How to excel with the new Oregon code

Upgrade to high-efficiency space heating

Under the 2021 ORSC, builders must select a measure on the Additional Measure Options table. Upgrading to a 94% AFUE gas furnace or a heat pump with a 10 HSPF/14 SEER rating is likely to be a popular option. These modifications require no significant design changes and are a low- to no-cost switch. Homeowners also like them because of their quiet operation.

Bring air handler and ductwork inside

The 2021 ORSC includes updated requirements for ducted systems. Specifically, builders must install the air handler in the thermal barrier and place the ducts inside the thermal barrier or deeply bury them.

  • To meet the air handler requirement, builders can place the unit in a closet in the home or install it in the garage with a conditioned closet around it.
  • To install ducts inside the conditioned space, builders can take different approaches.
  • For multistory homes, builders can run ductwork between floors.
  • For single-story homes, builders can add soffits in the main hallway or raise soffits into the attic and detail them to ensure they are in a conditioned space.

Install a heat-recovery ventilation (HRV) system

The 2021 ORSC requires new homes to balance mechanical ventilation within 10% of the same airflow rate. There are multiple ways to achieve balanced ventilation, and HRV systems are a great option to bring fresh air into a home and simultaneously exhaust air. Builders can choose to integrate HRV systems into the ducted system or install them as stand-alone solutions. This integration eliminates the need to link the HRV system with a separate exhaust system.

Prepare yourself for the 2021 ORSC by scheduling an early design assistance (EDA) meeting today. Earn additional cash incentives by using Energy Trust of Oregon’s EPS™ New Construction offering. Email or connect with your verifier account manager to set up an EDA meeting today.