2018 Seattle Code Adoption - What & Why

What’s Happening Now?

2018 Seattle Construction Code Adoption Delayed
SDCI has been planning to adopt the 2018 edition of the codes to be effective July 1, 2020.  However, due to several factors, including the impacts of COVID-19 and Governor Inslee's executive order, the effective date has been delayed to March 15, 2021. Between February 1, 2021 and March 14, 2021, SDCI will accept permit applications using either the 2015 or 2018 codes. As of March 15, 2021, SDCI will only accept permit applications that use the 2018 codes. 

We update Seattle's construction codes every three years to address new technologies and to incorporate lessons learned from real-life performance of buildings and structures. We are in the process of adopting the 2018 editions of the following construction codes:

  • 2018 Seattle Building Code
  • 2018 Seattle Residential Code
  • 2018 Seattle Mechanical Code
  • 2018 Seattle Fuel Gas Code
  • 2018 Seattle Existing Building Code
  • 2018 Seattle Energy Code
  • 2018 Seattle Plumbing Code
  • 2018 Seattle Elevator Code (Seattle Building Code Chapter 30)
  • 2020 Seattle Boiler Code
  • 2020 Seattle Electrical Code (2020 National Electrical Code with Seattle amendments) 

Code changes can come from various sources including the International Code Council, State of Washington, members of the public, and City staff. Proposed code changes have been reviewed by SDCI staff and the Seattle Construction Codes Advisory Board (CCAB). The Board has substantially completed its review of the codes. SDCI will make a recommendation to the Seattle City Council in Spring 2021. 

Project Benefits

Regular updates to Seattle's construction codes make it easier to:

  • Incorporate emerging technology and materials into construction to increase a building's safety, usability, and lifespan
  • Keep Seattle competitive and innovative with early adoption of national code changes
  • Adopt requirements that ensure Seattle's leading-edge energy and carbon reduction goals are met
  • Decrease differences in construction code adoption and enforcement with neighboring communities    

The End Result

Seattle plans to adopt the 2018 editions of the national model codes published by the International Code Council along with State of Washington and local amendments in 2021. March 15, 2021 is the target date for implementation of these codes.