12 October, 2023

Oregon’s Building Codes to Change

Oregon’s Building Codes to Change

2023 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) Updates

Oregon’s residential building code is changing, and both builders and trade contractors will want to pay close attention to when the new code changes will be required.  The State of Oregon Building Codes Division recently adopted the 2023 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (2023 ORSC) based on the 2021 International Residential Code.  From October 1st of this year through March 30th, 2024, contractors can choose build under the existing code (2021 ORSC) or the new 2023 ORSC.  Starting April 1st of next year, contractors must comply with the new 2023 ORSC and the current 2021 ORSC will no longer be in effect.

The 2023 ORSC code book is currently being published, and we anticipate that the new code books will be available towards the end of November. As the code book becomes available, the Oregon HBA will be offering both in-person and online training on both significant changes to the code, as well as specific changes to the energy code requirements in Chapter 11.  More information will be sent to members once the codebooks are available and classes are scheduled.

2023 Oregon Residential Reach Code Update

The Oregon Reach Code is a statewide optional energy construction standard approved by the Oregon Building Codes Division.  The Reach Code is separate from the state building code and applicable at the discretion of building designer and contractor.

The anticipated Reach Code adoption process period is October 18th, 2023 – June 30th, 2024, with an anticipated code adoption and availability date of July 1st, 2024.

The Oregon Residential Reach Code is an option beyond the standard code pathway within Chapter 11 of the 2023 Oregon Residential Specialty Code. Contractors may voluntarily elect to build to Chapter 11’s base guidelines, and local municipalities must allow them to do so. Municipalities may not require adherence to the Reach Code.  During the 2023 Legislative Session, Oregon’s legislature passed HB 3409, which included a requirement that the Reach Code be adopted by rule with the approval of the appropriate advisory boards.

Any questions or comments on the 2023 energy code updates, including assistance with the six-month grace period, can be directed to OHBA Building Codes Director/Instructor, Rebai Tamerhoulet. Rebai can be reached by phone at 971-332-8408 (office direct), and by email at [email protected].

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