Past Feature Articles
Effective January 1, 2014 municipalities administering and enforcing
a building inspection program may only assess investigative
fees for work commencing without a permit as specified in House
Bill 2978 (2013).
A portion of HB 2978 standardizes current state and local government
policy for assessing investigative fees for work started without
the required permit across all program areas. The bill caps investigative
fees at the actual or average cost of investigation
to ensure compliance with the state building code.
These requirements preempt any existing code language, rule or local
ordinance requirements regarding “double permit” fees. Municipalities
may need to update their forms, computer plans and operating plan
to reflect the changes.
Additionally, the bill specifies that permits for emergency repairs
obtained within five business days after commencement of the repair
are not subject to investigative fees.
The ePermitting system continues to build upon the benefits
of statewide code standards by providing a uniform platform
for online access to building services. ePermitting is
rolling out a new streamlined "Oregon" full
service model for bringing jurisdictions onto the system
more quickly and efficiently. The Oregon model includes:
Online access for businesses to apply, pay for and receive
building permits 24/7
Pre-configured applications for all buidling department
Electronic plan review and mark up
Comprehensive permit tracking, data collection and reporting
A mobile app for inspectors
Ability to interface with GIS, Financial, Document Management
and other software applications
Currently, close to 40 jurisdictions are using the ePermitting
system, and this summer the first jurisdictions coming
onto the new Oregon model will be Marion County, the City
of Aurora and MCCOG (Mid-Columbia Council of Governments).
Deschutes County, Redmond, Happy Valley and Malheur County
are next in line to implement the Oregon model in Fall
As we proceed, ePermitting is focusing on:
Partnering with rural communities to provide efficient
and cost effective local services
Increasing predictability for consumers, businesses and
jurisdictions through the use of consistent forms, standards
Connecting Oregon electronically by getting more cities
and counties involved in ePermitting
OSSC Chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions
In an effort to provide a very affordable and easily accessed
course on the 2010 OSSC Chapter 11 Accessibility Revisions,
BCD has designed an online class available on Chemeketa
Community College’s (CCC) eLearn system. Due to the magnitude
of changes that have been made to the OSSC’s Chapter 11,
BCD is requiring a class on the revisions as part of the
code change continuing education obligations for inspectors
and plans examiners stated in 918-098-1450 of the Oregon
Administrative Rules. This is in addition to the requirement
to complete a course on the OSSC.
This online course is self-paced and BCD has a link to
access it on the CCC eLearn
page of this website. The course is the equivalent
of four hours of classroom training. There are four lessons
that each consist of several presentations, an assignment,
and a quiz. There will be a printable certificate available
at the end of the course. The registration fee for the
class is only $35 and is paid directly to Chemeketa. Once
registered for the course, students will have access to
the site 24/7 and can go at their own pace. Just remember
that you must finish the course within the same Chemeketa
quarter as you started.
Reach Code (ORC)
In 2009, the Oregon Legislature with the approval of Senate
Bill 79, directed the Oregon Building Codes Division
(BCD) to increase energy efficiency in buildings that
are newly constructed, reconstructed, altered or repaired.
In addition to increasing efficiency in the statewide
mandatory energy code, Senate Bill 79 required the establishment
of a new code called the Reach Code.
The Reach Code is a set of statewide optional construction
standards for energy efficiency that exceed the requirements
of the state's mandatory codes. The Reach Code covers
a variety of topics including: mechanical systems, lighting
designs, overall building design (both residential and
commercial), plumbing practices, and product approval.
Builders will have an optional path for high performance
construction and jurisdictions can be assured the innovative
construction methods are sound. The Division is working
to align the code with federal, state, and local financial
Please visit the Reach Code
web page to view the draft code and information pertaining
to the code.
in Federal and State Floodplain Management
Specific practices and standards
apply when buildings and structures are located in FEMA-mapped
special flood hazard areas. In this presentation Christine
Shirley, the National Flood Insurance Program Coordinator
for the State of Oregon, will review FEMA’s terminology
and regulations and show where in the Oregon building
codes FEMA’s flood hazard zone regulations are reflected.
She will talk about the relationship between Oregon building
codes and local flood damage prevention municipal code.
The session will close with a review of the consequences
of flood hazard zone violations. Links to valuable resource
material will be provided throughout the presentation.
for this Brown Bag Lunch session today.
training is growing at the Building Codes Division
BCD looks forward to providing several new opportunities
to learn about building codes, energy efficiency, rainwater
collection, and more; all online. 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.
We also have created an online version of the 2010
Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) Code-Change
training. The class is made up of a series of videos
and questions after each of the video segments. The whole
course takes between 3 and 4 hours to complete. The participant
is able to take the course in segments if they can’t complete
the whole class in one sitting. You do need speakers or
headphones to be able to listen to the audio portion of
Keep an eye out on our web page for other online courses
which will become available in the near future. Sign up
and then all you have to do is sit back, put your headphones
on, and gain all sorts of new knowledge.
