On April 19, citywide Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) legislation became effective, implementing affordable housing requirements throughout the City of Seattle. The legislation amends the Land Use Code in many ways, but specific to the green building standards, it changes the triggers for when the green building requirements apply. The Land Use Code does not make green building mandatory. The code does make green building a requirement when a project exceeds floor area ratio (FAR) thresholds, and when gaining extra floor area and height in specific zones.
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.
Seattle’s buildings produce about one-third of our greenhouse gases. Reducing these emissions are critical in achieving our goal to become a carbon-neutral community by 2050. To help achieve that goal, SDCI’s updated Living Building Pilot and new 2030 Challenge Pilot go into effect on August 1. The Living Building Pilot can be used for new and existing buildings. The 2030 Challenge Pilot is focused on development that includes existing buildings.
Updated Seattle DCI Publications.
The City Council approved and the Mayor signed legislation that continues the Living Building Pilot Program (LBPP) until 2025. The law will become effective on November 6, 2016. The updated Living Building program legislation expands on a pilot program started in 2009 and increases the number of buildings that can participate to 20. To date, two projects have met the Living Building Pilot Program requirements, the Stone 34 project in Wallingford and the Bullitt Center building on Capitol Hill.
The Priority Green program is a voluntary green building permit incentive that was established by DPD in 2009-10. The incentive program encourages project teams to reach for a higher level of sustainability in exchange for an expedited permit process. We’ve made some recent requirement changes, and we’re proposing some new requirements. We’re hosting a Priority Green open house to get your feedback.
Maximizing the reuse and recycling of building materials is important in reducing our carbon footprint—help Seattle continue this effort. DPD is seeking a paid intern to assist in improving the incentives for the deconstruction of buildings.
A strong energy code is one of Seattle’s key tools for achieving significant reductions in energy use in the building sector and reaching the city’s ambitious goal of carbon neutrality. Seattle has consistently had one of the most advanced codes in the country and the new 2012 Seattle Energy Code is no exception. That’s the finding of a recently released study comparing Seattle’s Energy Code (SEC) to a national energy standard.
Mayor Ed Murray delivered proposed changes for the Living Building and Seattle Deep Green Pilot Program to the City Council for consideration. At this time, the proposed changes eliminate the Deep Green option to focus the pilot program on Living Buildings. Meanwhile, DPD will continue to develop recommendations for updated new Seattle Deep Green option. We are working with a Technical Advisory Group to develop our recommendations.
As of January 2014 all construction and demolition projects in Seattle will need to keep the following material out of disposal containers and transfer station disposal areas: metal, cardboard, and new construction gypsum scrap materials. Asphalt paving, bricks, and concrete are already banned from disposal. The expanded disposal ban will not apply to other targeted recyclable materials such as carpet, plastic film wrap, clean wood, and tear-off asphalt shingles until 2015.