Seattle is now home to TWO LEED Platinum Fire Stations

Photo: Nic Lehoux, DJC.com

Seattle’s Seattle Fire Station 32, located in the West Seattle Junction, opened in early November 2017 and was recently been certified by the U.S. Green Building Council as LEED Platinum. This prestigious distinction demonstrates the best-in-class achievement of sustainable design and construction practices for the 21,534 square foot facility.

The old Station 32 (located in the same location), was approximately 40 years old and needed replacement. The building systems were old, and the station offered inadequate space for modern apparatus and staffing levels. The station was also out of regulatory compliance in many areas, and was structurally substandard for seismic survivability.

Given the old station’s condition and the capacity of the station to play a more central role in West Seattle, the Station was completely rebuilt at the existing location. As part of the rebuild, Station 32 received major improvements and became the lead station for Battalion 7, which covers all of West Seattle, southwest Seattle, Harbor Island and the industrial areas lining both sides of the Duwamish River.

The Fire Station 32 project incorporated sustainable features such as solar hot water systems, photovoltaic arrays, green roof, water-efficient landscaping, energy-efficient LED lighting systems, energy-efficient HVAC systems, recycled building material use, low volatile organic compound (VOC) building material use, natural daylighting of common spaces and individual thermal controls of sleeping areas.

The station’s design was led by architectural firm of Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, and the station was built by general contractor, Howard S. Wright. With the designation of LEED Platinum, Seattle Fire Station 32 joins Seattle Fire Station 20 (West Queen Anne) as two of the only three fire stations currently in the state with LEED Platinum status.

Training to help with Building Tune-Ups compliance

 

To help prepare energy service providers and on-site building operators for the new Seattle Building Tune-Ups mandate, the Seattle Office of Sustainability and the Environment has partnered with the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC) to offer a Building Operator Certification Course Level II this spring.

The training BEGINS MARCH 2, 2017 and runs through June 8. The course is being offered at the discounted rate of $1,395.

 Building Operator Certification (BOC®) helps building engineers, maintenance supervisors and others in the skilled trades advance their skills in energy efficient operation of commercial buildings. BOC Level II is primarily for operators who have been certified at BOC Level I and who want more advanced training.  Complete course descriptions, and eligibility requirements, can be found at:  www.theboc.info/building-operator-training

For the full course schedule, and to register, go to:  http://www.cvent.com/d/pvqb00

When registering, choose the option for “Additional Registrant (from same facility in same course series)”.   Classes will be held at the Smart Buildings Center located at 1200 12th Ave S., Seattle.

Want to learn more about Seattle Building Tune-Ups and eligibility to be a Qualified Tune-Up Specialist?  Go to:  www.seattle.gov/environment/buildings-and-energy/energy-policy

OSE Releases Final Rule for Seattle Building Tune-Ups Requirement

OSE is pleased to issue OSE Director’s Rule 2016-01 which implements the Seattle Building Tune-Ups Ordinance adopted in March 2016. The Director’s Rule further explains the Tune-Ups requirement, and is the result of more than a year of collaboration with stakeholders to make this new policy clear and workable, with a focus on saving energy and flexibility for building owners. OSE thanks the Tune-Ups Technical Working Group and the dozens of other building owners, managers and energy management experts who helped shape these requirements.

The Rule clarifies the following: tune-up assessment components, corrective actions, and reporting; compliance extensions and exemptions; qualifications for tune-up specialists; and buildings and spaces subject to the requirement. This final version has several edits to address public comments received on the draft Rule, which was released in November. Highlights of the changes include:

  • The size threshold for tenant spaces with tenant-owned equipment that are not required to be tuned-up was increased from 2,500 to 5,000 square feet.
  • References to costs and payback periods were edited to make it clear that cost calculations are not required.
  • One Alternative Compliance Pathway – that of demonstrating at least $1/square foot of investment in energy conservation measures over three years – was removed from Section 9 “Exemptions” because of the challenges in identifying a form of evidence about actions taken, energy savings, and associated costs.
  • Additional certification and license options were included as eligible qualifications for a Tune Up Specialist in Section 12.

