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Planning and Sustainability

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Phone: 503-823-7700

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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New Deconstruction Requirements

On July 6, 2016, Portland City Council adopted an ordinance, including code language, which requires projects seeking a demolition permit of a house or duplex to fully deconstruct that structure if it was built in 1916 or earlier or is a designated historic resource. With Council’s unanimous approval of that ordinance, Portland became the first city in the country to ensure that valuable materials from our demolished houses and duplexes are salvaged for reuse instead of crushed and landfilled. The ordinance becomes effective on Oct. 31, 2016.

In Portland, more than 300 single-family homes are demolished each year. This produces thousands of tons of waste — a majority of which could be salvaged for reuse. From start to finish, deconstruction protects health, creates pathways to construction careers and generates affordable reusable building materials. Currently, less than 10 percent of houses that are removed use deconstruction. Approximately 33 percent of single-family demolitions would be subject to the deconstruction requirement. Increased deconstruction will:

  • Divert 8 million pounds (4,000 tons) of materials for reuse (annually).
  • Create job opportunities that act as a pathway for construction careers.
  • Increase the likelihood of discovering materials containing lead and asbestos for safe removal and disposal.

Deconstruction Ordinance

Adopted in July 2016 | Effective Oct. 31, 2016 | Includes Exhibit A

Draft Administrative Rules - Deconstruction

These Administrative Rules describe the standards and expectations for the Deconstruction of Buildings Law as authorized in the City Code, Chapter 17.106.

Deconstruction Resolution

Adopted Feb. 17, 2016, this resolution directs BPS to develop code language for new deconstruction requirements that go into effect in October 2016.