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New 2021 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) Takes Effect Oct. 1

News Article
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The Oregon Building Codes Division adopted the new 2021 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC), which took effect April 1. The six-month phase-in period wherein permit applicants have the option to submit for permits using either the current (2017) ORSC or the new (2021) ORSC is coming to an end.

Effective Friday, Oct. 1, residential permit requests must follow the 2021 ORSC

To be vested in the building code requirements in effect before Oct. 1, residential permit requests must be submitted in accordance with Bureau of Development Services policy, including all of the following: 

  1. Submit the permit application via Development Hub PDX by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 30. The permit application must meet submittal requirements.
  2. Following the submission of the permit application, the applicant must satisfy all requests from City of Portland permitting bureaus for additional information before the Bureau of Development Services will assess and bill intake fees. Delayed or incomplete responses may delay the assessment and billing of intake fees before the payment deadline listed below.
  3. The applicant must pay intake fees in full before 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1.

One notable change in the 2021 ORSC is a new requirement for a continuously operating, whole-house ventilation system that is balanced (R303.4, M1505.4). Air-sealing and a whole-house ventilation system was an option as an “additional energy measure” under the 2017 ORSC (Envelope Enhancement Measure 5), but it will now be mandatory for every new dwelling unit. The state has provided a technical bulletin with more information

For more information, please contact the Permitting Services division of the Bureau of Development Services at 503-823-7300. 


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