Edition: Vol. 04, No. 03
Edition date: March 9, 2011


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

BCD Office Closures

March 18

Board meetings

March 16: Building Codes Structures Board

March 24: Electrical and Elevator Board

Public meetings and hearings

March 15: Rulemaking Hearing

March 16: Reach Code Committee

March 30: Reach Code Committee


News Updates - March 9, 2011

Effective April 1, 2011 - Radon and Carbon Monoxide Provisions

Just less than a month from now, the provisions for radon mitigation in residential structures and requirements for carbon monoxide alarms go into effect. Unlike carbon monoxide alarms, which are required statewide, the provisions for radon mitigation are only applicable in seven counties: Baker, Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, Polk, Washington, and Yamhill.

Carbon Monoxide Alarms
For carbon monoxide alarms, you will find amendments to the 2008 Oregon Residential Specialty Code, the 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code, and in Appendix N for low-rise residential apartments. These code amendments require carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in all Group R structures, as identified in Section 310 of the Oregon Structural Specialty Code, for new construction, or reconstruction, alteration, or repair where a building permit is required.

The provisions for carbon monoxide alarms can be printed and inserted into your codes.

Radon Mitigation Provisions
Radon mitigation provisions are applicable in the seven identified counties to Group R-2 and R-3 residential buildings constructed in accordance with the Oregon Structural Specialty Code, the Oregon Residential Specialty Code, or Appendix N of the Oregon Structural Specialty Code. The division is currently developing an online radon training that will be available late March.

The provisions for radon mitigation can be printed and inserted into your codes.

Helpful Tools
The division has created some informational tools on our website to help our customers understand these new requirements.

Group R-3 radon provision analysis

Carbon Monoxide Alarm Q&A

For more information, contact Structural Program Chief Richard Rogers at 503-378-4472 or richard.rogers@state.or.us.

House Bill 3462 Specialized Inspector Certifications

House Bill 3462, passed during the 2009 Legislative Session, charged the Building Codes Division with creating new Specialized Inspector Certifications to enable certified inspectors to perform a limited scope of additional inspections. These new certifications were intended to enable local building departments to more efficiently perform limited commercial and interdisciplinary inspections.

Over the past year, the Building Codes Division has developed four initial Specialized Inspector Certifications: Solar Photo-Voltaic, Plumbing, Electrical, and Systems/All-Finals. These certifications have prerequisite training and experience standards, online and in-person training requirements, supervised field inspections, and a final examination. These requirements are rigorous and focus on the specific training necessary to ensure that all applicants are qualified to perform expanded inspections under these new certifications.

The division is preparing to offer the Solar PV and Plumbing certifications in the coming months. While HB 3462 statutorily authorized these Specialized Inspector Certifications, the specific requirements for each certification will be implemented through administrative rules. The division benefited from the expertise of a rule advisory committee comprised of industry representatives and local stakeholders in developing these rules, and remains open to receiving further public input.

A public hearing on these rules is scheduled for 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at the Building Codes Division's office in Salem. Public comments will be received at that hearing, and the division will receive written comments until 5 p.m. on Friday, March 18, 2011. The division is particularly interested in receiving input on the specific training hour requirements for the Solar PV and Plumbing certifications and the $200 certification fee, which covers all application, training, and certification costs. Also available are the training outlines for the Solar PV and Plumbing certifications.

For more information about the HB 3462 program or the upcoming rule hearing, contact Policy Analyst Trevor Johnson at trevor.w.johnson@state.or.us or 503-373-1354.

Required BCD Approved Code Change Courses
2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code

As noted in OAR 918-098-1450, people performing inspections and plan review in Oregon are required to obtain at least 16 hours of continuing education every three years, beginning Jan. 1, 2006. At least one course during each three-year cycle must be an Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) approved code-change course related to the scope of work allowed under each certification, if the code related to that specific certification changed during the cycle.

It should be noted that the rule referenced above does not prescribe the minimum hours for an approved code-change course. Rather, BCD consults with training providers and code officials in establishing the minimum "length" of approved courses for a given code adoption.

Consideration is given to the following parameters:

  • Complexity of the overall code (e.g., OSSC vs. ORSC)

  • Quantity of code changes (both model code and Oregon amendments)

  • Complexity of specific changes (e.g., new OEESC, 2009 IRC wall bracing)

In order to adequately cover the model code changes and Oregon amendments included in the 2011 ORSC, BCD is requiring that approved code change courses be a minimum of six to seven hours of class time. In addition, the course must specify that a minimum of three hours will be dedicated to addressing the extensive changes to the wall bracing provisions in section R602.10.

