The biggest changes impacting the building envelope requirements of Oregon’s 2017 Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) are improvements to the thermal envelope for walls, ceilings and windows. Other changes are additional requirements for envelope enhancement and conservation. New wall assembly options include both intermediate and advanced framing techniques.

Overview of Oregon’s Building Code Thermal Envelope Changes

  • Prescriptive insulation improvements to the thermal envelope with stricter R-value requirements for walls and ceilings, and improved U-factors for windows.
  • The menu of additional requirements has been updated with more stringent options for envelope enhancement and conservation.

Prescriptive Changes to Oregon’s Building and Energy Code Envelope Requirements

Oregon’s 2017 Residential Specialty Code, which took effect Jan. 1, 2018, calls for a number of improvements to the thermal envelope. R-values for walls have been improved to R-21, and ceilings are improved to R-49. U-factors for windows and skylights have been improved to U-0.30 and U-0.50 respectively.

In addition, the 2017 ORSC includes a new, more stringent menu of additional requirements for envelope enhancement and conservation:

Envelope Enhancements

Builders must select one of the following options:

  • High-efficiency walls
  • Upgraded R-values for walls and floors, and improved U-factors for windows with prescriptive requirements for intermediate or advanced framing techniques
  • Super insulated windows and attic or framed floors
  • Air sealing home and ducts
  • High-efficiency thermal envelope UA

Conservation Measures

Builders must select one of the following options:

  • High-efficiency HVAC system
  • Ducted HVAC system within conditioned space
  • Ductless heat pump
  • High-efficiency water heater 

To view the prescriptive list of key envelope changes to the 2017 Oregon Residential Specialty Code, download the detailed summary.

This summary is offered for informational purposes only. It does not purport to be an exhaustive analysis of code changes or provide advice that will ensure guaranteed compliance with any energy code provision. Please consult with local authorities before finalizing your installation plans.

Download Now