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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Welcome to the official web site of the City of Portland, Oregon

General Information: 503-823-4000

E-mail: cityinfo@portlandoregon.gov

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 110, Portland, OR 97204

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Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Building Information

URM Information Banner

The Bureau of Development Services Structural Engineering Team is responsible for the implementation of the City and State Building Code regulations for the seismic evaluation and retrofitting of new and existing buildings as part of the building permit process. One subset of existing buildings are Unreinforced Masonry (URM) buildings. URM buildings exist throughout the City and were generally built before the 1960’s. These types of buildings were commonly constructed of brick with little to no steel reinforcement in the walls. In addition, URMs often have little or no structural attachment between the exterior walls and the roof and floor. Due to these factors and the age of these buildings, URM’s are more prone to sustain significant damage, which may include partial or total collapse, during seismic events and are subject to special seismic upgrade requirements within State and City Code.

Questions? Contact 503-823-7300 or BDS.URMBuildings@portlandoregon.gov.


URM Ordinance 189399 Repealed

Per Ordinance 189747 passed by City Council on October 23, 2019, Placarding and Tenant Notification Requirements for unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings have been repealed. All documentation of compliance and its associated timeline (Ordinances 189201, 189309, 189399, and 189479) are repealed, and Code Chapter 24.85 has been amended to reflect the repeal.

URM Work Group and Resources

The City of Portland has chartered a stakeholder work group to make recommendations for a voluntary seismic retrofit program. Click on the link above for more information.

URM Database

The Unreinforced Masonry (URM) Building database is a list containing information on buildings located in the City of Portland which are believed to be of unreinforced masonry construction.

City Code Title 24.85

Current requirements for seismic design requirements for existing buildings