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Energy Code

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What Is It?

Our Seattle Energy Code regulates the energy-use features of new and remodeled buildings, including:

  • Building Envelope: controls heat loss and air leakage through the roof, walls, windows, etc.
  • Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC): equipment efficiency, and controls
  • Water Heating: equipment efficiency, and controls
  • Lighting: fixture type, quantity, and controls
  • Metering: plug load controls, transformers, motors, and renewable energy

Read the Code

Note on Seattle Energy Code books: We hope that the Energy Code books will be available in April or May. ICC is publishing both the State and Seattle codes. Since Seattle adopts the State Code and adds amendments, we’ll work on the Seattle Code after the State Code is done. We’ll post updates here when we get more information. In the meantime, please use the working copy posted here.

Residential versus commercial. The Seattle Energy Code chapters that apply to your project depend on whether your project is residential or commercial. See below for a breakout of the chapters by each version of the code.

2012 Code

  • Use the “residential” code chapters for single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses
  • Use the “residential” code chapters for 1-, 2-, and 3-story multifamily buildings
  • Use the “commercial” code chapters for 4-story and higher multifamily buildings
  • Use the “commercial” code chapters for non-residential buildings

2009 Code

  • Chapters 1-10: Single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses
  • Chapters 11-15: Multifamily buildings, without Seattle amendments
  • Chapters 11-16: Non-residential buildings, with Seattle amendments
  • Chapters 2 (definitions), 7 (design temps) and 10 (U-values) apply to all projects

Remodeling projects. Depending on when you applied for your permit, the 2009 or 2012 version of the Seattle Energy Code may apply to your permit.

2012 Code

  • Use “residential” code sections R101.4.1 through R101.4.5 for single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses, and for 1-, 2- and 3-story multifamily buildings
  • Use “commercial” code sections C101.4.1 through C101.4.5 for non-residential and for 4-story and higher multifamily buildings

2009 Code

  • Use section 101.3.2 for single-family homes, duplexes, and townhouses
  • Use section 1130 for multifamily buildings, without Seattle amendments
  • Use Section 1130 for non-residential buildings, with Seattle amendments

Proposed Changes

None

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