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All Permits Must Meet Requirements of Adopted 2019 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) Starting January 1, 2020

The City of Portland will be adopting the new Oregon statewide building code, Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) 2019 with an effective starting date of October 1, 2019.
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The City of Portland will be adopting the new Oregon statewide building code, Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) 2019 with an effective starting date of October 1, 2019.  

2019 introduction of new Oregon statewide building code 

Between October 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, there will be a phase-in period wherein permit applicants will have the option for submitting for permits using either the current (2014) OSSC or the new (2019) OSSC. Starting January 1, 2020 all permits must meet the requirements of OSSC 2019.

Permit application submittal requirements 

Customers submitting applications for a permit using the OSSC 2014 after October 1, 2019 must, at a minimum, complete the application intake process, including the completeness review and payment of intake fees, before close of business December 31, 2019 in order to be subject to the 2014 OSSC.

To allow enough time for complete review of your application before December 31, 2019, the City recommends that you submit your application by December 16, 2019 to be subject to the 2014 OSSC. The Development Services Center will be closed on December 31, 2019, so customers intending to submit applications or pay intake fees before January 1, 2020 should plan accordingly.

For information regarding minimum submittal requirements please click here.

Projects utilizing Phased Permitting Process Management are required (at a minimum) to submit Foundation (FND) or Structural (STR) partial permits by December 31, 2019 to be subject to the 2014 OSCC. An excavation and shoring (EXC) partial permit would not be sufficient to be subject to a building in the 2014 OSSC. Please review the minimum submittal requirements for process managed partial permits.

If a land use review is required for your project, you must substantially complete the land use review prior to being allowed to submit a permit application.

What the changes could mean for you

Updated requirements in OSSC 2019 may impact the design of structures and cost of construction. The impact of the new requirements is entirely dependent on the type of structure, the use and occupancy, and the location. Changes to 2014 OSSC are extensive and should be discussed with the appropriate design professionals before submitting any project.  

One notable change is that the 2019 Oregon Structural Specialty Code will adopt the ASCE 7-16 Minimum Design Loads and Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures. Where the 2014 OSSC previously allowed 15% reduction in seismic forces for certain types of structures (when using Modal Response Spectrum Analysis per ASCE 7 12.9), the 2019 OSSC no longer permits the 15% reduction.

This change will likely impact structures that require higher levels of structural lateral analysis (per ASCE 7 Table 12.6-1 for permitted analytical procedures), structures with structural irregularities (as defined by ASCE 7 Table 12.3-1 or Table 12.3-2) and/or structures greater than 160 feet tall.

Additionally, the design wind loading for structures has been reduced to considerable extent in certain areas and will likely result in less requirements, and lower costs, for structures whose lateral loads are governed by wind loads.

For more information about Oregon building codes 

The State of Oregon Building Codes Structures Board plan to release code books in September 2019. Please contact the Building Codes Division for more information and updates on the availability of the new codes.

Applicants should consult with their design teams to ensure that your project is in line with updated requirements of the 2019 Oregon Structural Specialty Code. Consult the International Code Council for more information about changing codes and standards.

2019 Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code (2019 OMSC) is being changed on a similar timeline. You can sign up for email updates from the State of Oregon to receive information about code adoption. For information on the status of the 2019 Oregon Structural Specialty Code Adoption, click here.


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