We are seeing drastic signs of climate change in Seattle and throughout Washington State. Smokey summers and droughts are becoming more common, snowpack and stream flows have been altered and are decreasing future water supply and hydropower production, all while energy and water demands are increasing with population growth. We must reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change and to achieve the City’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Our buildings make up about one-third of Seattle’s emissions. SDCI offers the following incentives to help solve this crisis:
- Priority Green Expedited: Offers faster building permit review and processing for new construction projects that meet green building requirements, with a focus on energy, water, indoor air quality, and resource conservation.
- Zoning Incentives: Offers additional floor area, height, or density in exchange for meeting the green building standards in the Land Use Code (SMC 23.58D).
- Living Building Pilot & 2030 Challenge Pilot: Offers considerably more height and floor area for projects achieving stringent green building requirements. The Living Building Pilot is based on the Living Building challenge rating system and focuses on energy, water, and materials. The 2030 challenge is for existing buildings and is focused on energy, water, and transportation
Energy savings is a primary focus of our incentives. Priority Green and Zoning Incentive projects must be designed to use at least 15 percent less energy than a comparable project. Living Building and 2030 Challenge Pilot projects must be designed to use at least 25 percent less energy.
Our Priority Green Expedited program continues to be most successful with 165 project applications in 2018. Those projects experienced time savings of about 2 months when compared to similar permit types. The Priority Green Expedited incentive applies to all new construction projects that fall under our “complex” review type. The typical Priority Green project is a townhouse or rowhouse certified as Built Green 4-Star or LEED for Homes Gold.
The Living Building Pilot is a more ambitious performance-based incentive that is currently accepting up to 17 more projects. Four projects are in the permit pipeline and one is under construction.
Seattle’s growth is inevitable. Through our green building incentives, we are ensuring that growth fills our community with energy-efficient buildings that save energy and water, promote healthy indoor air quality, and conserve resources.
To learn more about green building incentives and how to apply, please visit our Green Building Incentives.