Seattle Building Tune-Ups phases in a periodic tune-up requirement for nonresidential buildings 50,000 square feet or larger (excluding parking), beginning in 2018 with buildings 200,000 SF or greater due first. Tune-ups aim to optimize energy and water performance by identifying no- or low-cost actions related to building operations and maintenance, focusing on actions that typically pay back within three years and generate 10-15% in energy savings on average. The legislation is a key piece of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan, our roadmap to achieving carbon-neutrality, by helping ensure buildings don’t use energy and water wastefully.

Support for Mid-Size Buildings to Comply with Seattle Building Tune-Ups

We’re recruiting up to 100 buildings (less than ~100,000 SF excluding parking) to jump-start their Tune-Up through the new Building Tune-Up Accelerator Program Benefits will include enhanced technical support and financial incentives to help comply with the Seattle Building Tune-Ups requirement. This funding will sunset after 2018, so contact us now if your building is due in 2020 or 2021. Trainings for service providers and in-house facility managers will also be offered on the Accelerator Program in mid-2017. Email nicole.ballinger@seattle.gov or call 206-233-7184 for more information.

Questions about the Seattle Buildings Tune-Up Requirement?

Visit www.seattle.gov/buildingtuneups for more information, or contact Christie Baumel at (206) 233-7173, or christie.baumel@seattle.gov.

Public Meeting on Building Tune-Up Director’s Rule

In Seattle’s ongoing commitment to foster energy efficiency, the City passed a Building Tune-Ups ordinance earlier this year. The Building Tune-Ups ordinance phases in a periodic tune-up requirement for commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger, beginning in 2018.

 

What’s Happening Now

City staff are working to develop a Director’s Rule that will further detail compliance specifications. This week, staff are completing the last of six meetings with a technical working group which is advising on details of a Director’s Rule, The Rule is anticipated to be released for public comment in late September. An Open House to learn about the rule and provide input will be scheduled two weeks after release, in early October.

OSE is hosting a public meeting to seek input for the Director’s Rule on Tuesday, September 13th, 8:30-10 am at the Smart Buildings Center, 1200 12th Avenue S. RSVP to: christie.baumel@seattle.gov

Simple operational changes can yield big savings, and tune-ups are expected to generate 10-15% energy savings for a building, on average. The Tune-Up legislation is a key piece of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan, our roadmap to achieving carbon-neutrality, by helping ensure buildings don’t use energy and water wastefully. Reducing energy and water waste helps the City save resources and move toward its goals to reduce carbon pollution.

Read our FAQ page for more information on the Building Tune-Up policy.

Seattle Energy Benchmarking Attains 99% Compliance

Seattle continues to lead the nation in buildings reporting energy use – this year more than 3,250 reported (99% of buildings required). But benchmarking is only the first step. Learning from the data and taking action are critical to energy savings—and a host of other benefits—like tenant satisfaction and marketability that help keep existing buildings profitable in Seattle’s surging real estate market.

These “beyond benchmarking” actions are supported by Seattle’s Benchmarking Transparency Policy to make the collected data publicly available. This summer OSE heard from property owners, managers and vendors via three roundtable meetings. The attendees discussed proposed rule changes and explored data visualization websites from other benchmarking cities like Philadelphia and Chicago. The input will support the development of a draft Director’s Rule that is being prepared this summer.

To further engage office and multifamily building owners and thank them for benchmarking, OSE sends customized reports that show how their building’s energy use compares to similar Seattle buildings. The reports estimate cost savings by reducing the building’s energy use to the Seattle “average” or a “top performer” and feature opportunities like utility rebates, workshops and recognition programs. (View a sample) These reports will be shared again this fall and expanded to more building types. Owners of other building types can see how their building stacks up to others in Seattle using the Energy Benchmarking Dashboard.

As one multifamily manager said last year, “I knew this building was using a lot of energy, but I didn’t know how bad it was until I saw it was ranked one of the worst on the performance profile.” This knowledge validated her recent decision to update a boiler on the property—demonstrating exactly how Seattle is hoping to leverage the benchmarking data from information to action.