ENB-9.01 - Green Building Policy

Binding City Policies (BCP)
Policy category
Policy number
Binding City Policy


WHEREAS, conventional development and construction practices deplete natural resources and cause air and water pollution, solid waste, deforestation, toxic wastes, health hazards, climate change, and other negative consequences; and

WHEREAS, buildings account for more than one-third of the nation’s energy use, 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and waste output; and

WHEREAS, the increasing urgency of climate change, rising energy prices and a fragile economy pose serious threats to Portland’s ability to thrive, now and in the future; and

WHEREAS, green building complements existing policies related to development and natural resource conservation including solid waste, recycling, and composting policies, sustainable procurement policies, the Stormwater Management Manual, 1 Percent for Green Streets, the Climate Action Plan, the Portland Plan, the Transportation Systems Plan, the Economic Development Strategy, and Metro 2040 Framework Plan; and

WHEREAS, sustainable development practices present a major economic development opportunity for Portland and Oregon; and

WHEREAS, preserving historic buildings, structures and materials is a key aspect of sustainability; and

WHEREAS, the City of Portland recognizes its responsibility to implement, continue, and promote building practices that protect human health and the quality of the air, water, and other natural resources; reduce construction practices that negatively impact native fish, vegetation, wildlife, and other ecosystems; and minimize human impact on local and worldwide ecosystems; and

WHEREAS, the United States Green Building Council has, in a national collaborative process, created the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices; and

WHEREAS, Earth Advantage is a green building certification standard and rating system for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance small commercial and multifamily buildings developed and maintained by Earth Advantage Institute; and

WHEREAS, Living Building Challenge is a green building certification program that is a pathway for regenerative design and includes imperatives in seven performance areas: site, water, energy, health, materials, equity, and beauty; and

WHEREAS, Salmon-Safe provides guidance for public agency land managers, site developers, and designers interested in developing and operating sites that demonstrate environmental stewardship by minimizing watershed impacts; and

WHEREAS, in 1999 the City Council accepted the Green Building Options Study and Green Building Initiative to develop an inter-bureau effort to implement green building standards for all City design, construction, operation, and maintenance practices; and

WHEREAS, in 2001, Resolution 35956 established the City’s Green Building Policy to require all new City facilities to register and certify at the LEED Certified level and incorporate green building strategies into tenant improvement and operation and maintenance practices; and

WHEREAS, in 2005, Resolution 35956 revised the City’s Green Building Policy to raise the certification level of new City facilities to LEED Gold, require ecoroof coverage on new and replacement roofs, and define inter-bureau efforts to support community-wide green building practices; and

WHEREAS, in 2009, Resolution 36700 revised the City’s Green Building Policy to clarify and enhance its content to support implementation and project management; and

WHEREAS, in 2013, Resolution 37034 directed exploration of opportunities to advance bird-friendly building design and management practices into City plans, policies and programs, including the Green Building Policy for City-owned facilities; and

WHEREAS, the City of Portland has designed and/or constructed eleven LEED-registered projects and numerous green remodel, tenant improvement, ecoroof, and public infrastructure projects; and

WHEREAS, the City of Portland seeks to improve understanding and compliance with this Policy, retain its leadership in green building policy implementation, and respond to advances in the green building industry.


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Portland Green Building Policy is adopted with the attached Exhibits and Appendices; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City of Portland shall finance and staff its green building projects at a level suitable to meet the policy requirements; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the appendices of this Resolution may be updated by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability with consent of affected bureaus and offices; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this resolution is binding City policy and supersedes the prior Green Building Policy (2001), 2005 update adopted by Resolution 35956, and 2009 update adopted by Resolution 36700.

Link to Exhibit and Appendices  (PDF Document, 1.2 MB)

Resolution No. 35956, adopted by City Council January 10, 2001.
Filed for inclusion in PPD May 13, 2004.
Superseded by Resolution No. 36700, adopted by City Council April 29, 2009.
Superseded by Resolution No. 37122, adopted by City Council April 22, 2015.

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