Edition: Vol. 03, No. 08
Edition date: September 1, 2010

Printable version

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

BCD Office Closures

Mandatory Closure:
September 17

Board meetings

September 1: Mechanical Board

September 7:
Board of Boiler Rules

September 23: Elevator and Electrical Board

Public meetings and hearings

September 15: Residential Code Committee

September 15: Reach Code Committee

September 17: Rulemaking Hearings

September 27: Radon Gas Mitigation Standard Committee (tentative)

September 29: Reach Code Committee


News Updates - September 1, 2010

Consistent Fee Methodology for Solar Installations

The division's solar package went through a public hearing last month. The package included a method for the consistent valuation of solar structural permit fees to accompany the new Oregon Solar Installation Specialty Code (OSISC). The fee method requires jurisdictions to adopt a flat fee for structural permits for installations falling under the OSISC's prescriptive path. That fee includes review of the permit application and one inspection. For engineered systems, jurisdictions will use the value of the structural components and labor, plugging the value into a fee schedule determined by the jurisdiction. While you can use your existing fee schedule, you should make sure that fees are sufficient to cover the costs of administration and inspection.

The rules also include clarifications to the existing renewable energy electrical permitting fees, which currently do not address many of the larger systems being installed today. The division worked with stakeholders to clarify electrical permitting fees for solar and wind installations above 25 KW. For wind power renewable permits, the division drafted the clarification to reflect current practice.

Because the consistent solar fees methodology is new for the state, the division will waive the requirement to give notification 45 days before the new fees are adopted. But jurisdictions will still need to follow any local requirements for notification and hearing on the new fees.

The new solar rules and code will clear up inconsistency in how solar is installed and plans are reviewed and permitted across the state. The OSISC is a stand alone code addressing photovoltaic installation. The code contains a prescriptive path for simple installations. Non-complex prescriptive installations will not require plan review under the proposed code and rules.

The rules and code will become effective on October 1, 2010. Conscious of the demands on the local jurisdictions, the new code will not include a code change training requirement. In lieu of a code change requirement the division is working on a commentary version of the code explaining the provisions and the considerations behind them.

Energy Code Training News

The division is continuing to offer training on the new Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC). Back in June and July, BCD provided a number of live trainings across the state. Attendance was overwhelming. The division will be offering two more training opportunities on the 2010 OEESC. The first is a two-part webinar on Oct. 5 and 7 from 10 a.m. - noon. You can register at www.bcd.oregon.gov. The second will be a self-paced online training, which will be available later in October.

The OEESC is a required code change course for inspectors inspecting under the Oregon Structural Specialty Code. While the code change course is required within each three years of a code adoption cycle, inspectors with structural certification will not need this training to renew their OIC on November 1, 2010. In previous communications, some may have been told that they were required to obtain OEESC code change hours prior to renewal, but that is not the case.

The division also wants to remind holders of the International Code Council (ICC) certifications that the trainings sponsored by the division on the OEESC, count toward the ICC's continuing education requirements. In general, trainings that you attend for your Oregon Continuing Education Credits will also count as ICC continuing education credits. If you have questions about whether classes will qualify, please check out the ICC website.

Demonstrating compliance with the energy code

July 1, 2010 marked the beginning of the three month phase-in period for the 2010 editions of the Oregon Mechanical, Structural, and Energy codes which ends September 30. During the phase-in period, jurisdictions will accept plans designed to either the 2007 or 2010 code editions. For the structural and mechanical codes, the transition from the 2007 to the 2010 edition will be fairly smooth. The transition for the energy code is slightly more complex.

Unlike the mechanical and structural codes, the tools for demonstrating compliance with the 2010 edition of the energy code have changed from those used for the 2007 code. For designs based on the 2007 edition of the energy code, applicants demonstrated compliance using CodeComp and submitted Excel based compliance forms. Neither CodeComp nor the existing compliance forms were updated to reflect the 2010 energy code provisions; instead, a new program called COMcheck will be used for demonstrating compliance with the new code.

Since both CodeComp and COMcheck are programs tailored to measure compliance with a specific edition of the code, it is important that the correct compliance tool is used during the phase-in period. Designs based on the 2007 energy provisions need to use CodeComp and submit the existing Excel based compliance forms just as they did prior to the adoption of the new code. Designs based on the 2010 OEESC need to submit the appropriate COMcheck "Compliance Certificate(s)."

The division has provided additional guidance related to requiring COMcheck for designs based on the 2010 OEESC in this document.

For technical questions specific to COMcheck, please contact Mark Campion at mark.campion@state.or.us or 503-378-4530.