Visit our website for more information regarding the approval of 2011 ORSC code change courses.

For more information, contact:
Richard Rogers, Structural Program chief, at richard.rogers@state.or.us or 503-378-4472.
Mike Ewert, residential/mechanical code specialist, at mike.d.ewert@state.or.us or 503-373-7529.

New Code Specialist Employee

The division is pleased to announce Steve Judson as a new member on the structural team. Steve filled the commercial structures code specialist position previously occupied by Shane Sumption. Steve, a licensed engineer has a great deal of experience working in both the public and private sectors of construction. Steve spent five years as the building official for Trinity County in northern California and has since been managing his private engineering firm providing consulting services. We believe that Steve will be a great technical resource to you once he has had a chance to settle in. Steve started on Feb. 7. You may contact Steve at steven.w.judson@state.or.us or 503-378-4635.

Web-based Version of COMcheck Now Available

COMcheck, the program used for demonstrating compliance with the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code for commercial buildings and some Group R occupancies was previously only available in a downloadable version. The division has been working with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) for several months on the creation of an Oregon-specific, Web-based version of the COMcheck compliance software. Although the downloadable version is still available, the Web-based version is preferable for two reasons: the Web-based version ensures the user that he or she is working with the latest version that includes any upgrades or modifications that have been made and we are able to collect data on the construction methods and materials used in Oregon.

The web-based version of COMcheck is available on our website.

For questions about COMcheck training and general assistance related to COMcheck, contact Mark Campion at 503-378-4530 or mark.campion@state.or.us.

New Brown Bag Lunch Training Series Website

BCD looks forward to providing several new online opportunities to learn about building codes, energy efficiency, rainwater collection, and more. The Brown Bag Lunch training series is continuing in 2011. We have several classes scheduled and two are available for registration. You can find all the information you need on these one-hour mini-trainings at our new Brown Bag Lunch website. This is your site for one stop shopping to both register for new Brown Bag sessions and to download archived presentations. If you cannot make it to a live online session, go to this website and enjoy a rerun.

On March 22 and 24 from 9 a.m. to noon, the 2010 Oregon Structural Specialty Code code-change class will be available in a virtual classroom setting. If both parts are taken, participants will earn six code-change CEUs. Scott Caufield will be the instructor for the two-part course provided by Oregon Building Officials Association (OBOA) and sponsored by BCD's 1% Training program. If you want one of 50 seats available, please register here now! This is the first time BCD has provided a version of the OSSC code change class online.

Keep an eye out on our website for other online courses that will become available in the near future. A Web-based, self-paced version of the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code code-change course will be coming online soon. The makeup of this course will consist of videos (captured during our online virtual classroom versions of our 2010 OEESC course) and a set of quiz questions that follow each video. The course will take three to four hours to complete. A certificate for four continuing education units will be issued to those completing the class.

We hope you think about registering for one of these new online training opportunities, and keep an eye out for new sessions. Think about signing up and then all you have to do is sit back, put your headphones on, and gain all sorts of new knowledge.

For more information, contact BCD Training Coordinator Sherri West at sherri.d.west@state.or.us or 503-373-7509.

Code Adoption

The Building Codes Division (BCD) has completed the code adoption process for the 2011 Oregon Electrical Specialty Code (OESC), 2011 Oregon Plumbing Specialty Code (OPSC), and the 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC). BCD also completed amendments to the 2008 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC).

  • The 2011 OESC will go into effect on April 1, 2011. Oregon amendments to the code (Table 1-E) are now available for viewing on the BCD website. BCD is still working with NFPA to provide an online version of the complete 2011 OESC.

  • The 2011 OPSC will go into effect on April 1, 2011. The online version is now available for viewing on the BCD website and is available for purchase from IAPMO.

  • The 2011 ORSC will go into effect on July 1, 2011. We anticipate that the code will be available for purchase in early May 2011.

  • Amendments to the 2008 ORSC for carbon monoxide alarms will go into effect on April 1, 2011. Carbon monoxide alarms will be required in residential structures that undergo reconstruction, alteration, or repair for which a building permit is required. Read the information provided on the Carbon Monoxide Alarms Residential Construction document. For more information, visit the Residential Structures Program website.


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 Suspensions

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.
Email us comments or to
join the Newsletter list, sign-up here!