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:
Green Building Program Manager