Portland’s New Building Designs For The Birds

A new measure being proposed in Portland's City Council would create building design guidelines to make the city more bird-friendly. The Bird Conservation Network estimates that, every year, about 100 million birds are killed from flying into glass windows. The new guidelines would address the percentage of a building's facade above 40 feet. The guidelines would push for the use of more artificial lighting and reflective glass. The measure would also deal with other areas of a building that can attract or trap birds, such as outside lighting, corners, passageways and courtyards.

City Council Commissioner Dan Saltzman hopes the new guidelines will help promote safer buildings in Portland for the 209 species of birds who fly through Portland as it sits along the Pacific Flyway, between Alaska and South America. Portland would not be the first major city to adopt some form of bird-friendly building guidelines, as New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Toronto all have similar building design guidelines.

Building code requirements

The implementation of any building project in the state of Oregon involves tremendous planning and foresight for the architectural design, the construction itself and the clean up and waste disposal. The plans and construction must comply with all applicable building code requirements. A building code sets minimum standards for all aspects and all types of building projects to protect the safety of the workers and the public as well as the environment. The building code requirements will vary depending on the type and scope of the project. There will be different regulations for different aspects of the construction, such as fire protection, electrical, plumbing and environmental. The building codes would include:

  • The city building code for the area where the building will be located
  • The relevant Oregon state building code 
  • Federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) 

It is important that each company involved have their own Oregon construction law attorney to advise them of their responsibilities and potential liabilities with respect to the applicable building code requirements. The construction law attorneys at Kell, Alterman & Runstein, L.L.P. have been advising Portland business owners for more than a generation.

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