Working for a safe, affordable, vibrant, innovative, and interconnected city.
Learn More Home Page This Department
Link to Seattle Department of Planning and Development home page

Priority Green Expedited

See also: 

What Is It?

Our Priority Green Expedited program shortens the time it takes you to get a new construction permit.

We give you:

  • A single point of contact
  • Priority in scheduling your intake appointment
  • Faster initial review of your plans
  • Faster routing of your plans
  • Faster processing of your permit

Helpful Information

You should:

  • Use an integrated design process to identify opportunities and avoid project pitfalls. You should engage all key project team members for the purpose of making cost-effective and environmentally-effective integrated decisions throughout the design and construction process.
  • Apply for Seattle City Light incentives today.
  • Use our Electronic Plan Review to process your application online.
  • Enroll your project with Built Green or register with LEED today.

What is Changing?

We are considering whether to require you to enroll your Priority Green project with Built Green, or register with LEED, before you submit your permit. These changes would take place in May 2015.

By requiring you to enroll with Built Green or register with LEED we will:

  • Ensure early communications between you and Built Green or LEED
  • Ensure that you are using the correct checklist
  • Be able to track your project certification
  • Help Built Green or LEED anticipate your project certification

We want to hear your comments about these changes. Please email us at with the subject line: Comments on Priority Green Expedited.  


Your project must:

  • Achieve our Priority Green prerequisites for energy and water conservation, waste reduction, stormwater management, and indoor air quality:
    • 15 percent better than the 2012 Seattle Energy Code for non-residential or 20 percent better than the 2012 Seattle Energy Code for residential projects
    • WaterSense plumbing fixtures
    • Waste Diversion Plan and Salvage Assessment showing at least 75 percent recycling of construction and demolition material
    • Green Stormwater Requirement Calculator showing all flat surfaces outside of the building footprint as permeable pavement or provide a waiver from geotechnical engineer
    • Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) interior paints, adhesives, caulk, floor finishes, sealant
    • No Added Urea Formaldehyde (NAUF) in interior spaces
  • Have 2,200 square feet or less of gross conditioned floor area per dwelling unit and achieve:
  • Provide notes and / or details on your permit plan set to demonstrate Priority Green Prerequisites
  • If a Master Use Permit is required (not including Streamlined Design Review), your application must be submitted at least six weeks prior to construction intake, or anticipated construction intake, to allow initial review of land use application prior to construction review

Built Green or LEED for Homes Verification: For small residential projects, you must hire an approved Built Green or LEED for Homes verifier to help you develop your green building strategies and to complete a project checklist. The independent verifier will authenticate all the information on the checklists by conducting inspections and tests during construction, and submitting documentation to certify your project.

LEED Verification: For larger residential or commercial projects you will need to hire a LEED consultant and / or a consultant to perform energy modeling to help you develop your green building strategies and complete a project checklist. Once your construction is complete, the verifier or consultant must send us documentation confirming your project will be certified.

DPD Alternative Path: DPD Alternative Path provides an option for applicants who choose not to seek a Built Green or LEED for Homes certification. These projects do not require an independent verifier, they are inspected by our Green Building staff. DPD Alternative Path is only available for residential projects subject to the Residential Provisions in the Seattle Energy Code. You can use the Passive House standards for energy use, if all your other project requirements meet Alternative Path prerequisites.

How Much Does It Cost?

We don't require additional permit fees if your project is eligible for Priority Green. Fees are based on the value of your project. Use our fee estimator to estimate how much your permit will cost. We will also charge hourly fees for certain reviews; see the Fee Subtitle for details.

How Long Does It Take?

We try to finish our initial review of construction permits in 8 weeks, but for Priority Green projects we shorten your review by:

Steps to Get Your Permit

In addition to the steps for your permit type (new construction - single family or duplex or new construction - multifamily or mixed-use), you need to complete the following steps.


1. Research

Find out if you're eligible.To confirm your project is eligible for Priority Green Expedited, and for questions, email us at

2. Start Permit Application

Submit Priority Green application materials. Send your application materials by email to at least 2 weeks before your intake appointment. We'll review your materials and notify you within 2 weeks to confirm your eligibility or to request further information. Below is a list of the application materials you will need.

  • Residential projects using Built Green, LEED for Homes, & LEED for Homes Multifamily Midrise: You need to submit a letter from your Built Green or LEED for Homes verifier describing the services, floor area of dwelling units, and the certification level to be achieved. You also need to submit a preliminary checklist for Built Green or LEED for Homes (obtained from your verifier) specifying how the Priority Green prerequisites and certification level can be met.
  • Non-residential projects using LEED new construction: You need to submit a letter signed by the owner, architect of record, and LEED consultant indicating the intent to design, construct, and become certified at LEED gold or higher. In your letter you must include the read-only access code to LEED online to allow us to review your project. You will also need to submit a preliminary LEED checklist specifying how the Priority Green prerequisites and certification level can be met.

    We will consider other LEED rating systems on a case by case basis.
  • Residential projects using DPD Alternative Path and Passive House: Submit a letter signed by the owner and architect or designer indicating your intent to design and construct to meet DPD Alternative Path requirements, including our Priority Green prerequisites.

3. Submit Plans

Schedule your intake appointment. Call (206) 684-8850 to schedule an intake appointment at the Applicant Service Center, or schedule an electronic plan intake appointment online. Contact to be rescheduled into a priority appointment. Allow 2 weeks between when you submit your Priority Green application materials and your intake appointment.

Initial plan review. During plan review, call (206) 684-7744 or email ― your single point of contact to facilitate resolution of issues during plan review.

4. Schedule an Inspection

Schedule your Built Green or LEED for Homes Inspection: Your Built Green or LEED verifier must inspect the project during construction. Prior to your final DPD inspection:

  • Submit your final Built Green or LEED checklist.
  • Submit a letter, signed by the Built Green or LEED verifier / consultant, confirming that your project is expected to meet the eligibility requirements. The letter should demonstrate that all applicable inspections and performance testing is complete, that documentation has been submitted to the certifying agency, and that the project is expected to meet the required certification level and Priority Green prerequisites.

Schedule your DPD Alternative Path Inspection: DPD green building staff must inspect the project during construction. Contact us at to schedule an inspection (prior to DPD's final inspection) so we can verify the Alternative Path requirements are built and installed per approved plans. Please give us several days to schedule and respond to this request.

Schedule your DPD Final Inspection: You can schedule a DPD inspection after you've completed your Built Green, LEED, or DPD Alternative Path Inspection. See the construction inspections page for when to call us and how to schedule your inspection.

What Do You Want To Do?

Still Need Help?

 Ask Us

  • Priority Green Program Manager, (206) 684-7744
  • Sustainable Systems Advisor, (206) 233-7194