For over a year I’ve been meeting with a group of Portlanders working on writing language to create a deconstruction resolution.
My fellow Deconstruction Advisory Group participants encompass salvage, deconstruction, builders, neighborhood coalitions, Portland City and Metro Regional Government representatives. We were effectively trying to do something that’s never been done before.
Many states and municipalities across the country have ordinances requiring construction and demolition debris to be diverted from landfills. Not one has ever used the language or required diversion to be done by deconstructing buildings.
Since 2011 I have been researching and posting on building material reuse. From my research I have created resource pages on Policies and Ordinances across the country. In five years I have never found deconstruction in any of the rules regarding waste diversion in the United States. Or Canada. Or Europe.
On Wednesday, February 17, 2016 – Portland made history!
Portland City Council approved the resolution that directs the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to develop code language that requires projects seeking a demolition permit of a house or duplex to fully deconstruct that structure if it was built before 1916 or is a designated historic resource.
“Today Portland became the first city in the country to ensure that the act of taking down the homes of our past has the least amount of impact on the environment and the surrounding neighbors,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales. “Keeping valuable materials out of the landfill reduces carbon emissions and gives people affordable options for fixing up their homes.”
Presentation by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. To see Sara Badiali testifying for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales start video at 2:45.
The resolution language and Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability press release.
Stay tuned for the article about my experience on the Deconstruction Advisory Group and testifying before Portland’s City Council. Congratulations Portland!