Edition: Vol. 02, No. 13
Edition date: August 6, 2009

Printable version

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

BCD Events

BCD 1% Training courses: Residential Green Building and the Building Codes

August 11: Bend

August 12: Baker City

Questions? Call Johnathan at 503.378.9066, Ext 5 or email: jbalkema@oregonhba.com

Board meetings
August, September

August 5: Mechanical Board meeting

August 21: Oregon State Plumbing Board meeting

September 1: Board of Boiler Rules meeting

September 10: Manufactured Structures and Parks Advisory Board meeting

September 24: Electrical and Elevator Board meeting

September 30: Building Codes Structures Board meeting (rescheduled from August 5)

Public meetings and hearings

August 6: 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code Committee meeting


News Updates - August 6, 2009

The news on ePermitting is getting out

The Department of Consumer and Business Services distributed a news release, August 5, 2009, on the newest phase of the Building Codes Division's online permitting project. The article has some great information on the progress of the ePermitting system and includes an overview of the next steps for the system. The article also has a link and article by Acella, Inc. on their involvement with the ePermitting project.

Just as an additional update, you might like to know a few stats from ePermitting's first live month. From June 22, when the Web site went live, to July 22; 702 contractors have registered. The participating jurisdictions have sold a total of 1,787 permits bringing in receipts of $189,053. In the history of the Quick Permits program, there are only four months that earned more than this. It looks like ePermitting is well on its way!

Legislative update training is online

If you have not had a chance to take the Legislative Update Training (law change class), it is now available online at no cost on the BCD Web site. This class is required every two years after the regular legislative session in order to maintain your building official certification. Having it available online is a great help to all the BOs around the state who could not attend a live class. The course takes about an hour to complete and also gives BCD a record of the participant's results. If you take the training, be sure to print out the "Thank You" page at the end of the course for your records as proof of course completion. If you have any questions about the class, please contact Sherri West at Sherri.D.West@state.or.us or 503-373-7509.

Consistent fees and forms update, questions answered

BCD trying to ensure consistency across the state
The consistent fee valuation method has been in place for about 8 months and the division is continuing to work with jurisdictions to ensure that it really is consistent across the state. The division has found that a few municipalities are unaware of the requirement or have not put the new methods into practice. The initial waiver for providing notice to the division expired and municipalities that are only now adopting new fees must comply with the statutory requirements for providing notice to BCD of fee changes. The requirements and contents of the notice are in OAR 918-020-0220.

Figuring valuation
Additionally, the division recently received a question we thought worth clarifying for everyone.

Under the fee calculation method in Oregon Administrative Rule (OAR) 918-050-0100, a municipality must use the International Code Council (ICC) valuation table for figuring the value of residential property. For valuing commercial property, a municipality uses either the ICC valuation table or the value stated by the builder. The ICC valuation table, Oregon Residential Specialty Code, and Oregon Structural Specialty Code all state that the valuation of a structure includes all the mechanical equipment, and plumbing fixtures. But a contractor still needs to obtain mechanical, electrical, and plumbing permits for a new building.

Here is the question the division was asked: if the value of the mechanical system was already figured into the value of the structure, why do they need to break out the value of the mechanical equipment/labor and get a mechanical permit?

The division's answer: while the valuation of a building to figure the cost of a structural permit includes the mechanical equipment and other pieces, the structural permit is meant to cover the inspection costs of the structure - not all the components of the structure. The mechanical permit specifically covers the inspection of the mechanical equipment, the electrical or plumbing permits - the electrical or plumbing installation. Including the value of the mechanical equipment in the total costs of constructing the building is only the first step to figuring the permit cost. It does not result in "double charging" when the cost of the mechanical equipment is also used to calculate the costs of the mechanical permit.

For those that may still have questions about how to adopt this new method of calculating permit fees or if you have any questions about OAR Chapter 918 Division 50 and the Consistent Fee Methodology, please contact Aeron Teverbaugh, Aeron.Teverbaugh@state.or.us.

Quick approval possible for small wind turbines

In its continuing effort to be flexible with the onset of new technology and to advance sustainability, BCD, in conjunction with the Electrical and Elevator Board and the Oregon Department of Energy, has created a rule that allows manufacturers to install small wind turbines quickly, yet safely. The rule provides a streamlined process of certification for small wind turbines as an alternative to the lengthy national certification process. The rule went into effect on July 27, 2009.

New Job opportunities at BCD

With the passage of Senate Bill 79, the legislature has directed the division to undertake a number of tasks related to energy efficiency, including the development of a new type of code for Oregon known as a "reach code." This reach code is a code of energy efficiency standards on and above the adopted Oregon building code that provides an optional set of higher standards for builders, developers, and owners to utilize in order to improve the energy efficiency of structures in Oregon.

Because this type of code has not been adopted in Oregon before, the legislature created two limited-duration positions to assist the division in the development of this reach code. The division is currently recruiting for both positions. The division is seeking individuals with either a strong background in policy analysis and development, or technical background in design, construction, and/or energy issues. The information for the recruitment of these positions can be found on the division's Web site. Please pass this information on to anyone you know who might be interested in one of these limited-duration positions. If you have any questions, please contact Robert Newton at Robert.J.Newton@state.or.us or 503-947-7011.

Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the Electrical and 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.

Stipulated Agreements: These cases went to a contested case hearing. Each penalty assessment was reviewed and approved by the Electrical and Elevator Board.

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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