Portland passes deconstruction rules for 100-year-old home demolitions
Portland’s City Council has given the go-ahead on a measure requiring contractors who demolish homes built before 1916 to fully deconstruct them.
The idea is that the materials become available for reuse, as opposed to simply thrown in the landfill.
The Council approved the measure unanimously. Portland is the nation’s first to pass such a rule.
More than 300 single-family homes are demolished each year, according to Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
“By keeping valuable materials out of the landfill, we ensure the least amount of impact on the environment and neighbors,” said Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, in a release. “Deconstruction reduces our carbon footprint, prevents harmful air pollution caused by demolition and creates good, family wage jobs.”
Contractors who demolish houses deconstruct them less than 10 percent of the time in Portland. About one-third of single-family demolitions would be subject to the requirement, which takes effect Oct. 31.
The city’s efforts would divert an estimated 8 million pounds from landfills.
Earth Advantage and the Building Material Reuse Association will offer training and certification in deconstruction beginning July 18.