The Seattle City
Council adopted the 2001 Seattle Energy Code on September 17, 2001
by a vote of 9-0. The ordinance (#120525), which becomes effective
October 24, 2001, also allows applicants to choose to comply with
the 2000 Seattle Energy Code in lieu of the 2001 Seattle Energy Code
until February 28, 2002.
Revisions to the Energy Code were developed through an extensive
public review process, during which DCLU held a series of 22 weekly
public review meetings over a six-month period. These activities
were summarized in previous issues of dcluINFO.
In addition, a public forum moderated by City Councilmembers Heidi
Wills and Richard Conlin, was held on July 12, 2001. In August and
September, the Council Energy and Environmental Policy Committee
held three public hearings on the Mayor’s recommendations.
City Council made several modifications to the Energy Code text
in the Mayor’s proposal. The proposed building envelope criteria
in Table 13-1 for fenestration U-factor and solar heat gain
coefficient (SHGC) for projects with a fenestration area of 30-40
percent of the gross wall area was extended to apply to projects
with a 30-45 percent area and the 45-50 percent option was revised
to allow a less-stringent U-factor.
Language was added to Section 1132.2 on replacement air handling
equipment and replacement water-source heat pumps to provide an
exception from bringing the mechanical system up to the economizer
requirements where full compliance would place an unreasonable
economic burden on the project. In addition, City Council has
started several other initiatives which are listed following the
summary of the key Energy Code changes.
The summary of key changes below does not list all the changes.
The revisions apply to nonresidential occupancies and there are no
proposed changes for Group R occupancy.
- Prescriptive glazing options revised to be based on glazing
with low-e coatings and better solar control (Table 13-1).
Provides consistency with Standard 90.1 & addendum.
- Overhead glazing U-factors revised to match actual products
(Table 13-1), default U-factors for overhead glazing revised as
companion change (Table 10-6).
- Allowance to use SHGC for center-of-glass (1312.2),
prescriptive credits for overhangs and north-oriented glazing
(1323.3), expanded table of default U-factors for masonry walls
with metal studs (Table 10-5B). Greater flexibility, ease of
- Increased wall insulation for "other" space heat
(Table 13-1). Reduced thermal bridges.
- Increased insulation for semi-heated spaces (1310.2) and
masonry walls (Table 13-1).
- Efficiencies for heating and cooling equipment revised (1411.1
and Tables 14-1A to M).
- More use of economizer, lower thresholds, clearer calculations
for water economizer (1433).
- Requirement for electronically-commutated motors in series
mixing boxes (1437).
- Maximum damper leakage established (1412.4.1).
- Duct sealing and commissioning requirements clarified (1414.1
- Single pass systems eliminated for water conservation purposes
Lighting and Power
- Lighting power allowance revised to 1.0 W/sf for offices (but
no change for small offices and medical offices), and to 1.2 W/sf
for schools (Table 15-1). Revise to reflect current practice.
- Prescriptive option requires dimming ballasts (1521).
Companion change to Table 15-1.
- Automatic shut-off controls required for all buildings, not
only offices (1513.6). Provides consistency with IESNA Standard
90.1. Primary energy savings are evenings and weekends.
- Small offices, meeting and conference rooms, and school
classrooms to have occupancy sensors (1513.6). Additional energy
savings during the daytime.
- Daylighted zones to have automatic controls (1513.3). Either
stepped controls (on-off lamp-by-lamp) or continuous dimming
controls are allowed.
- Change of use to require compliance with lighting power
allowance in Table 15-1.
- Certain internal building transformers to comply with NEMA
City Council Initiatives
In response to issues brought forward by industry professionals,
the following measures have been initiated:
- Grace period extended to February 28, 2002 to accommodate
projects already in the design and permitting process;
- Review of flexibility and innovation potential within the code
(RS-29) to be conducted by June 1, 2002;
- Convene a series of public meetings to evaluate potential
modifications to City Light’s incentive programs;
- Review and define standard policies and procedures related to
how the code applies to existing buildings;
- Develop materials and training sessions to enhance
user-friendliness of the code; and
- Begin to evaluate potential exterior lighting modifications
for energy efficiency.
DCLU Staff Activities
DCLU staff now are preparing replacement pages for the 2001 Seattle
Energy Code revisions that are to be inserted into the 2000
Washington State Energy Code. The insert pages are expected to be
available in late October.
Please note that previous Seattle amendments were also adopted as
part of the 2000 Seattle Energy Code. DCLU staff is currently
working on updating the Seattle Energy Code website, related forms,
and Client Assistance Memos. Training will be scheduled once these
updated materials are available.
If you have Energy Code questions relating to specific projects,
please contact the DCLU Energy Technical Backup at (206) 684-7846.
For further information, please contact:
John Hogan, DCLU
Michael Aoki-Kramer, DCLU