Small Efficiency Dwelling Units are small dwelling units that do not meet minimum floor area requirements per the Seattle Building Code. Director’s Rule 9-2017 allows for efficiency units smaller than required by SBC 1208.4 when other amenities are provided. It describes the requirements for the following:
- Floor area
- Food preparation area
- Closets and storage
- Natural light
Closets and Storage
We have a new Code Interpretation to clarify our interpretation of the Director’s Rule requirements for closets and storage.
Small efficiency dwelling units require natural light. Artificial light may not substitute for natural light. Each dwelling unit must have glazing meeting certain size requirements that opens into a yard or court. Yard and court minimum dimensions are described in Seattle Building Code sections 1206.2 and 1206.3 and can be significant.
We have two new Code Interpretations. The first interpretation clarifies how stories are counted for determining minimum yard and court widths. The second interpretation provides relief on minimum yard width over the height of the building.
- DR9-2017 Small Efficiency Dwelling Units, SEDU Story Count for Natural Light
- DR9-2017 Small Efficiency Dwelling Units: SEDU Minimum Yard and Court Dimensions for Natural Light
We recommend reviewing natural light requirements early during the design process to avoid required design changes later.
If you have questions, please contact: