Most City offices closed Wednesday, June 19, to observe Juneteenth

The City of Portland recognizes Juneteenth as a formal day of remembrance to honor Black American history and the end of slavery in the United States. Learn about Juneteenth.

Residential Code Guides


Building Code Guides (BCGs) and Building Official Determinations (BODs) provide answers about the application of building codes and outline optional alternates. BODs are typically smaller in scope and address simpler questions. Code Guides provide a comprehensive alternative to a complicated set of code requirements.

The question or alternate described in each code guide is listed below the code guide link.

  • What building code modifications are allowed for accessory dwelling units?
  • Can cargo containers be installed on properties and used as accessory storage structures?
  • The scope of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) is limited to structures not more than three stories above grade plane. Under what conditions may a four story residential structure be regulated under the ORSC? 
  • Are any deviations allowed in the City of Portland from the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) definition for townhouse?
  • Are any alternatives to the requirements of the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) allowed when non habitable space is being converted to habitable space, or when the habitable use of a space is changing within an existing one- or two-family dwelling?
  • Requirements for Fire Resistive Rating for Building Walls and Projections for Conversion of One & Two Family Residential Detached Accessory Structures
  •  What are the structural loading requirements for private elevated driveways and parking decks?
  • Where NFPA 13D systems are required, are residential quick response sprinkler heads required to be installed over or adjacent to fuel-fired equipment located in garages? 
  • When is a slope hazard evaluation required? What are the requirements for slope hazard evaluations?

You can also read more about these codes, rules and guidesstate building codes and related administrative rules and interpretations, City codes, City administrative rules, Business Practice Policies, Program Guides, Building Official's Determinations, PBOT Codes and Guides, and request a change to City codes or recommend a regulatory improvement change.


General Inquiries

Development Services
phone number503-823-7300Our front desk team will be available to answer Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please leave a message if you call outside of those hours.
Oregon Relay Service711Oregon Relay Service