Building Tune-Ups

Seattle's Building Tune-Up policy phases in a periodic tune-up requirement for nonresidential buildings 50,000 square feet or larger, beginning in 2018. Tune-ups aim to optimize energy and water performance by identifying no- or low-cost actions related to building operations and maintenance, focusing on actions that typically pay back within 3 years and generate 10-15% in energy savings for a building, on average. 

The Tune-Up legislation is a key piece of Seattle's Climate Action Plan, our roadmap to achieving carbon-neutrality, by helping ensure buildings don't use energy and water wastefully. Reducing energy and water use helps the City save resources and move toward its goal to reduce carbon pollution.

The Building Tune-Ups Ordinance was adopted in March 2016, and it authorized the Director of the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) to develop Rules that further detail compliance specifications.  The proposed Director's Rule 2016-01 is available for public comment, and includes clarification of the Ordinance requirements of the following: buildings and spaces subject to the requirement; requirements related to tune-up assessments, corrective actions, and reporting; requirements related to compliance extensions and exemptions; and qualifications for tune-up specialists.

Download Proposed OSE Director's Rule 2016-1 (PDF)

HOW TO COMMENT: Written comments on the proposed Rule may be submitted electronically or in hard copy through November 30, 2016. 

Electronically: Note "Comment on Director's Rule 1-2016" in the subject line.  
Hard copy:       
Jessica Finn Coven, Seattle Office of Sustainability & Environment                          
700 Fifth Avenue, PO Box 94729                          
Seattle, WA 98124-4729                     

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Christie Baumel at or (206) 233-7173. 

OSE is hosting an Open House to share information about the proposed Rule and answer questions. This is for informational purposes and is not a public hearing. 

Thursday, November 17, 2016, 5:30 pm (Registration opens at 5:00 pm)
Bertha Knight Landes Room of City Hall
600 Fourth Ave. (use Fifth Ave. entrance)
RSVP to: Note "Open House RSVP" in the subject line.


Tune-Up Accelerator Fact Sheet
We're recruiting owners or managers of up to 100 mid-size nonresidential buildings (50,000 to 100,000 SF) to jump-start a Tune-Up of their building(s). Benefits include technical support and financial incentives to help comply with the City of Seattle's new Building Tune-Up Requirement - funding that will sunset after 2018. Complete an assessment and implement corrective actions to meet the City's requirement or do more for deeper energy savings and a more valuable building asset.

Check out the Seattle Tune-Up Accelerator Info Sheet or contact Nicole Ballinger for more information at or (206) 233-7184.


In 2013, the City of Seattle adopted a Climate Action Plan (CAP) for achieving the City's vision for a carbon-neutral community by 2050. The CAP focuses on sectors where City action will have the greatest impact: road transportation, building energy, and solid waste. The strategies outlined in the CAP will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from those sectors, prepare our communities for climate impacts, build vibrant neighborhoods, foster economic prosperity, and enhance social equity.

Buildings are responsible for 33% of Seattle's core emissions. The City of Seattle is aiming for a 39% reduction in building-related emissions by 2030 and an 82% reduction by 2050. The City adopted new policies in March of 2016 to keep Seattle on track to meet Seattle's GHG emissions reduction goal in the building sector. Seattle's new building energy legislation addresses three distinct areas:

Building Energy Transparency

The Benchmarking Amendments ordinance updates Seattle's existing energy benchmarking law to include public transparency of building energy performance to spur market demand for energy efficiency.  For more information regarding Benchmarking and the Transparency visit

Building Tune-Ups

The Building Tune-Ups ordinance phases in a periodic (every 5 years) tune-up requirement for commercial buildings 50,000 square feet or larger, beginning in 2018. 

City Leadership
To model leadership, an accompanying City-owned Building Tune-Ups resolution directs the City to conduct tune-ups on City-owned buildings one year in advance of the compliance deadlines in the Building Tune-Up ordinance.


If you would like to submit comments or get involved, please contact us at
For building energy benchmarking related announcements, sign up for Energy Benchmarking E-news