Allow Experimental Affordable Housing Exceptions in Certain Areas

Building codes have many provisions which impose considerable cost, and which can also impede the development of new approaches to building.

Oregon Statutes (ORS 455.320 through 455.350) exempt owner-built dwellings from certain code requirements.  It also permits counties to exempt owner-built dwellings in rural areas from most code requirements. 

Such a zone could encourage experimentation with lower cost construction. The Straw Bale and Cob (a common technique in Great Britain) examples on this page are becoming more common and legal in many juristictions in the US.


  • David Eisenberg at the Development Center for Appropriate Technology,, is the guru of alternative building methods interfacing with the codes.  According to their website, "DCAT has taken on the challenge of addressing the institutional barriers to sustainable building and development found in building codes in an ongoing and focused manner."   They can also be reached at P.O. Box 27513, Tucson, AZ 85726 or by phone at 520-624-6628.

In May, 2007 an agreement was reached between the Green Building Council and the Code Council on working together on cooperative areas of interest.

See Also:

Accessory Dwelling Units
Inclusionary Zoning

Design Innovations

Small & Seed Houses

Modular Homes

Flex Homes

Net Zero Energy

Enriching Community & Soul

RedWing House

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