utilized by BCD
you will find the most current BCD ORS compilation and other
helpful links on this page
BCD Home- the home
page now has a BCD activity calendar where notices of upcoming
meetings and events will be posted, replacing the old "public
We hope the new format will be user-friendly and allow you to
find what you are looking for faster.
New Year, some new rules
January 1st is just around the corner and with the New Year come
some new rules. The division has adopted several rules that become
effective on January 1, 2009. Some rules of interest to jurisdictions
Forms & Fee Methodology rules require all municipal
building inspection programs to calculate permit fees using
the same calculation methodologies and use permit forms consistent
with the division's minimum requirements.
Amendment Request rule establishes a process municipalities
must follow when adopting code requirements as local amendments.
(Article in this issue)
Exemption rule allows a general supervising electrician,
general journeyman electrician, and class "A" limited
energy technician licensees to design, plan, and lay out the
electrical portions of a fire protection system. (Article in
Vessel Inspection Frequency rule specifies the frequency
of pressure vessel inspections to improve efficiency by tailoring
inspection cycles to match the safety risks posed by particular
classes of pressure vessels.
And the new rules don't stop there! The following rules are also
effective on January 1, 2009:
With the new year, and the new rules, the division is also launching
a brand new rulemaking
Web page, which includes information on the division's rulemaking
activities- all in one place! You can always visit the rulemaking
Web page to see the division's ongoing rulemaking projects. Sign
up to be notified each time the page is updated- just click on
"sign up for BCD rule updates by email" at the top of
the new page.
Summary of enforcement cases presented to the Oregon State
of cases resolved by BCD
These cases were resolved by the division's enforcement section
and did not need any action by the Oregon State Plumbing Board.
of contested cases
With these cases, the enforcement section represented the division
in legal actions and the board was required to review the results
and take action. Each final order was approved by the board with
New look and feel for the Directory of Responsibility
As part of the ePermitting team's revisions and improvements
to the current Quick Permits program, the Local Building Department
Directory (formerly the Directory of Responsibility) is being
updated too. The new directory will give jurisdictions more control
over the essential information that identifies each building department
and allow them to update information as necessary.
The new directory is a Web based application that allows you,
as the local jurisdiction, the ability to input, verify, and maintain
your own data. The information you input is what the customer
sees when they enter an address on the Web site. With the use
of unique login information, you will now be able to make any
necessary changes to important operation information, thereby
keeping everything accurate and up-to-date.
With the new ePermitting portal coming on board in April, it is
a great time to get familiar with the revised directory and verify
your jurisdictional information. Get started by simply filling
registration form. The registered contact person will receive
a unique jurisdictional login and a link to training tutorials
for the new directory. Once your jurisdiction completes the tutorials,
you will be able to begin reviewing and updating the information
in the directory.