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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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URM Buildings Seismic Retrofit Policy Information

Do you own, live, or do business in an unreinforced masonry (URM) building in Portland? There are approximately 1,650 of these structures throughout the city. URMs pose a danger to public safety during an earthquake. Numerous examples from around the U.S. and elsewhere show URM buildings are likely to partially or completely collapse when the ground starts shaking. When they collapse, these buildings harm residents and people in the surrounding area. In order to ensure the safety of resident before the next quake, the City of Portland is working on a mandatory policy to require owners to retrofit these buildings.

Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Buildings – FAQ

The following Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and responses have been developed to answer some of the more common questions about URM buildings and what the City is doing to address potential harm they can cause in the event of an earthquake.

Read the URM Building Policy Committee Report

Learn more about the policy and give us your feedback online. Your input and comments about this proposed policy and important.

City URM Seismic Retrofit Project

Learn more about the project background and groups of City staff, property owners and community members that helped developed the Draft Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Building Policy Committee Report.