Since 1999, the City Green Building team has been working to make sustainable development standard practice in the City of Seattle – first working as an interdepartmental team from across multiple City departments and then as a combined, yet still multidisciplinary, unit within DPD. During these last 12 years, we’ve shepherded the nation’s first Sustainable Building Policy for municipal projects, a LEED incentive program, the green home remodel guide series, the urban sustainability forum, project technical assistance, LEED ND for South Lake Union, energy benchmarking, the 2030 District, Priority Green permitting, and an updated Sustainable Building Policy, to mention just a few initiatives.
Originally created to increase developer knowledge and adoption of green building practices, with an emphasis on education, City Green Building’s purpose has evolved over the years to include broader, more interdepartmental strategic policy development for sustainable issues, along with a focus on development services that promote green building through the code and permitting processes. City Green Building is now moving on to our next iteration to better align our work with that of our colleagues working on environmental policy, sustainable communities and development services.
Four members of the team – Sandra, Rebecca, Peter and Jayson – will be merging with the Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) where they will consolidate City Green Building’s efforts on strategic policy development for sustainable building practices with OSE’s broader environmental policy initiatives, thereby strengthening the City’s ability to guide a unified approach to these issues. Three others – Sandy, Jess and Kathleen – will work directly with the Operations Division in DPD. There they will continue work to promote green permitting and green code development. And staff focused on Sustainable Communities and Low Impact Development – Brennon and Dave – will maintain integral roles in the Planning Division to further sustainable communities and infrastructure.
The work of the green building team is an ongoing effort and initiatives will continue in the coming years. At OSE, work over the coming year will include Energy Benchmarking, District Energy, the 2030 District, implementation of the Sustainable Buildings & Sites Policy, and development of a Resource Conservation Management Plan for City facilities. In DPD, Priority Green will continue to grow as we see more projects taking advantage of the program, as will the evaluation of the International Green Construction Code as a potential tool for Seattle.
Staff will continue to collaborate on all green building efforts but will be better aligned and positioned internally to draw upon appropriate expertise. Regardless of departmental affiliations green building will continue to be an interdepartmental effort and a priority for the City.
Green Building Manager
Office of Sustainability & Environment
Green building information and resources will continue to be available at: www.seattle.gov/greenbuilding.
Priority Green permitting information can be found at: www.seattle.gov/dpd/PriorityGreen.