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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Changes to Requirements Around Residential Demolitions, Major Residential Alterations and Additions


July 2, 2018
Contact: Nancy Thorington, 503-823-7023

Changes to Requirements Around Residential Demolitions, Major Residential Alterations and Additions

The following changes regarding residential demolitions and major residential alterations and additions became effective as of July 1, 2018:

  1. Definition of demolition includes removal of all exterior walls above the foundation.
  2. The following documentation will be required and site control measures will apply to residential demolitions of structures with 1 – 4 dwelling units and their accompanying detached accessory structures:
  • A copy of the asbestos survey, and accompanying information if asbestos is found, must be provided to BDS as part of the demolition application
  • A Demolition Plan must be completed outlining the techniques and equipment to control dust and debris during the demolition
  • A Demolition Manager must be designated for all applicable demolition projects
  • For pre-1978 structures being demolished by a licensed contractor, the person performing the demolition must submit proof to BDS that the contractor has one of the certifications regarding lead-based paint specified in OAR 333-068-0070
  • An accredited asbestos inspector, certified asbestos worker or certified asbestos supervisor must be on-site during all mechanical demolition activities and deconstruction, unless Comprehensive Asbestos Inspection and Testing is completed and evidence that all identified asbestos-containing materials have been abated prior to demolition or deconstruction
  • Prior to commencing mechanical demolition activities, all non-structural exterior painted surfaces must be removed
  • Dust suppression techniques that will prevent dust and airborne debris from leaving the site must be approved by BDS and implemented on the site
  • No mechanical demolition activities can occur any time the wind speed exceeds 25 MPH
  • Demolition debris must be contained on-site and covered in plastic at the end of each day
  1. Major Residential Alterations will include removing 50 percent or more of the total exterior walls above the foundation, calculated in lineal feet.
  2. Major Residential Additions will include projects that add more than 500 square feet of new interior space and also expand the structure’s footprint or envelope. The new interior space does not include areas of existing space within the building envelope.
  3. Dust suppression measures outlined in Portland City Code Section 24.55.205.C.3 must be implemented if heavy machinery is used to demolish walls as part of a Major Residential Alteration. Those measures include continuously wetting the structure, the equipment that comes in direct contact with the building materials, and the debris with a water spray sufficient in force and volume to prohibit airborne emissions of dust and particulates from leaving the site.

BDS is in the process of updating its Major Residential Alterations and Additions Informational Guide to reflect these changes and provide examples of how the new regulations will be applied.

The full requirements are included in:

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