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Apply for a deconstruction grant

deconstruction grant projectIn 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. Maximum grant awards are $3000 for full deconstruction; $500 for partial projects. 

Application Support Available: If you would like to discuss a potential project with program staff before applying, please contact or 503-823-5468. Staff can help develop ideas, answer questions or make recommendations for a successful application.  Hard copies of the form can be requested and translation services are available.  


Frequently Asked Questions  |  Application Instructions  |  Start Application


What is expected of a grant-funded project?  

  • Post provided signage on the site during active deconstruction.
  • Attend a pre-deconstruction meeting at the site.
  • Accommodate site visits by City of Portland deconstruction grant staff during course of deconstruction.
  • Allow project information, including photographs, to be used / shared by the grant program. 
  • Submit a final report form that summarizes the outcomes of the project, including amount salvaged, final project cost and duration.
  • Notify abatement contractor upon discovery of hazardous materials so that material can be safely abated
  • Maintain and submit building material recycling, sale and donation receipts.
  • Perform in accordance with approved application and applicable local, state, regional and federal regulations or risk losing all or some of the grant money.

Why grants for deconstruction?

  • To promote deconstruction as an alternative to mechanical demolition.
  • To gather data on deconstruction to help inform future policies.
  • To build capacity within the industry and encourage new participation and efficiencies/innovation.
  • To increase salvage of building materials for reuse.

Who may apply?

  • Anyone associated with the project may apply – homeowner, contractor, project manager.
  • The program encourages partnerships between contractors (e.g., demolition and deconstruction/salvage).
  • A licensed / bonded / insured contractor must perform the salvage work.

Where can projects be sited?

  • Projects must be located within Portland city limits.
  • All zoning areas.

What kind of projects qualify? 

  • Project must be associated with the complete removal of a house or duplex.
  • Demolition permit required before work begins.
  • Projects classified as alterations are not eligible.
  • Historic resource properties are eligible, however, additional criteria will apply.


  • Applications accepted beginning Sept. 8, 2015.
  • Applications will be reviewed and selected within approximately 7 business days from application date.

Application Instructions

Important Notes:  

  • The application form has been designed to be simple and easy to fill out.  Responses should be detailed but brief – taking approximately 30 minutes to complete the full application.  
  • The application form cannot be saved as a draft, so we recommend that you have all your application information and responses ready before you begin filling out the application. 


Please gather this information before you begin the application: 

  • Address: Site address where work will be performed
  • House size: House square footage (including basement if finished)
  • Year built: The year that the original building was constructed.
  • Note: You can use to determine this information (Click on Property tab, then Summary tab). 
  • Costs: Deconstruction project cost (Break out by deconstruction cost and foundation removal/backfill cost).  Mechanical demolition cost if known (lowest bid obtained).
  • Dates: Deconstruction start/complete dates (approx.)
  • Photos: At least three (3) photos of the structure (two (2) exterior sides and one (1) interior).  Images must be sent in a separate email to
  • Project narrative: You will need to describe the scope of your project (full or partial deconstruction) including what makes your project / approach / team unique and why a financial incentive for your project would be valuable. If proposing partial deconstruction, please explain why full deconstruction is not being used.

  • Innovation: You will need to describe any innovations (e.g., tools, machinery, or techniques) you are using that will help reduce project cost and / or time, and increase salvage yield. Innovation could also include additional steps to reduce hazardous material exposure or monitoring levels onsite or within close proximity to the site.  
  • Salvage information: You will need to estimate how much material (% of reusable material) will be salvaged (indicate whether by weight or volume).  You’ll need to know what reusable materials are present in the structure and which ones you plan to salvage. You’ll need to know the method for determining estimated amount of salvage material. You can contact The ReBuilding Center for a free salvage assessment or you can use another method such as building material weight tables.
  • Equity and community: You will need to describe how your project will advance equity and / or community engagement.  Examples include using a state-certified M/W/ESB contractor, hiring minority employees, engaging with the community by attending a neighborhood meeting, allowing neighbors access to materials, etc.
  • Deconstruction / construction / experience and / or training: You’ll need to describe your team’s experience in deconstruction/salvage. If no experience in deconstruction/salvage, describe your team’s experience with construction or demolition. Training in deconstruction/salvage should also be included. Projects required to deconstruct as part of the deconstruction requirements must use a Certified Deconstruction Contractor.
  • Program / project promotion: A goal of the grant program is to promote deconstruction and the deconstruction industry. You’ll need to describe how your project will promote the deconstruction grant program as well as your particular project. Examples include site signage in addition to that provided by the program; a social event at the site; media/web promotion, etc. 
  • Historic resource status: Does the building have current historic resource status or did it have historic resources status within the past 5 years? If you are uncertain, email with your site address for confirmation. Current status can be confirmed at  In Portland Maps, enter the property address, click on Maps, then Zoning. If Historic Resource Type is populated, check Yes on the application and answer the associated historic resource criteria. If the structure has been removed from the Historic Resource Inventory (HRI) within the past five (5) years, also answer Yes and answer the associated historic resource criteria. 
  • Historic criteria: Describe why receiving grant money for this project would advance historic preservation and how your project would accomplish this. Examples include donating materials to neighborhood groups/museums, reusing materials in the new project and identifying them with signs. Describe alternatives that were explored for the structure such as rehabilitation or relocation and why these were not chosen. 

Start Application

Go to online application now.


  • The application form has been designed to be simple and easy to fill out. Responses should be detailed but brief – taking approximately 30 minutes to complete the full application. 
  • The application form cannot be saved as a draft, so we recommend that you have all your application information and responses ready before you begin filling out the application.  
  •  If you would like a paper copy of the application form, or would like assistance with completing the form, please contact or 503-823-5468. Translation services are available.