Edition: Vol. 03, No. 05
Edition date: June 10, 2010

Printable version

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

BCD Office Closures

Mandatory closure: June 18

BCD Events

Ongoing - Building Officials Legislative Update Training

OEESC Training schedule:
June 10 - Salem; 8-noon
June 16 - Eugene; 1-5
June 21 - Medford; 1-5
June 23 - Bend; 1-5
June 30 - Portland; 8-noon
July 14 - Pendleton; 1-5

Board meetings

June 17: State Plumbing Board

June 29: Construction Industry Energy Board

Public meetings and hearings

June 15: Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code Committee meeting

June 16: Oregon Residential Specialty Code Committee meeting

June 17: ORSC Section R703.1 Task Force (Tentative)

June 22: HB 3462 Rulemaking Committee (Tentative)

June 23: Oregon Reach Code Committee (Tentative)

June 29: Plumbing Code Committee (Tentative)


News Updates - June 10, 2010

Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code training is out there

The Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) code change training is being offered in six different locations around the state this month. The free training is very popular and has over 500 registrations as of June 1. There will also be a Web based training in two parts on August 3 and 5. This online version is being provided to help those who missed the live training. The training documents will be available for viewing on our Web site in the future.

In addition to the code change training, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is providing training on the Oregon specific version of COMcheck, the compliance reporting software that will be used with the new code. They have scheduled the Web based training for Thursday, August 19, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There will be a link to register for this class soon on both the BCD Web site and www.energycodes.gov.

There will also be a short class on COMcheck and what jurisdictions should expect with this new system at the Oregon Building Officials Association's annual business meeting. OBOA's meeting is scheduled for July 22 and 23 in Bend.

If you have questions or want more information, please contact Sherri West at 503-373-7509 or Sherri.D.West@state.or.us.

BCD needs updates on post earthquake, flood, and windstorm inspectors

The Building Codes Division (BCD) is reviewing its disaster response procedures and updating its list of certified Earthquake (ATC-20, GQI & LQI) and Flood and Windstorm (ATC-45) inspectors. The Building Codes Division is seeking definite commitments from local building departments and certified building inspectors willing to be contacted by BCD to conduct post-disaster inspections. Individuals should seriously consider whether they are willing to serve if a need arises and verify that they have the support of their jurisdictions.

This updated list of specially certified inspectors will be posted on BCD's Commercial Structures Program Web site under Hot topics. Those inspectors already on BCD's contact list will be receiving a letter requesting updated certification, employment, and contact information. Any other appropriately certified inspectors who wish to be added to the contact list may also provide their contact information to Para Technical Specialist, Dana Fischer at 503-373-0226 or at Dana.C.Fischer@state.or.us by June 30, 2010.

Solar Installation Code Heads to the Board

The Solar Code Committee has completed its work on Oregon's new 2010 Solar Installation Specialty Code. The committee has been working since September 2009 to draft provisions for the nation's first statewide solar code. The code focuses on photovoltaic installations setting aside building integrated components, solar thermal and solar hot water systems, for future versions of the code. The development process was time consuming, in part, because the committee did not have a model code to amend. Many of the design and administrative provisions mirror sections of the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC). However, the prescriptive path, fire fighter access provisions, fee calculations and plan review requirements were all developed specifically for Oregon. The committee worked closely with jurisdictions, installers, and fire services to craft the code. The committee drafted the prescriptive path and various administrative provisions to allow for simple installations to be constructed without plan review. Under the new code, solar installations will be streamlined across the state.

The code will go before the Construction Industry Energy Board on June 29th. If the Board approves the code, the division expects to hold a rulemaking hearing in August, with an October 1, 2010 effective date. Because many of the provisions mirror the OSSC, the code will not require a code change course. Conscious of the demands on the local jurisdictions, the division is working on a commentary version of the code, which will explain the provisions and the considerations behind them.

To clarify the licensing requirements for solar photovoltaic installations in advance of the new code the division drafted a solar licensing rule. The rule went to hearing last month and will become effective July 1.

