Substantial progress has been made since the City of Seattle first launched energy and water conservation programs in the 1970s (see Timeline). In 2000 Seattle became the first city in the nation to formally adopt a Sustainable Building Policy. Coupled with the biggest capital improvement program since the Seattle fire of 1888, the new policy provided a unique leadership opportunity to create change in the building industry. It is part of a larger Environmental Management System created by the City’s Office of Sustainability and Environment.
Since 2000 City of Seattle green building experts have worked steadily to incorporate sustainability principles into the daily work of engineers, plans examiners, code developers, planners and other City staff. They have also worked with developers, architects, and private citizens to embrace green building principles in all aspects of development, from small renovations to high-rise buildings.
Interested in learning more about City Green Building? “Building an Emerald City: A Guide to Creating Green Building Policies and Programs” by Lucia Athens highlights the city of Seattle's Green Building Program and how Seattle became a national leader. More..
|5-Year Report: "Building a Better City"|
Northwest Regional Sustainable Building Action Plan
In addition to the staff-level work group, a senior-level “Sustainable Building Blue Ribbon Task Force” was formed, chaired by Seattle City Council Member Richard Conlin. Twenty-three elected officials, industry executives, and public officials participated on the task force.
The final result was Northwest Regional Sustainable Building Action Plan: Strategies to Mainstream Sustainable Design and Construction Practices in the Pacific Northwest, published in March of 1999. The Action Plan is intended to serve as a road map for the region--to identify the most critical and practical steps needed to make sustainable building the standard practice in the Pacific Northwest.
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