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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1221 SW 4th Ave, Suite 110, Portland, OR 97204

Alternative Technology Advisory Committee (ATAC)

Deadline for Applicants: Open & Continuous

Staff Liaisons: Terry Whitehill,, 503-823-7639

Donna Ruark,, 503-823-7335

Leanne Torgerson,, 503-823-7937

Application and instructions are at the bottom of this webpage.

Purpose and Background

Description: The Alternative Technology Advisory Committee, authorized under Portland City Code 24.10.087, assists the Bureau of Development Services in reviewing innovate sustainable building technologies and methods for compliance with the Building Code requirements. The Committee reviews requests submitted by applicants to determine if emerging technologies can be found to meet the building code, as well as promote a positive impact to the earth’s natural systems. The Committee makes non-binding recommendations to the Director (or designee) of the Bureau of Development Services that can be considered as part of a building code appeal. The Committee consists of a minimum of three members who are experts in both sustainable technologies and construction practices. The Committee members serve voluntarily and without compensation. The Committee members must be design professionals, construction contractors, or persons associated with a university that has an engineering school.

Total number of advisory seats: 7

Number of seats available: 1 (associated with a university)

Who can join

To be eligible for the board of appeal, members must live, play, worship, go to school, work or do business in the City of Portland who represent a variety of alternative technology interests.

What We Look For

We want people from every part of Portland here to share their voice on this committee, especially people who have not been involved before. If you want to serve your community and to help government make better choices, then we want to see your application. The attributes listed below are what will guide our selection process. It is helpful if you are specific in your answers. We do not expect you to be or have everything listed.

  • You believe government is better when community is involved.
  • You are an advocate for racial equity: you want positive and long-lasting outcomes for racial and ethnic communities who have been left out before. You can bring discussion about racial and ethnic communities who need it the most.
  • You have a perspective on physically navigating the community with a disability.
  • You are available to attend all meetings and participate in the discussions.
  • The Alternative Technology Advisory Committee meets as applications are received.  Members are involved for a duration of 3-year terms, or no more than two complete, 3-year terms, unless the BDS Director recommends approval of a longer term and the Mayor and City Council approved the extended appointment.
  • We provide interpreters who will translate the conversation in your language during the meeting. Please ask for an interpreter at least a week in advance of the meeting so we have enough time to make arrangements.
  • You may need to read and write in your language. Verbal and written translations are performed by outside organizations. The dialects may be different than your home region and may be different on each document.
  • We try to translate the written materials you ask for, but we may not be able to provide translation on all meeting documents.
  • Members are expected to prepare for meetings on their own time. Meeting materials for review may be sent with minimal time to review, possibly as few as forty-eight hours (or two days) in advance.

Time Commitment

We Remove Barriers

Let us know if there are barriers to your participation. Dinner will be provided at evening meetings. Public transportation or parking passes will be available if you need those to fully participate.

Volunteer Ethics

People who join this committee will become what we call “Public Officials,” which means that while you serve you must behave fair and ethically. We will provide training on this once you are accepted. Part of following Public Officials Ethics laws means you must tell the group when you or a relative may financially benefit (or avoid fees) by your recommendations. This is called a “Conflict of Interest.” If you tell us about potential Conflicts of Interest that does not mean you cannot serve, in fact, many committees have potential members with Conflicts of Interest. We appreciate your ethical inclusion of possible Conflicts of Interest on the form included in the application.

How to Apply

Applications are open and continuous and will be kept on file.  When we are recruiting the applications will have a specific due date.

To be considered, please be sure to submit a completed and signed application form, and your resumé, if available.  Send the application to


Online submission is the preferred, fastest method to get the application into the hands of the selection committee.  We suggest you pre-write and save your answers in a separate document, so you have your own copy, and to prevent loss of your work from internet disruptions.  You may request to submit a Word version of the application. Email to request a Word version.

To talk with someone about this opportunity or to receive assistance completing the application, please contact the advisory body staff liaison Terry Whitehill at or 503-823-7639.

Voluntary & Confidential Demographic Information

The City is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. Completing the demographic information on the application is voluntary, but we encourage you to provide that information.  The City uses this information to help ensure that advisory body appointments represent a broad cross-section of community. Your information will not be used during the recruitment nor the selection process. State and federal law prohibit use of this information to discriminate against you. Questions about this may be sent to

General Questions

For general questions about the Advisory Bodies program, the volunteer recruitment process, or other upcoming advisory body opportunities please email

We Encourage You to Apply

We welcome you to browse our website to learn more about the bureau.

For more information about the Alternative Technology Advisory Committee, please visit the BDS Website.

Do you have questions or need more information? Email or call 503-823-7639.