Program & Policies

Seattle offers a variety of programs and institutes a series of policies, plans and regulations to promote sustainable building design and construction and encourage conservation and clean energy renewables.

Programs & Policies

District Energy
District energy is one of the innovative policy areas the Office of Sustainability and Environment leads to find new ways to heat and cool neighboring buildings efficiently and capture wasted energy.
City Facilities
The City of Seattle is working hard to make municipally owned and operated buildings models of efficiency through implementation of the Sustainable Buildings and Sites Policy and the Resource Conservation Management Plan.
Sustainable Buildings & Sites
Raising the bar for City construction and improvement projects and building performance.
Renewable Energy
Seattle's Energy Supply is Growing Greener. You can help!
2030 District
High performance building district in downtown Seattle.
Green Permitting
The Seattle Department of Planning and Development offers expedited and facilitated permits for projects meeting advanced green building standards.
Capital Green Toolkit
Capital GREEN outlines environmentally responsible strategies that apply toward City of Seattle capital projects.
Community Power Works
Community Power Works helps residents upgrade their homes to save energy and money, while growing our local energy efficiency construction economy.
Green Building Task Force (Archived)
The year-long Green Building Task Force produced a report and policy recommendations that helped shape the identification and prioritization of Seattle’s current green building initiatives. Visit the archived site for background.
Energy Benchmarking and Reporting
Learn how to comply and find out how your building’s energy use compares to others in Seattle. Required annually for non-residential and multifamily buildings 20,000 sf or larger.

Codes & Regulations

Energy Benchmarking and Reporting
Learn how to comply and find out how your building’s energy use compares to others in Seattle. Required annually for non-residential and multifamily buildings 20,000 sf or larger.
Construction & Demolition Waste
Seattle has recently adopted new recycling requirements for construction and demolition materials, and there are resources to help you comply, as well as information on how this can benefit your project.
Seattle Energy Code
Seattle’s commercial and residential energy codes are some of the most advanced in the country.They set a baseline for energy efficiency in new construction and substantial alterations.
Green Factor
Seattle’s Green Factor ordinance requires commercial projects to employ various strategies to increase horizontal and vertical green space. Strategies are weighted based on their benefit to the environment, the urban experience, and the public good.
Stormwater Code
The City of Seattle’s Stormwater Code requires projects to implement green stormwater infrastructure to the maximum extent feasible. GSI examples include permeable pavement, bioretention facilities, and green roofs.
Historic Preservation
Preserving Seattle’s existing building stock reduces embodied energy expenditures (energy associated with the extraction, refining, manufacturing and shipping of materials). In addition, it enhances a sense of place and can reinforce community fabric. Historic preservation regulations restrict what can be torn down, maintaining historic and notable elements of Seattle’s architectural legacy.

Strategic Plans

City Light Conservation Potential Assessment
Seattle City Light’s 2012 Conservation Potential Assessment analyzes Seattle’s current electricity use patterns and identifies energy savings potentials for the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.
Resource Conservation Management
Comprehensive plan for conserving resources in City facilities.