We are now accepting code change proposals as part of the update of the Seattle Construction Codes from the 2018 to the 2021 code editions. Anyone proposing a code change for the building, residential, mechanical, fuel gas, existing building, and plumbing codes is encouraged to do so by January 1, 2023. SDCI and the Construction Codes Advisory Board will review these proposals and any staff-proposed code changes for potential inclusion in the new codes beginning in January 2023.
On July 24, 2020, the City passed Ordinance 126113, which establishes interim floodplain development regulations. Interim regulations are required for participation in the National Flood Insurance Program and are based on a Federal Emergency Management Agency Flood Insurance Study. Interim regulations will be in place for six months while SDCI develops recommendations for permanent regulations. The ordinance was passed pursuant to RCW 36.70A.390 and, unless renewed, will expire in February 2021.
SDCI is in the process of updating Seattle’s construction codes to the 2018 versions of the building, residential, existing buildings, fire, electrical, mechanical, energy, fuel gas, elevator, boiler, and plumbing codes. Due to many factors, including the impacts of the COVID-19, the 2018 Washington State Construction Codes effective date has been delayed. SDCI will be aligning the effective date of our 2018 code versions with the State’s current effective date of February 1, 2021.
Our stormwater code protects people, property, and the environment by controlling how rainwater runs off of streets, buildings, and parking lots. This stormwater runoff can cause flooding, landslides, and erosion that can damage our homes, businesses, and property. Stormwater is also the main source for pollutants in our creeks, lakes, bays, and other waterways.
The Department of Ecology is requiring Seattle to update our current codes with additional stormwater control regulations as a condition of our NPDES permit. To meet these requirements, we are revising our existing Stormwater Code (SMC 22.800-22.808) and the associated Stormwater Manual (Directors’ Rule 17-2017).
Many new Seattle residential buildings include private balconies for each unit. Although they may be outside of the building envelope, where these balconies are covered by a roof or by the floor of the balcony above, they are considered floor area, and must comply with fire-resistance and separation requirements in the Seattle Building Code. To help architects and others, SDCI has recently released two Code Interpretations on this topic.
We revised the rat abatement forms required for getting demolition permits. Under the new process, applicants will file a declaration with their permit application affirming they understand the rat abatement requirement. There will be no hold on issuance of the demolition permit. At the first ground disturbance inspection, prior to the start of demolition, the applicant or contractor will provide a certification from a pest control company. The certification will confirm the date the rat abatement program started and confirm that the abatement program will continue until demolition actually starts.
Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) is seeking volunteers to fill board openings for an electrical contractor, general contractor, commercial building owner or operator, and a developer and/or contractor on residential projects. Board members help the City evaluate construction codes to ensure that Seattle buildings stay safe, accessible, and sustainable. The deadline for submitting applications is March 11, 2019.
The City of Seattle is hosting two upcoming presentations on February 11 to help you prepare for an emergency. Our landslide awareness presentation will explain how you can prevent landslides on your property. Our earthquake retrofit presentation covers what you need to do to help your home survive an earthquake.
For the past several months, we have been preparing to adopt the 2015 Seattle codes, including the Building, Residential, Mechanical, and Energy Conservation codes. While we don’t know what the legislative schedule will be, we are expecting to require compliance with the 2015 codes on January 1, 2017.
Drafts of the proposed 2015 Seattle codes are available on Seattle DCI’s website. Drafts of the following codes are posted on our 2015 Seattle Codes Adoption website.