Residential and Plumbing Specialty Code Change
Committees Wrapping up their Work

The Oregon Residential Specialty Code(ORSC) and Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code (OPSC) committees are wrapping up their work reviewing public proposals for their respective codes, along with model code changes and existing Oregon amendments.

On August 11, the plumbing code review committee completed its review of the code. The committee's recommendation will be considered by the Plumbing Board at the board's October 21st meeting. Following the board's recommendation, a public hearing will be held on the proposed draft code in December. We expect the 2011 OPSC to become effective April 1, 2011.

The residential code review committee has one more meeting scheduled on September 15 from 9 a.m. to noon. After the committee finishes its work, the committee's recommendation will be considered by the Residential and Manufactured Structures Board at a special November board meeting. Following the board's recommendation, a public hearing will be held on the structural and mechanical provisions of the code in January 2011. We expect the 2011 ORSC to become effective July 1, 2011.

Both the ORSC and OPSC committees have web pages where you can view the code proposals and other committee documents. Both the State Plumbing Board and the Residential and Manufactured Structures Board have web pages where you can view the committee's recommendations to the respective boards.

All committee meetings, board meetings, and public hearings are video streamed live over the internet. Click the "view live meetings" link on BCD's website.

If you have questions or need further information regarding the Residential Code Review Committee, please contact Mike Ewert, residential and mechanical code specialist, at mike.d.ewert@state.or.us or at 503-373-3729.

If you have questions or need further information regarding the Plumbing Code Review Committee, please contact Terry Swisher, Plumbing Chief at terry.l.swisher@state.or.us or at 503-373-7488.

What is the 1% Training program and how does it work?

ORS 455.220 directs local building departments to collect a 1% surcharge on building permit fees to defray the costs of training and other educational programs, along with promoting consistency in training throughout the state. Training should promote safe, effective, and reliable implementation, interpretation, and administration of the code among inspectors, designers, contractors, and licensees across the state. The division funds the following training needs:

  • Code-change, code-update and code-related courses
  • Continuing education and licensing requirements related to code
  • Other changes in law, rule, or policy that require training to maintain state license or certification or to continue to do or inspect work
  • Code consistency and clarification

Once a year BCD gathers interested parties together to discuss what types of courses should be included in the 1% Training line up for the year. We take the results from this meeting very seriously and base a great deal of our decisions on it. Once we know what types of courses will be presented, we schedule the course timeline and write the request for proposals (RFP). This process takes approximately three months to complete. The proposals must include how the organization plans to deliver the class and an agreement that they will meet the requirement to provide the class in five different regional locations, along with an online course. All properly submitted proposals are reviewed by an evaluation team, using a points system to rate the entries. The winning proposal then is negotiated and a contract is constructed. The course usually takes place a month or two after this process is completed.

This year the Oregon Building Official Association (OBOA) is providing the Oregon Structural Specialty Code code-change course through the 1% Training program. International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO) won the contract for the Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code code-change course and will begin providing classes in September. They will have an online version available soon on their website. We will also have a course on the new Oregon Solar Specialty Code that will be code-related, provided by Lane Community College. You should find more about this class in the next newsletter and we hope the schedule of classes will start in November. Also see the article about the Brown Bag Lunch series that the 1% Training program is helping to sponsor.

Exciting things are happening with the 1% Training program and we'll keep you updated on them. If there is one thing BCD is committed to, it's providing you with the best training we can for the most reasonable price. We'll keep you posted!

For more information or to comment on this article, please contact Sherri West, BCD training and public affairs coordinator, at 503-373-7509 or sherri.d.west@state.or.us.

New Brown Bag Lunch training series starting with water conservation

Training at BCD is taking another turn by providing the new Brown Bag Lunch series. We want to give you the opportunity to keep updated on interesting topics like alternate methods dealing with water conservation and rainwater harvesting. Here is an overview of what you will learn during these brown bag classes. These are short, one hour trainings, that get right to the point and then give you examples to help you understand the topic. Because they are only 1 hour long, you need to take two to complete the Oregon Administrative Rules (OARs) requirement of your CE training being at least two hours long. So you need to take both the Rainwater Harvesting and the Water Conservation Brown Bag Lunch classes to get 2 plumbing CEs worth of credit.

Register for these trainings below.

September 30, 2010 - Rainwater Harvesting, 12:00 p.m. to 1 p.m.

October 28, 2010 - Water Conservation, 12:00 p.m. to 1 p.m.

There will be more of these Brown Bag Lunch 1 hour courses in the future. If you have suggestions for topics you would like to see covered, let us know! We just need to find instructors who have the time and willingness to lead these courses. You gain knowledge, CEs and don't loose work time all during lunch! What a deal.


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.

License Suspension

Published by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division.
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