Consistent Solar Fees

To accompany the new solar installation code, the division drafted a set of rules to address solar permit fees. The rules will address both structural and electrical permit fees. Under the draft rule, structural permits for installations following the prescriptive path will be a flat fee and include the cost of the permit review. Since no plan review is required for prescriptive installations, this fee methodology should result in relatively predictable fees for installers. Structural permits for non-prescriptive installations will be based on the valuation of the systems minus the cost of the photovoltaic modules.

The division has received a number of questions about the existing electrical permit structure for renewable energy systems. We are working on a draft that will clarify and extend the current methodology for renewable energy systems. The draft rule would maintain the existing structure for systems up to 25KVA and then increase the fee by a set amount for each additional increment. The draft caps the cost to prevent exorbitant fees for larger systems. Each permit will include a set number of inspections; additional inspections will be charged at an hourly rate, ensuring that jurisdictions will be able to recoup their costs for inspections. The division is currently developing draft rules which will be made available in the near future. Public hearing on the rules will likely be held in September. The division anticipates that both rules will become effective on October 1, 2010, to accompany the solar code.

If you have questions or want more information, please contact Aeron Teverbaugh at 503-373-2160 or Aeron.Teverbaugh@state.or.us.

New certification renewal procedures effective July 1

House Bill 3462, passed by the 2009 Oregon Legislature, directed the Building Codes Division to establish a certification renewal procedure including application and fee requirements for building officials, inspectors, and plan reviewers that will go into effect July 1, 2010. The Oregon Inspectors Certification (OIC) is the single certification that is renewed for all the certifications held by an individual. The rules require renewal of all OICs on November 1, 2010, and every three years thereafter on that date. The established renewal fee is $125. The rules also add another continuing education requirement of a class on legislative changes that affect the construction industry, to ensure that inspectors are versed in the current laws. This class is normally offered after the regular legislative session and is also available at no cost on the BCD Web site.

All building officials, plan reviewers, and inspectors who have an Oregon Code Certification, but do not have an OIC, will be issued an OIC without charge and without examination. That OIC will be issued through a letter that the division will be sending toward the end of this month. The OIC issued to this group will expire along with all other OICs on November 1st. All OIC holders will receive notice of the renewal requirement by mail in mid-September at the address on file with the division. If you have recently moved or are not sure the division has your current address, please contact Tiffani Alexander, BCD's Inspector Certification Specialist, at 503-373-1248 or Tiffani.K.Alexander@state.or.us to ensure you receive that notification.

2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code

In late April 2010, The Building Codes Division began the solicitation process to gather names for potential 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) committee members. This code will be based on the 2009 International Residential Code (2009 IRC) and is anticipated to be adopted on July 1, 2011. The committee will review both changes to the model code and current Oregon amendments. This committee will look at both the structural and mechanical aspects of the residential code, while determining methods to tighten energy efficiency requirements in the code authorized by Senate Bill 79 (2009).

The ORSC code committee will make a recommendation to the Residential and Manufactured Structures Board to approve their amended code. Once this board sanctions the code changes, the division reviews and adopts the changes as the 2011 ORSC. The Residential and Manufactured Structures Board also makes a recommendation to the division on the residential plumbing and electrical provisions that are applicable to residential construction.

There was a wide response from members of the residential construction industry to the division's committee member request. The new members of the code committee are Johnathan Balkema representing Oregon Home Builders Assoc., Mike Goodrich representing Legend Homes Corporation, Tracy Hankin representing Hankins Construction, Gary Lampella representing City of Redmond, Ravi Mahajan representing Clackamas County, Eric McMullen representing Oregon State Fire Marshal, and Alan Seymour representing Department of Energy.

The first committee meeting is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please visit the committee's Web site to sign up for email updates and view committee activities including submitted code proposals.

Additionally, the division will be issuing a notice to open up a 45-day code amendment window for Appendix N of the Low Rise Residential Code. Appendix N is currently contained in the Oregon Structural Specialty Code. For more information and history on 2008 Appendix N view the scope and application for Appendix N.

If you have questions or need further information, please contact Richard Rogers, structural program chief, at 503-378-4472 or Richard.Rogers@state.or.us.


Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the State 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 State Electrical and Elevator Board.
Final orders after hearing: These cases went to a contested case hearing. Each penalty assessment was reviewed and approved by the State Electrical and Elevator Board.

Summary of enforcement cases presented
to the Board of Boiler Rules

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 Board of Boiler Rules.

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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