Ashland wildfire hazard mitigation building code in effect – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

file photoThe city of Ashland may choose to adopt Oregon Residential Specialty Code 327.4, which thwarted building standards for wildfire mitigation.

ASHLAND – As of Oct. 1, all new residential structures in Ashland will be subject to wildfire hazard building standards, and any building permit application must be accompanied by a wildfire control plan, certifying compliance with requirements for roofing, vents and gutters, and exterior wall cladding.

Ashland passed Section 327.4 on June 1, focusing on ignition-proof building best practices. Ashland was the second community in the state to adopt a wildfire hazard mitigation code for new housing, according to construction officer Steven Matiaco, after Medford’s approval of the code in October 2019.

“The intent of these requirements is to provide minimum standards that reduce or eliminate ignition potential by using exterior products that resist ignition and protect specific vulnerable areas, including gutters, roof vents, exterior walls and eaves from the danger of ember ignition,” the city said.

On January 24, 2019, the Oregon Building Codes Division amended the state’s residential specialty codes section to allow municipalities to choose. The code’s approval was the culmination of Ashland’s comprehensive fire-adaptive strategy, the city said.

During a Q&A Zoom session held Thursday by the city’s construction division, Matiaco said decks and other construction projections are expected to pose the biggest challenge for builders under the new code in terms of design and cost.

“We will work with you as much as possible to develop this together; it will be a work in progress,” said Matiaco during the Q&A, aimed at industry professionals.

Preliminary lists of contractors, landscapers, and nurseries offering services to reduce wildfire risk are available at

Publicly traded companies have agreed to abide by Ashland’s List of Prohibited Combustible Plants and the Wildfire Safety Ordinance regarding construction and landscaping around buildings, decks, additions and associated structures.

As of Thursday, Central Point-based Lionstone Construction, Inc. the first publicly traded general and fencing contractor to offer wildfire surfacing options for the replacement or installation of siding, fencing, roof, deck and metal sink, and gutter cleaning services in Ashland.

According to the Wildfire Hazard Reduction Code, woodshed roofing is prohibited. Standard roofing materials, metal, tile and approved non-combustible materials of class B or better may be used.

Requirements for gutters and roof ventilation are intended to prevent the accumulation of leaves and fire in the roof system. Exterior wall coverings must be non-combustible, ignition resistant, heavy wood or made from materials classified and approved using a wildfire spread simulation system.

Exposed rafters and eaves and outdoor patios and porch ceilings over 200 square feet must be protected by ignition-resistant materials or a non-combustible underlayment. The requirements apply to structures within 12 feet above ground level.

According to a statement on the impact of housing costs in 2019 by the state’s building codes department, municipalities that have passed the code can expect to add $2,500-$3,000 in labor and material costs to the construction of a typical detached single-family home. 1,200 square meters.

Matiaco previously said that as long as ignition-resistant materials such as window frames and fiber cement siding are used, changes in flat lot construction will be minimal and will mainly affect people who build on slopes with decks.

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