As some of you may recall, the Reach Code is the result of legislation (Senate Bill 79) passed in 2009. The bill directed BCD to develop and adopt an ‘optional’ code that is more energy efficient than the statewide mandatory code.
Based on the International Green Construction Code (IgCC), the Reach Code contains both commercial provisions which became effective July 1, 2011 and residential provisions which became effective October 1, 2011.
Preliminary modeling of the prescriptive path of the commercial provisions indicates an 18-22% efficiency increase over new construction built to the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC). Efficiency gains for new residential reach construction are roughly 5-9% over chapter 11, Energy Conservation, in the 2011 Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC).
As an optional code, designers and builders can choose to follow the entire code, which will result in a reach code structure, a distinction that will be noted on the certificate of occupancy (C of O). Or, they can use any one of the many individual components covered in the Reach Code such as water conservation, passive design, daylighting, and vegetative roofs.
For designers and builders interested in obtaining ‘above code’ green building certifications (i.e. LEED, Energy Star, etc.) for their project, permitting under the Reach Code should result in fewer appeals; saving both time and money.
For questions about Oregon’s new Reach Code, contact Mark Heizer at 503-373-0205 or Mark.R.Heizer@state.or.us.