In 2002 the Seattle Office of Housing collaborated with local affordable housing experts to develop a sustainable building guide tailored to the needs of the non-profit developers. The resulting program and guide--SeaGreen: Greening Seattle's Affordable Housing--promotes and encourages energy conservation, operational savings, and green building practices in multifamily affordable housing projects.
The SeaGreen guide is designed to manage the built environment in a socially equitable way so those who can least afford it will benefit from healthy, high quality affordable housing. It was used as one of the source documents for the Enterprise Community Partner's Green Communities Initiative, which promotes sustainable building strategies for affordable housing nationwide.
Applicants for funding from the Office of Housing are required to submit a sustainability plan based on the SeaGreen guide. Funding is limited and competitive, so successful applications generally incorporate most SeaGreen Action Items into their project designs.
Presented in checklist format, some SeaGreen strategies are identified as very achievable and essential for affordable housing projects, while others are considered recommended. Developers are strongly encouraged to incorporate all essential items--and as many recommended action items as is realistic--to meet the guiding principles of the program while balancing other project constraints.
SeaGreen chapters include:
As affordable housing providers understand the value of healthy, cost effective and durable dwelling units, a growing number of Office of Housing providers are also pursuing certification of their projects with LEED and Built Green.
For more information on SeaGreen and the Office of Housing, visit www.seattle.gov/housing.
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