City Council to Review Proposed Changes to the Living Building and Seattle Deep Green Pilot Program

Mayor Ed Murray delivered proposed changes for the Living Building and Seattle Deep Green Pilot Program to the City Council for consideration. At this time, the proposed changes eliminate the Deep Green option to focus the pilot program on Living Buildings. Meanwhile, DPD will continue to develop recommendations for updated new Seattle Deep Green option.  We are working with a Technical Advisory Group to develop our recommendations.

The Living Building and Seattle Deep Green Pilot Program facilitates the development of innovative deep green buildings to:

  • Reduce environmental impacts
  • Test new technologies
  • Serve as a model for development throughout the region and country

The Pilot Program allows developers to request departures from the Land Use Code through Design Review in recognition that the Living Building Challenge™ and the Seattle Deep Green program require the highest levels of sustainability.

In summary, the proposed changes would:

  • Eliminate the existing Seattle Deep Green option (to allow the City and the Living Building and Deep Green Technical Advisory Group time to fully evaluate and develop a new pilot program for Deep Green)
  • Revise the minimum standards of the program related to energy use to align with the new Seattle Energy Code
  • Require an independent report to verify compliance
  • Modify or remove some available departures
  • Increase the maximum penalty for projects failing to demonstrate full compliance with the standards from 5 percent to 10 percent of the construction costs

The City Council will review the proposed new rules. A briefing and public hearing at the Council’s Planning Land Use and Sustainability (PLUS) Committee is scheduled for July 1, 2014.  New rules could be adopted in July-August of 2014. For more information, visit our Living Building Pilot Update website, or contact:

Aly Pennucci, Senior Planner
(206) 386-9132