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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

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Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

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New deconstruction grants from City of Portland encourage alternatives to mechanical demolition; save valuable materials for reuse

The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will review applications submitted at

BPS is no longer accepting new applications for the Deconstruction Grant Program

deconstruction project

When removing a home for new construction is necessary, the City of Portland seeks to encourage the salvage and reuse of building materials with deconstruction instead of mechanical demolition. Grants are available now to help promote deconstruction, build capacity within the industry and encourage efficiencies and innovation.

“Our goal is to preserve neighborhood character and affordability by discouraging demolitions. But when buildings must come down, that work should still serve the public good,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “Taking apart buildings in a way that allows for salvaging valuable materials for reuse benefits our community, economy, and environment. Our building stock is rich in quality materials that should find their way back into new building projects whenever possible. Deconstruction helps harvest these materials, and the Deconstruction Grant Program will serve as a tool to advance the practice, helping our city grow sustainably." 

Grant program features easy-to-use online application

  • As of March 2016, the program is currently accepting applications.
  • Maximum grant awards: $2,500 for full deconstruction; $500 for partial projects.
  • Applications will be reviewed and selected weekly.
  • Applications are restricted to projects involving the full removal of a house or duplex within the Portland city limits.
  • Find the online application at

Why deconstruction?

Deconstruction helps achieve the policies and actions related to the current efforts of the Climate Action Plan Update and the Comprehensive Plan Update.

  • Deconstruction supports six to eight jobs for every one job associated with traditional mechanized demolition.
  • Salvaging reusable material supports the local economy, creates viable local enterprises and offers an affordable option for residents and businesses to acquire quality used building materials such as old-growth lumber.
  • Deconstruction offers greater carbon benefits by preserving the embodied energy of existing building materials and avoiding the creation of greenhouse gasses associated with landfilling waste.

Deconstruction Advisory Group volunteers helped design program that won unanimous City Council approval

In April 2015 the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) convened a Deconstruction Advisory Group (DAG) to advise BPS on the development of incentives and methods to increase deconstruction as an alternative to mechanical demolition. At a June 3, 2015 City Council hearing, BPS recommended establishing a deconstruction grant program as a first step. City Council unanimously supported the recommendation and asked BPS to return in January 2016 with a status report on the grant program and recommendations for next steps. The DAG will continue to meet during fall of 2015 to assist in grant program oversight and development of recommendations.

For more information on deconstruction or to apply for a grant, please visit or contact Shawn Wood at or 503-823-5468.


News release: Mayor Hales Joins Local Businesses to Kick Off Climate Week

The goal: To get at least 50 Portland businesses to join the city in committing to reduce carbon emissions. (Tuesday, SEPT. 22, 2015)

Mayor Hales Joins Local Businesses to Kick Off Climate Week

Mayor Charlie Hales this week announced his Business Climate Challenge. The goal: To get at least 50 Portland businesses to join the city in committing to reduce carbon emissions.Mayor Hales kicks off Climate Week

And several Portland businesses already have stepped up to the challenge, including Elephants Delicatessen, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Indow, Trillium Asset Management, CH2M Hill, Widmer Brothers Brewing and the Moda Health.

The challenge is just one of a package of initiatives driven by the city, or going before City Council for Climate Week, Sept. 21 to 25.

“There’s this notion that the City of Portland is green, but that the business community is opposed,” Hales said. “That might have been true once, but not today. Today, members of our business community share our city’s values of equity and livability.”

One such business is Hopworks Urban Brewery.

“Mayor Hales’ climate challenge strikes at the heart of our mission,” said Christian Ettinger, Brewmaster and Founder of Hopworks. “For eight years we have proven that it is possible to have a sustainable, environmentally conscious business and be profitable. Today we join the Oregon Business Climate Declaration and commit to further examine every inch of our operation, creating efficient processes that lead to reduced environmental impact.”

Susan Anderson, director of the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, said Climate Week includes a series of events and initiatives hosted in New York City but with a global reach that connects cities, businesses, nations, organizations and individuals to address climate change. The week falls between the Vatican’s climate change summit in July, and the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, part of the Dec. 4 Paris Climate Conference, hosted by Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, and Michael Bloomberg, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

Carbon emissions in Portland have declined 14 percent since 1990, well ahead of the national trend. Portland’s experience suggests that cities can reduce emissions as their economies and populations grow.   “Portland’s work on climate is not limited to one week—in fact, it stretches back more than two decades,” Anderson said. “Collectively, we are making some real progress. We also recognize that we have a long way to go.”

Hales, Anderson and other city leaders kicked off the Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge with a Tuesday press conference that includes representatives of a wide array of progressive businesses.

More than 200 Portland businesses—and more than 400 across the state —have signed the Oregon Business Climate Declaration. Portland now is asking businesses to add their names to that list and to take specific steps in their operations to reduce emissions.

Thanks to Portland’s leadership on climate policy, Hales was invited to the Vatican summit in July and to the unveiling of the White House’s Clean Power Plan debut in August.

Portland adopted its Climate Action Plan in 1993 and, this year, updating it with new, ambitious goals. Since 2013, the city’s per capita carbon emissions are 35 percent below 1990 levels. Total carbon emissions are 14 percent below 1990.

Equally importantly, many of the same things that are reducing carbon emissions are creating jobs and making Portland a better place to live. Portland and Multnomah County now have 12,000 clean tech jobs, an increase of 25 percent in the last 15 years. Meanwhile, businesses leaders continue to retrofit their buildings, keeping energy costs down and creating decent jobs.

“We’ve created a city where businesses have an opportunity to grow, to create jobs, to support worker