Living Building and 2030 Challenge Pilots Effective August 1

Seattle’s buildings produce about one-third of our greenhouse gases. Reducing these emissions are critical in achieving our goal to become a carbon-neutral community by 2050. To help achieve that goal, SDCI’s updated Living Building Pilot and new 2030 Challenge Pilot go into effect on August 1. The Living Building Pilot can be used for new and existing buildings. The 2030 Challenge Pilot is focused on development that includes existing buildings.

Mayor Durkan signed legislation that created the 2030 Challenge Existing Building Pilot Program and updated the Living Building Pilot Program on July 2, 2018. After signing the legislation, Mayor Durkan released the following statement:

“Seattle has always invented the future and the creation of this new pilot further establishes us as a leader combating the negative impacts of climate change. Our city doesn’t have the luxury of entertaining climate change denial. With building energy as a leading cause of pollution, our City can remain on the leading edge of construction and operation of buildings that meet the highest green standards while fostering a healthy environment.”

Developers that are constructing new buildings or building additions that meet the program standards can get the following benefits:

  • Up to 25 percent more floor area
  • Up to 30 percent more floor area if saving an unreinforced masonry structure
  • 5 feet of additional height for residential construction or 15 feet of additional height for non-residential construction in zones with height limits of 85 feet or less
  • 25 feet of additional height for residential construction or 30 feet of additional height for non-residential construction in zones with height limits greater than 85
  • Additional design departures for the pilot programs as specified in SMC 23.41.012D

 

Both pilots are performance-based; developers are required to conduct post-occupancy monitoring to show that the environmental goals have been met.   The green building program standards that are the basis of these pilots focus on different aspects of the environment, but both require a minimum energy reduction of 25 percent.  Both pilots require developers to participate in the Design Review Program so the project is a better fit with neighborhoods.

The 2030 Challenge Pilot:

  • Allows up to 20 projects that include renovation and preservation of portions of an existing building
  • Requires projects to be located within an urban center, excluding any lots located in the Shoreline District or within the International Special Review District
  • Requires specific standards for energy, water, and transportation efficiency
  • Prohibits the use of on-site combustion of fossil fuel for space and water heating

 

The Living Building Pilot:

  • Allows up to 17 projects (three projects have already submitted MUP applications)
  • Applies citywide, excluding any lots located in the Shoreline District.
  • Requires specific standards for energy and water efficiency, and requires either full Living Building Certification or Petal Certification
  • Prohibits the use of on-site combustion of fossil fuel for space and water heating.

 

More information can be found on our Priority Green webpage.   If you are interested in participating in these programs, please request green building information on your land use pre-submittal application.

Any questions may be directed to:

Jess Harris
Green Building Program Manager
jess.harris@seattle.gov

Comment on a Draft Director’s Rule about Green Building Standards

We’d like your feedback on Draft Director’s Rule 20-2017, Green Building Standard. It’s available for review and comment through September 22, 2017.

The purpose of this Director’s Rule is to:

  • Establish the requirements for development to meet the green building standard, including a substantially equivalent or superior standard where applicable
  • Establish the requirements for documenting an owner’s commitment that a proposed development will meet a green building standard
  • Establish the requirements for demonstrating compliance with a commitment that the development will meet a green building standard

Our “green building standard” is a standard adopted by the Director of our Department, that is equivalent or superior to standards accepted in the building industry for high-level development strategies and practices. These standards apply to a range of structure types, they help save resources, and they promote renewable, clean energy.

The previous rule, 12-2016, is being revised to clarify language about the energy goal and how that relates to the Seattle Energy Code. The new text will clarify that any project using the green building standard must be designed to use 15% less energy than allowed by the Seattle Energy Code.   

Publication Updates

Tips

UPDATED

  • Tip 420, Solar Energy Systems, was updated. We made changes to the content in the Production Washington Renewable Energy Incentive section on page 6, and updated the hyperlinks.

