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City of Seattle - Sustainable Buildings and Sites Policy

Local Government
Savings Category 
Solar Water Heat
Program Info
Program Type 
Energy Standards for Public Buildings
Seattle Department of Planning and Development

Seattle’s Sustainable Building Policy was originally adopted in 2000 and significantly expanded in scope in October 2011. This policy calls for new City-funded projects and major renovations with over 5,000 square feet of occupied space to achieve a Gold Rating using the US Green Building Council’s (USGBC) LEED Rating System. To achieve certification, one must register the project with the USGBC and submit a project application which documents all attempted credits for review and approval by the USGBC technical staff and LEED Steering Committee. In addition, these projects must meet additional energy efficiency, water, waste, and bicycle parking requirements.

Minor renovation and tenant improvement projects that impact 5,000 square feet or more and involve changes to mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems must also meet LEED Gold standards, as well as additional requirements for water and waste. Projects that are under 5,000 square feet or not eligible for LEED must complete the Capital Green checklist. As of May 2012, there are 23 LEED-certified, City-owned buildings, with 6 projects underway and 5 planned projects.

For tools to assist in the development of sustainable buildings, please visit the [ City of Seattle's Design Tools and Strategies] web site.