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Seattle DPD is now the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections. DPD's City Planning division is now the Office of Planning & Community Development.

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.

Eligibility

Your project must enroll or register with one of the following organizations and certification levels:

And

  • Achieve our Priority Green requirements for energy and water conservation, waste reduction, stormwater management, and indoor air quality:
    • At least 15 percent better than the 2012 Seattle Energy Code for non-residential and large-residential compared to the commercial provisions of the Seattle Energy Code, or at least 20 percent better than the 2012 Seattle Energy Code for residential projects
    • WaterSense plumbing fixtures or other comparable strategies to reduce water consumption
    • Low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) interior paints, adhesives, caulk, floor finishes, and sealant
    • No Added Urea Formaldehyde (NAUF) in interior spaces
    • Have 2,200 square feet or less of gross conditioned floor area per dwelling unit (exception: up to 4000 square feet of conditioned gross floor area if Built Green 5-Star and Emerald Star material requirements are met)
    • Provide notes and/or details on your permit plan set to demonstrate Priority Green Requirements
    • If a Master Use Permit is required (not including Streamlined Design Review), your application must be submitted at least 6 weeks before 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.

LBC, Petal or Net Zero Energy Building (NZEB) Certification Verification: For projects pursuing these certifications you must complete an LBC design development or similar review and submit a post-construction Preliminary Audit Report from an independent LBC auditor (coordinated through the International Living Future Institute™).

PHIUS+2015 Verification: Hire a PHIUS+ certified rater / large building verifier and complete the pre-certification review. The independent verifier will authenticate all the information by conducting inspections and tests during construction, and submitting documentation to certify your project.

Seattle DCI Alternative Path Verification: Seattle DCI Alternative Path provides an option for applicants who choose not to seek a third party certification. These projects do not require an independent verifier, they are inspected by our Green Building staff. Seattle DCI Alternative Path is only available for residential projects subject to the Residential Provisions in the 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?

Recent data shows applications are issued on average about 30 days ahead of other comparable applications. However, the time it takes to get your permit depends on:

  • How complex your project is
  • How many corrections you need to make to your plans
  • How quickly and completely you respond to plan review comments

The expedited process leads to shorter initial review and faster routing and permit processing times. The single point of contact can also reduce permit times. 

On complex projects, 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 dpdprioritygreen@seattle.gov.

2. Start Permit Application

Submit Priority Green application materials. Send your application materials by email to dpdprioritygreen@seattle.gov 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: Enroll with Built Green and submit a letter from your Built Green 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 (obtained from your verifier) specifying how the Priority Green requirements and certification level can be met.
  • Non-residential and residential projects using LEED new construction, LEED for Homes, and LEED for Homes Multifamily Midrise: You need to register your project with LEED. For LEED new construction, you need to submit a letter signed by the 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. For LEED for Homes and Multifamily Midrise, submit a letter from your verifier describing the services, floor area of dwelling units, and the certification level to be achieved. You will also need to submit a preliminary LEED checklist specifying how the Priority Green requirements and certification level can be met.

    We will consider other LEED rating systems on a case by case basis. 
  • Non-residential and residential projects using LBC, Petal or Net Zero Energy Building Certification: You need to register your project with the International Living Future Institute. You need to submit a preliminary narrative based on the documentation requirements of the particular certification path. The narrative must include how the minimum Priority Green requirements will be met and a statement, signed by the owner and architect of record, indicating the intent to design, construct and be certified as a LBC, Petal or NZEB project.
  • Non-Residential and residential projects using PHIUS+2015 Certification: You need to register your project with PHIUS. You need to complete a pre-certification process with PHIUS.
     
  • Residential projects using Seattle DCI Alternative Path: Submit a letter signed by the owner and architect or designer indicating your intent to design and construct to meet Seattle DCI 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 dpdprioritygreen@seattle.gov 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 dpdprioritygreen@seattle.gov ― your single point of contact to facilitate resolution of issues during plan review.

4. Schedule an Inspection

Schedule your Built Green, LEED for Homes, or PHIUS Inspection: Your verifier must inspect the project during construction prior to your final Seattle DCI inspection:

  • Submit your final checklist and/or documents.
  • Submit a letter, signed by the approved 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 LBC Inspection: Since the LBC is based on a twelve-month performance period after occupancy, a pre-occupancy inspection and/or report may be required. 

Schedule your Seattle DCI Alternative Path Inspection: Seattle DCI green building staff must inspect the project during construction. Contact us at dpdprioritygreen@seattle.gov to schedule an inspection (prior to Seattle DCI'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 Seattle DCI Final Inspection: You can schedule a Seattle DCI inspection after you've completed the required green building 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

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