2021 Seattle Code Adoption - What & Why

SDCI Proposed Changes

The effective date for the 2021 Seattle codes is no sooner than September 30, 2024. Until then, applicants may use either the 2018 or draft 2021 Seattle codes. The Mayor’s office is evaluating further code amendments at this time. Once the Construction Codes Advisory Board approves the full suite of 2021 codes, the ordinance will still need to go through the standard ordinance review and approval process for adoption. We do not have a timeline yet for final CCAB approval. To sign up for updates, click the subscribe now button.

What’s Happening Now?

Draft Codes for Review

SDCI has released the following draft proposed changes to the 2021 Seattle codes:

We also have a brief guide to understanding the markings in the draft code change  documents to help you understand the proposed changes.

The Seattle construction codes are being updated to the 2021 code editions and include the building, residential, existing building, energy, mechanical, plumbing, fuel gas, wildland urban interface, and fire codes. The Boiler and Pressure Vessel Code is also being updated to the 2023 edition. The target effective date for these new codes is no sooner than September 30, 2024. 

As part of this process, SDCI is preparing the 2021 Seattle Construction Codes for adoption by the Seattle City Council. SDCI is incorporating changes made by the State of Washington in its adoption of the 2021 national model codes (I-codes) and changes in the 2021 editions of the I-codes made by the International Code Council as recommended by the Seattle Construction Codes Advisory Board. 

The State of Washington Building Code Council has posted the changes for the 2021 codes at the following links:

The City of Seattle adopts most of these changes. SDCI will post the proposed 2021 Seattle code changes once they are available.

Current Seattle Codes Are Available

The 2018 Seattle construction codes are available for purchase through the International Code Council as a bookmarked pdf copy that you can download. 

You can order printed copies of the Seattle construction codes and errata through SDCI. View our publication list for prices. To order, please submit a request through the Seattle Services Portal using the Permits - Trade, Construction and Land Use option. See How to Purchase Seattle Code Books From SDCI for instructions on how to submit your request.

Read only versions of the Seattle construction codes and errata are available on the code webpages.

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

SDCI is preparing for the adoption of the 2021 editions of the national model codes published with State of Washington and local Seattle amendments. 

Construction and Inspections

Nathan Torgelson, Director
Address: 700 5th Ave, Suite 2000, Seattle, WA, 98104
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 34019, Seattle, WA, 98124-4019
Phone: (206) 684-8600
Phone Alt: Violation Complaint Line: (206) 615-0808
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SDCI issues land use, construction, and trade permits, conducts construction and housing-related inspections, ensures compliance with our codes, and regulates rental rules. SDCI is committed to an antiracist workplace and to addressing racism through our work in the community.