Seattle, WA Sustainable Building Policy

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Seattle, WA, US

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Type: Resolution

Status: Adopted on 9/22/00

Vote: Unanimous

Source File: Click here


Resolution Number: 30121
A RESOLUTION endorsing the City of Seattle Environmental Management Program's Sustainable Building Policy.

WHEREAS, Resolution 29885, which was adopted by the Seattle City Council with the Mayor concurring in January 1999, endorsed the Environmental Management Program (EMP) as representing the goals and policies of the City of Seattle; and

WHEREAS, the EMP states that it is the policy of the City of Seattle to conduct its operations in an environmentally responsible and sustainable manner; to reduce its use of resources and generation of waste; and to lead by example; and

WHEREAS, Resolution 29885 recognized the Office of Environmental Management as responsible for implementing the EMP and ensuring that City environmental goals are met; and

WHEREAS, the EMP contained completed policies and procedures on thirteen separate environmental aspects of City operations and left placeholders for several remaining environmental policies to be developed, including Sustainable Building; and

WHEREAS, an interdepartmental committee, the Green Building Team, working with the Office of Environmental Management, has developed a Sustainable Building Policy; and

WHEREAS, representatives of all City departments with planned construction projects have been involved in the development of the Sustainable Building Policy; and

WHEREAS, the City's Environmental Management Oversight Panel and the City Design Commission have reviewed the Sustainable Building Policy; and

WHEREAS, the City desires that its buildings and facilities be models of environmental, economic and social stewardship, contributing to the City's goals of protecting, conserving and enhancing the region's environmental resources and setting a community standard of sustainable building; and

WHEREAS, incorporating the Sustainable Building Policy into the EMP will help ensure that the many new and renovated City facilities that are planned for construction in the next several years will be models of environmental stewardship; and

WHEREAS, the Sustainable Building Policy utilizes the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system which provides a nationally recognized, common language for defining building sustainability; NOW THEREFORE,


The Sustainable Building Policy in Attachment A is incorporated into the Environmental Management Program and is hereby endorsed by the City Council. It is the intent of the City Council that the Sustainable Building Policy will apply to all new or renovated City- owned facilities greater than 5000 square feet. The Council recognizes, however, that it may not be feasible to immediately achieve Citywide adherence to the policy and so directs the Office of Environmental Management, with the participation of the interdepartmental Green Building Team, to report to the City Council Energy and Environmental Policy Committee by December 2000 with the following:

a.) a status report regarding which new or renovated City facilities are actively utilizing LEED in their design and construction;

b.) a summary of any issues associated with implementing the Sustainable Building Policy that contribute to or detract from the City's ability to meet the policy's intent; and

c.) an evaluation plan for measuring the costs and benefits of the Sustainable Building Policy to the City.

Attachment A
Sustainable Building Policy

6.9 Sustainable Building

6.9.1 Purpose
The purpose of a Citywide policy on sustainable building is to demonstrate the City's commitment to environmental, economic, and social stewardship, to yield cost savings to the City taxpayers through reduced operating costs, to provide healthy work environments for staff and visitors, and to contribute to the City's goals of protecting, conserving, and enhancing the region's environmental resources. Additionally, the City helps to set a community standard of sustainable building.

6.9.2 Organizations Affected
All City departments and offices and their contractors responsible for financing, planning, designing, developing, constructing and managing City-owned facilities and buildings.

6.9.3 Definitions

Sustainable Building
Sustainable building integrates building materials and methods that promote environmental quality, economic vitality, and social benefit through the design, construction and operation of the built environment. Sustainable building merges sound, environmentally responsible practices into one discipline that looks at the environmental, economic and social effects of a building or built project as a whole. Sustainable design encompasses the following broad topics: efficient management of energy and water resources, management of material resources and waste, protection of environmental quality, protection of health and indoor environmental quality, reinforcement of natural systems, and integrating the design approach.

Life Cycle Cost Analysis
An inclusive approach to costing a program, facility, or group of facilities that encompasses planning, design, construction, operation and maintenance over the useful life of the facilities and finally any decommissioning or disassembly costs. Life Cycle Cost Analysis looks at the net present value of design options as investments. The goal is to achieve the highest, most cost-effective environmental performance possible over the life of the project.

LEED Rating System
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and is a voluntary, consensus-based, market-driven green building rating system. It is based on existing, proven technology and evaluates environmental performance from a "whole building" perspective. LEED is a self-certifying system designed for rating new and existing commercial, institutional, and multi-family residential buildings. It contains prerequisites and credits in five categories: Sustainable Site Planning, Improving Energy Efficiency, Conserving Materials and Resources, Embracing Indoor Environmental Quality, and Safeguarding Water. There are four rating levels: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum.

6.9.4 Policy
It shall be the policy of the City of Seattle to finance, plan, design, construct, manage, renovate, maintain, and decommission its facilities and buildings to be sustainable. This applies to new construction and major remodels in which the total project square footage meets the criteria given. The US Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system and accompanying Reference Guide shall be used as a design and measurement tool to determine what constitutes sustainable building by national standards. All facilities and buildings over 5,000 gross square feet of occupied space shall meet a minimum LEED Silver rating.

Design and project management teams are encouraged to meet higher LEED rating levels. A Mayor's Award for achieving a higher rating will be awarded. (See also Energy and Water Conservation Policy and Landscape and Grounds Management Policy.)

6.9.5 Procedures and Responsibilities
The Directors of all City Departments whose responsibilities include planning, designing, constructing or renovating City-owned facilities shall be responsible for ensuring that facilities and buildings comply with 6.9.4.

The City's Office of Environmental Management (OEM) shall be responsible for coordinating any educational, technical and financial resources available to City departments that support and promote sustainable design and construction of City facilities. The City's OEM shall be responsible for annually evaluating and reporting to the Oversight Panel how well applicable City construction projects meet the goal of sustainability.

The Office of Environmental Management shall establish the minimum number of credits required in each of the LEED categories so that projects shall demonstrate performance in all categories.

The City's interdepartmental Green Building Team, under the OEM, shall be responsible for reviewing and updating the City portion of the LEED reference manual annually, for helping provide technical expertise on specific sustainable building issues on a case by case basis, and coordinating LEED training programs.

6.9.6 Budgeting and Financing
All capital construction which falls under this policy will be expected to budget to meet at minimum the LEED Silver rating. Budget planning and life cycle cost analysis to achieve a higher rating of gold or platinum is encouraged.

6.9.7 Training
City capital project managers currently managing or likely to manage projects which fit the criteria in 6.9.4 will be responsible to attend introductory LEED training and annual follow-up training. LEED training will be coordinated through the Office of Environmental Management and/or other sponsoring departments.