Oregon adopted a state-promulgated non-residential energy code applying only to the building envelope in 1978; this was expanded to include HVAC systems in 1980. A complete non-residential energy code was first adopted in 1996. In 1998, slight revisions were made, and in 1999 a high glazing path was added with significantly improved window requirements so that overall thermal integrity was not compromised. Equipment efficiency tables were updated in 2001 to reflect ASHRAE 90.1-1999 but using 90.1-2001 values.
Oregon's Low Rise Residential Dwelling Code (Low Rise Code) was created by passage of Senate Bill 906 (SB 906) in the 2003 Oregon Legislature and was codified in Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 455.040. This bill created the Residential Structures Board and assigned it purview of the Low Rise Code. Its successor, the 2005 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC), followed in October 2005.
Effective April 1, 2007, non-residential buildings are subject to the 2007 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC). Chapter 13, covering building energy efficiency, has been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and is 1-2% more stringent than ASHRAE 90.1-2004.
In 2006, Gov. Ted Kulongoski mandated that the state of Oregon improve energy performance in new residential construction by 15% by the year 2015. In March of 2008, the Oregon Building Codes Division (BCD) gave final approval to the 2008 ORSC, effective July 1, 2008 after a three month interim period. The energy requirements in Chapter 11 reduce energy consumption in new homes by 15% versus the previous 2005 ORSC edition. Many, but not all, of the measures of the 2008 ORSC were drawn from the 2004 Northwest ENERGY STAR specifications.
With the adoption of the 2008 ORSC, it was decided to move the respective Low Rise Code requirements into the adopted model codes with which they most closely align. This allows Oregon's published codes to be consistent with the scope of the nationally promulgated codes and assists in the scope of inspector/plan review certifications and certain licensing requirements. The Oregon BCD Enforcement Program works with local jurisdictions so they can emphasize proper compliance with permits. It has implemented pilot enforcement programs across the state to test different enforcement models and has expanded the division's enforcement presence in local communities.
Legislation passed in 2009 (SB 79) required the Oregon BCD to improve the state's building energy codes by 10-15% above existing residential requirements and 15-25% above existing commercial requirements. The Building Codes Structures Board reviewed code change proposals and amendments to the 2009 IECC requirements for the building envelope, lighting, and mechanical systems.
Effective July 1, 2010, the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) replaced the state's previous energy provisions for commercial construction (the 2007 OSSC). The 2010 OEESC is based on the 2009 IECC with strengthening Oregon amendments. There was a 90-day phase-in period through October 1, 2010.
Effective July 1, 2011, following a May 13 rulemaking notice, BCD updated the state’s residential code to the 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC). The energy efficiency section (Chapter 11) updates Chapter 4 of the 2010 OEESC approved in 2010r. It is intended to achieve 10-15% greater energy savings than the 2008 ORSC. BCD believes the average home built under this code will be more efficient than under the 2009 IECC. There will be a 90-day phase-in period through October 1, 2011.
A public comment hearing on June 21, 2011 unveiled draft 2011 Oregon Commercial Reach Code. As directed by SB 79, the optional reach code will encompass construction methods and technology designed to increase energy efficiency over the mandatory codes for builders that choose to incorporate them. The Oregon Commercial Reach Code incorporates energy-related provisions of the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IGCC) Version 2.0 with significant Oregon amendments. BCD intends the commercial code to be available for use July 1, 2011.The Oregon Residential Reach Code is currently under development.