Oregon Adopts ASHRAE 90.1 for Commercial Buildings

Oregon has adopted a new commercial building code, creating an energy efficiency increase in commercial buildings estimated at more than 14 percent from the previous energy code. The 2019 Oregon Zero Energy Ready Commercial Code is based on ASHRAE 90.1-2016. Previously, the 2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code, based on the IECC 2009 was used. The 2019 Oregon Zero Energy Ready Commercial Code went into effect Oct. 1, 2019, and is now in a three-month transition period until Jan. 1, 2020, when it will be fully enforced on new building projects.

ASHRAE 90.1 has become the revision to Chapter 13 of the 2019 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OCCS), Energy Efficiency. As of October 2019, the 2018 IECC will be allowed as an alternative compliance path. It will take effect without Oregon specific amendments or modifications for all jurisdictions to follow statewide.

Harold Jepsen, vice president of standards and industry affairs, building control systems at Legrand, has outlined lighting and lighting control requirement changes which permit buildings to operate even more efficiently than Oregon’s prior energy code.

Lighting and Controls Provision Changes

  • Manual lighting controls are now required for all spaces and the area of control is increased to 2,500 feet2. In larger spaces, the new code allows a manual switch to control an area up to 10,000 feet2.
  • The occupancy sensor shut off time delay is reduced from 30 minutes to 20 minutes for added energy savings.
  • The list of spaces requiring occupancy sensors is expanded to now include corridors, lobbies, library stacks, lecture halls, multipurpose rooms, stairwells, and warehouses.
  • A new requirement called “Automatic partial-off”, reduces lighting power by at least 50 percent when there is no occupancy in corridors, lobbies, library stacks, classroom laboratories, stairwells, warehouses, and large storage rooms.
  • A secondary sidelight daylighting control zone is added adjacent to the primary sidelight zone.
  • A new parking garage lighting provision is added requiring lighting shut-off, 30 percent light power reduction when there is no activity, vehicle entrance and exit lighting controls, and daylighting controls.
  • Exterior lighting is now split into two control categories: the first category is façade and landscape lighting that must be off between specific nighttime hours. All other exterior lighting (parking, walkway, driveway, alley) falls into the second control category which must reduce lighting power by at least 50 percent power between specific nighttime hours. This second lighting control category may alternatively reduce lighting power by use of occupancy sensors instead of a time schedule.
  • A new automatic receptacle control provision requires 50 percent of all receptacles in private offices, conference rooms, print/copy rooms, break rooms, classrooms, and individual workstations to automatically shut off by time schedule or within 20 minutes of occupants leaving the area. This will save energy by turning off monitors, task lighting, fans, space heaters, and other loads that don’t need to remain on when occupants have left the area.

Additional Code Changes

The 2019 Oregon Zero Energy Ready Commercial Code has new functional testing measures that require testing and certifying documents proving installed lighting controls meet or exceed the code performance requirements. The new code provides specific testing protocols for occupancy sensors, automatic time switches and daylight controls.


Legrand is prepared to assist with the code by offering compliant products and solutions, such as our Wattstopper Digital Lighting Management (DLM) system, as well as in-market training sessions by our Energy Code Team experts.

For more information on lighting control products that meet code-compliance, contact Northern Illumination

Northern Illumination Co.
17400 SW Upper Boones Ferry Rd #270
Portland, OR 97224
(503) 226-3633

Visit our Energy Code Resources webpage for Quick Guides, CAD Drawings, and Design Guides for ASHRAE 90.1-2016 and IECC 2018 here.

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