Bag Lunch Series
BCD recently began a series of "Brown Bag Lunch"
online seminars that took place at noon on designated
dates and lasted for one hour. The first in our
series was an informative hour on the alternate
method concerning rainwater harvesting and its uses
in commercial construction; the second in our series
covered water conservation. We were lucky to have
Jon Gray from Interface Engineering and Lisa Petterson
from SERA to talk about projects they have been
involved in that use these alternate methods.
If you have suggestions of topics for future "Brown
Bag Lunch" sessions and/or presenters please
email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
with the information.
Learn More About Complying With The New Energy
COMcheck is Oregon's new method of compliance for the
2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC).
COMcheck was developed to clarify and simplify commercial
building energy code compliance. The materials focus on
Oregon specific code requirements that apply to all commercial
buildings and offer a streamlined process for demonstrating
code-equivalent levels of energy efficiency. Contractors
and designers who use COMcheck can save time and effort
in documenting code compliance.
COMcheck offers an easy-to-understand process for demonstrating
compliance with all commercial energy code requirements
for envelope, interior and exterior lighting, and mechanical
systems. It eliminates calculation tasks other than determining
square footages and requires no specialized technical
knowledge of commercial codes. When applied to simple
buildings, it is self-contained, requiring no additional
resources or reference books. Finally, COMcheck uses terminology
familiar to the design, construction and enforcement communities.
To learn more about using the COMcheck software consider
taking the Web based class scheduled for August 19. Register
today to better understand this new OEESC compliance method.
Code Change Training on the 2010 OEESC at No Cost
In preparation for the July 1 adoption of the 2010 Oregon
Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC), BCD has
scheduled several free four-hour energy code change
trainings during June and July 2010. This course is required
code change training for inspectors performing inspections
under the Oregon Structural Specialty Code. The training
will focus on 'what's changed and what's stayed the same'
in the transition to the 2009 International Energy Conservation
Code (IECC) format. Participants will get an overview
of what is new in the OEESC. You can register
online for one of the seven classes being offered
around the state.
on R703.1 available - February 2010
In conjunction with recent code changes to ORSC section
R703.1 addressing a means of draining water from exterior
wall assemblies, the Oregon Building Codes Division partnered
with the Oregon Home Builders Association (OHBA) in the
development of live training classes. These classes were
underwritten in part with funds from BCD's 1% Training
program and have been made available to both industry
and government employees. In an effort to expand opportunities
for training, OHBA has agreed to make a free Web
based presentation based on the training available
through their website.
This is an excellent opportunity to gain an understanding
of the scope and application of these new provisions as
your schedule allows.
building department directory is here - July 2009
Your handy Local
Building Department Directory (LBDD) is now available
to help you locate the right building department to ask
your permitting questions. This efficient new directory
is simple to use; you just enter the city and zip code
or select the jurisdiction for the address and the directory
delivers a page full of information for your specified
location. It provides you with building department phone
numbers and addresses, as well as staff contact information,
any permit services available online for the address,
and much more. Try it and see what you think!
Oregon Smart Guides - March 2009
In its ongoing effort to help consumers understand their
options when building and renovating, the Building Codes
Division has released the first two guides in a series.
Called "Oregon Smart Guides," the first two focus on the
promotion of green building in Oregon, giving information
on rainwater harvesting and
water conservation systems.
harvesting guide describes the method allowing rainwater
collection from roofs to be used for gardens, flushing toilets,
washing clothes, and in heating and air conditioning units.
The water conservation systems guide explains the method
for reusing wastewater (often known as gray water) for flushing
Oregon-ePermitting.info - December 2008
With the emergence of a new statewide ePermitting system
on the horizon, the information Web site for the Building
Codes Divisions ePermitting program has been given
a new look. There are all sorts of new and interesting
The Web site is divided into three different sections:
Local Building Departments, Property Owners, and Contractors.
Each segment has its own home page, which
has all the links pertinent to the group highlighted.
What a great bookmark for your one-stop shopping in ePermitting!
Please check out the new look and let us know what you
Greening the building codes - August 2008
The division has approved two
new statewide alternate methods that allow homeowners
to harvest rainwater and reuse wastewater. The first method
involves reusing certain wastewater in homes when the
owner installs water conservation systems. The water conservation
systems treat water drained from bathtubs, showers, bathroom
sinks, washing machines, and laundry tubs, and then stores
the water for use in flushing toilets. The second method
gives both homes and commercial buildings the ability
to collect rainwater from roofs to be used for gardens,
flushing toilets, washing clothes, and in heating and
air conditioning units.
BCD has also been working toward more energy-efficient
buildings through upgrading the energy code provisions
(chapter 11) of the 2008
Oregon Residential Specialty Code. The upgrades, which
took effect April 1, 2008, require certain components
be put in a building, including new upgrades to building
insulation and an increase in the thermal efficiency rating
for windows. Also, there is a new feature in which builders
choose at least one of nine energy efficiency options
to include in the structure.