What we do: Recode works to ensure access to and accelerate adoption of sustainable building and development practices.

 We can develop forms of governance that are more adaptive by design, including regulations and codes that encourage, rather than stifle, innovation.

Why: The challenges, complexities, and disruptions of the 21st century require us all to be more adaptively innovative.

How might our systems of governance be designed for learning — for both innovation and impact? In planning and development, one promising approach is called performance based: the use of regulations and codes that define desired outcomes, but not how such outcomes might be achieved. The innovative water and sanitation systems championed by Recode exemplify the ways in which performance based approaches can deliver social and environmental outcomes. While such outcomes might not seem dramatically significant in any one area, they are systemically significant across a wide spectrum of public concerns including affordability, water efficiency, and reduced pollutants.

Developing Model Codes

Developing Model Codes

Assisting Early Adopters

Assisting Early Adopters

Training Tradespeople and Builders

Training Tradespeople and Builders

Recode Projects

Recode Training

Thanks to our funders we are offering a two day training as an introduction to our methods and strategies. This is a great chance to learn how Recode has been so effective at changing codes so quickly and apply these lessons to your own passions.

National Plumbing Code for Composting and Urine Diversion Toilets

Recode’s composting toilet code with options for urine diversion was written for IAPMO’s Green Supplement to the Uniform Plumbing Code. You can view Recode’s April 2014 draft code language online and December 2014 draft code language. The code language, if adopted by the IAPMO comm

Advocating for Performance Based Codes

Performance based codes stipulate that systems remove a required amount of pollution from human “waste” before it is released to the land or water. Prescriptive codes only stipulate a systems look. Ecological sanitation has the potential to breakdown pharmaceuticals, unlike conventional wastewat

Ecological Sanitation Tour

Recode toured the state in 2012 to educate communities & regulators in Oregon about the benefits of creating "waste" treatment rules for Oregon that judge alternatives to septic and sewer systems on their performance and let alternatives compete on cost. Our goal was to lay the groundwork for a po

Legalized Graywater Reuse in Oregon

Recode organized the first public forum on graywater reuse in April 2008, co-sponsored by the Office of Sustainable Development. We invited the wider Portland community to discuss their desire for gray water reuse and their values around water. Recode mobilized a process that resulted in DEQ graywat

Legalized Site Built Composting Toilets in Oregon

Recode legalized site built composting toilets and non-NSF 41 certified manufactured composting toilets in 2011 through Reach Code 1307.4 amending OAR 918-465-0040 & 918-465-0070. Our performance based code protects human health while giving home owners an affordable option for installing compostin