City Buildings Resource Conservation

To improve resource efficiency across the City of Seattle's building portfolio, the Office of Sustainability and Environment coordinates a citywide Resource Conservation Management Initiative. In 2013, Resolution 31491 adopted the Resource Conservation Management Plan (PDF) to centralize resource use monitoring and to coordinate with capital departments to build on their existing efforts to improve the efficiency of City facility operations.

Resource conservation is not new to the City. Capital departments, those who own and/or manage the City's buildings, have made significant investments in the energy and water efficiency of their facilities over the past years.  For example:

  • Energy efficiency efforts at the Airport Way complex yielded a combined 8.9% energy savings from 2013 to 2014, saving nearly $21,000 per year
  • Community Center upgrades resulted in a combined 7.4% energy savings from 2013 to 2014 saving nearly $15,000 per year

The City's latest municipal benchmarking report shows that, adjusted for weather, 70% of City buildings had reduced energy use, but those reductions were offset by increased use in the other 30%, resulting in no net change in overall energy use. These results highlight the need to consistently monitor and improve building operations and show that focused efforts to improve efficiency drives better energy performance (see sidebar for previous two years' reports).