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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

TTY : 503-823-6868

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

Special Inspections

Special inspection is the monitoring of certain critical structural materials requiring the attention of professionals with highly specialized skills and qualifications. Examples of special inspection include steel construction, concrete construction and fireproofing.

The special inspection requirements for a specific construction project are determined by the registered design professional in charge and the building official, based on Chapter 17 of the 2004 Oregon Structural Specialty Code. When special inspections are required, the City of Portland Building Regulations, Chapter 24.20, require that the project owner or the owner's agent employ a special inspector to verify that the materials and the completed building structure comply with the approved drawings, specifications and permit documents. Depending on the type of work being performed, the special inspections may be continuous or periodic. Special inspections are in addition to, not a substitute for, the inspections required to be performed by the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), and must be reviewed and approved by the Special Inspection Section.

Administrative Rules

Chapter 24.20 of the City of Portland building regulations authorizes the BDS Director to adopt and enforce written rules concerning the conduct and administration of special inspections. The Bureau of Development Services administers these rules, which are set forth in the Special Inspection Program Administrative Rules.


The Administrative Rules set forth the responsibilities of special inspectors, structural observers, testing agencies and approved fabricators. The Administrative Rules also set forth the qualifications necessary for special inspectors, testing agencies and fabricators to attain and maintain certification.

The Administrative Rules were developed cooperatively by BDS with representatives of the structural and architectural associations of Oregon, special inspection agencies and contractor associations.