DPD’s voluntary green permitting incentive, Priority Green Expedited has grown considerably over the last 3 years. We have seen substantial growth in small residential new construction permits for single family, duplexes, townhouses, and rowhouses. Overall we have seen 258 applications for building permits enroll in the expedited program: 200 small residential, 47 large multifamily and 11 commercial projects. About 20% of all residential permit applications and 2% of all commercial permit applications for new construction (with complex reviews) are participating in the Priority Green Expedited program.
Priority Green is intended to advance green building beyond current codes towards carbon neutrality and sustainability. The 2012 energy and building codes, effective later this month, include provisions for energy efficiency and sustainability measures. In light of that, commensurate changes to Priority Green thresholds are necessary to keep ahead of the codes. Currently, to qualify for Priority Green, projects must meet prerequisites for energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction. These requirements are:
- Perform 15 percent better than the 2009 Seattle Energy Code
- Install EPA WaterSense plumbing fixtures
- Recycle at least 75 percent of your construction and demolition debris
- Have no more than 2,200 square feet of gross conditioned floor area per residential dwelling unit
Projects must certify one of the following:
- Built Green 4 star or 5 star
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold or platinum
- Alternative Path or Passive House (for small residential projects)
In the first quarter of 2014, we will be considering new prerequisite categories and modifying others.
- Indoor Air Quality — require the use of low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials and no added formaldehyde in interior wood products
- Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) — encourage 100% GSI
Prerequisites to be modified:
- Waste Reduction — maintain a 75% recycling rate, reinforce landfill material bans and encourage deconstruction
- Water Conservation — maintain the use of WaterSense fixtures and encourage landscaping with no irrigation or irrigating by rainwater only
- Energy Efficiency — require residential projects to perform 20% better and commercial projects to perform 15% better than 2012 Seattle Energy Code
- Residential size limit — maintain the maximum 2200 square feet of conditioned floor area threshold per dwelling unit
Finding the correct balance between the thresholds and incentives is critical. We would like to hear your comments on the proposed changes by February 1, 2014. Please visit http://bit.ly/1k89el1 to review this information and make comments by emailing us at email@example.com.