 

Director’s Rules

DRAFT

  • DDR 13-2016, Floor Area Limit for Religious Facilities in the SM-SLU 85-240 Zone, clarifies how the Land Use Code applies to floor area ratios for religious facilities in a specific zone. You can send public comments about this draft rule to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, Suite 2000, 700 Fifth Avenue, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019, no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 5, 2016.
  • DDR 14-2016, Application of Mandatory Housing Affordability for Residential Development (MHA-R) in contract rezones, clarifies how Seattle DCI will apply the new mandatory housing affordability rules for performance and payment in contract rezones. You can send public comments about this draft rule to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, Suite 2000, 700 Fifth Avenue, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019, no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 5, 2016.
  • DDR 1-2017, Implementation of the Fee Subtitle, Building Valuation Data, updates our Building Valuation Data for 2017. You can send public comments about this draft rule to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections, Suite 2000, 700 Fifth Avenue, P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019, no later than 5:00 p.m. on December 16, 2016

Living Building Pilot Program Lives On

The City Council approved and the Mayor signed legislation that continues the Living Building Pilot Program (LBPP) until 2025. The law will become effective on November 6, 2016. The updated Living Building program legislation expands on a pilot program started in 2009 and increases the number of buildings that can participate to 20. To date, two projects have met the Living Building Pilot Program requirements, the Stone 34 project in Wallingford and the Bullitt Center building on Capitol Hill.

The legislation incorporates updates from the LBPP Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The TAG met for over a year to recommend adjustments that maintain the rigor of the program while incentivizing Living Buildings. Incentives include a 15 percent increase in floor area ratio and a height increase up to 10 feet in zones with height limits of 85 feet or less, and 20 feet in zones with height limits greater than 85 feet. With the new legislation, these incentives are now granted outright for developers participating in the LBPP. This provides more certainty for project teams, in lieu of the previous program that allowed similar departure requests through the design review process. Projects must still be reviewed under the Design Review Program and cannot be located in a shoreline district.

Other changes include updates to the requirements for projects that decide to pursue the Petal Certification pathway: energy use must be 75 percent or less of targets established in the energy code, and potable water cannot be used for non-potable uses.

Draft Directors Rule: Green Building Standards

This legislation also included organizational changes to consolidate the disparate green building requirements into one chapter of the Seattle Land Use Code. A Draft Director’s Rule is now available for review and comment.

Certain development is required by the Land Use Code to meet a green building standard, such as development that includes extra floor area. “Green building standard” is defined in the code as a performance-based standard equivalent or superior to standards accepted in the building industry for high-level development strategies and practices that apply to a range of structure types, save resources, and promote renewable, clean energy.

The purpose of this Rule is to:

  • Establish the requirements for development to meet the green building standard, including a substantially equivalent or superior standard where applicable
  • Establish the requirements for documenting an owner’s commitment that a proposed development will meet a green building standard
  • Establish the requirements for demonstrating compliance with a commitment that the development will meet a green building standard

 

For more information, contact:

Jess Harris
(206) 684-7744
jess.harris@seattle.gov

 

Seattle Priority Green—Program Updates & Open House

The Priority Green program is a voluntary green building permit incentive that was established by DPD in 2009-10. The incentive program encourages project teams to reach for a higher level of sustainability in exchange for an expedited permit process. To date, over 400 projects have pursued ratings for Built Green 4 or 5 star, LEED Gold or Platinum, or DPDs Alternative Path, and have benefited from expedited permit review through our Priority Green Expedited program. About 20% of all applications for new construction, with complex reviews, are participating in Priority Green Expedited.

We’ve made some recent requirement changes, and we’re proposing some new requirements. We’re hosting a Priority Green open house to get your feedback:

When:

Monday, April 27,
10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where:
Seattle Municipal Tower
700 5th Ave.
Room 1610

Last year we revised our Priority Green requirements to keep a step ahead of the codes for energy efficiency and sustainability measures. We updated prerequisites for energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, indoor air quality, and stormwater management. We want to hear from you on how these newer requirements are working, and to collaborate with you on how to improve future applications.

In May, we will consider an addition to our Priority Green submittal requirements. We have always recommended that applicants enroll their project with Built Green prior to permit submittal, and now we plan to require it. Likewise, for LEED projects, we will require applicants to register their projects with LEED before applying for a building permit. By requiring enrollment or registration we will:

  • Ensure early communication between the builder or developer and the rating organization
  • Ensure that the correct checklist or version is being used
  • Allow DPD a way to track, and for the rating organization to anticipate, project certification

We want to hear your comments on this new requirement. We also anticipate other minor refinements to the program on which we’ll ask for your feedback.

Our Priority Green open house will have staff from;

  • DPD Priority Green
  • Seattle Public Utilities Solid Waste Division
  • King County Green Tools powered by King County Solid Waste Division
  • Seattle City Light Energy Conservation
  • Built Green

Can’t make the open house? We will post the open house material on our Priority Green website in late April. You will be able to view the material, and then email your comments to dpdprioritygreen@seattle.gov.