Seattle

Summary

Seattle’s energy code is based on the Washington state energy code but includes additional local requirements to improve building performance. Energy performance criteria are outlined for residential and non-residential buildings, addressing thermal envelope components and minimum energy efficiency requirements for HVAC, hot water and lighting. The code encompasses a simple prescriptive approach, a building design by component approach or a systems analysis (reference building) approach to show compliance.

Seattle established its first comprehensive energy efficiency program in 1980 and has continued to periodically improve efficiency requirements. The 2009 code and surrounding policies encompass a number of dynamic initiatives to improve energy efficiency; air-tightness testing, mandatory heat recovery for non-residential buildings, commissioning requirements for HVAC, hot water and lighting controls, renewable energy requirements for large buildings, long term State target to meet the 2030 Challenge (net-zero) and be carbon neutral by 2050, and special energy efficiency requirements for public buildings. 

General Information

Full Title of Code

2009 Seattle Energy Code

Year of Adoption

2010

Date of Enforcement

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Authority in Charge

Department of Planning and Development.

Link

http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codes/energy_code/overview/2009_ecupdate.asp

Link to Relevant Web Page

http://energycodesocean.org/news/2010/november/05/2009-seattle-energy-code-appro...

Remit of Code

Geographical Coverage

Seattle

Code set at:

Regional/States Level

Coverage

Coverage of Building Code:

  • Residential buildings
    • One family
    • Multiple family buildings
      • State averages (not current code levels) and Targets for Seattle 2030 Challenge kBtu/ft2·yr.
  • Commercial buildings
    • Offices
    • Retail and wholesale
    • Hotels
    • Hospitals
    • Educational buildings
  • Public buildings
    • Offices
    • Hospitals
    • Educational buildings

GBPN Climate Classification:

  • Heating Based
  • 1 official climate zone - heating based climate

Type of Building Code

Type of Building Code:

  • Model code, frame or actual code:
    The City of Seattle takes the home-grown Washington code, which is updated every three years, and then adds additional local requirements to improve building performance.
  • Prescriptive Codes:
    Building design by prescriptive requirements approach.
  • Trade Off:
    Building Design by Component Performance Approach.
  • Energy Declaration:
    No requirement for single-family houses, However, owners of existing multi-family and non-residential buildings must disclose their energy use history to prospective buyers and tenants. There is no equivalent policy for new buildings. (Note that there are voluntary programs for rating the energy use of single-family homes that are very popular, and many home buyers insist on such ratings).
  • Model / reference Building:
    Building Design by Systems Approach, for the entire building and its energy-using sub-systems which may utilize renewable energy sources. The proposed building's annual space heating , space cooling and domestic hot water heating energy use does not exceed the annual space heating, space cooling and domestic hot water heating energy use of a standard building. For Non-residential and Multifamily Residential buildings a baseline building design shall be modeled with the same number of floors.

Energy Covered

Basis for Energy Requirements:

  • Overall performance frame:
    Partially, Building Design by Systems Approach - Energy targets are based on site energy compared with expected energy use of a standard building.
  • Final Energy:
    Site Energy
  • Life Cycle Assessment considered (embedded energy):
    Partially, some governmental buildings such as schools are required to perform life-cycle assessments.

Energy Uses and Functions Covered by the Code:

  • Heating
  • Cooling
  • Dehumidification
  • Ventilation
  • Airtightness
  • Thermal bridging
  • Hot water
  • Building parts (lifts, pumps etc)
  • Technical installations
  • Lighting
  • Heat recovery
  • Passive solar
  • Solar protection
  • Daylighting requirements
  • Renewable Energy (solar, PV, others):
    Seattle has a requirement for a very small amount of renewable energy. Energy derived from renewable sources may be excluded from the total annual energy consumption. All new buildings and additions of more than 5,000 ft2 to existing building projects shall contain on-site renewable energy systems that provide the annual energy production equivalent of 500 Btu/ft2 of gross conditioned floor area.

Enforcement

Enforcement Status of Code:

Mandatory

Type of Enforcement:

  • Local enforcement
  • Third party inspection

On-site Inspections Occur

  • During construction
  • Post completion

Certification to Support Enforcement of Code:

  • Inspection of boilers
  • Inspection of HVAC systems

Penalties for Non-compliance:

  • Fine
  • Refusal of permission to occupy
  • Refusal of permission to construct

Measures Supporting Enforcement:

  • Commissioning requirements
  • Airtightness testing required prior to compliance
  • Mandatory Computer Modeling
  • Training of Inspectors

Values for New Buildings

Single Family Residential Buildings

GBPN Climate Classification

Heating based

Coefficient for Comparison of Climate Zones

0.00

MeanMinMax
HDD (°C)2652--
CDD (°C)196--
U-Value (W/m²K)
Roof0.12Roof20.12
Wall0.28Wall20.28
Floor0.19Floor20.19
Window1.93Window21.7
Others2.84--
Overall U-Value---
Window1Window2
G Value/SHGC--
Visible Transmission--
Percent--

Other Requirements Set for:

  • Thermal bridge demands
  • Ventilation:
    Minimum equipment efficiency standards for each category of ventilation equipment. Specific requirements for location and insulation of ducting.
  • Pressure testing for ducting
  • Domestic Hot Water COP - Heat Pump:
    3.1-4.2
  • Value for airtightness:
    0.40 cfm/SF @ 75 Pascals
  • Heat Recovery
  • Technical HVAC systems:
    Coefficient of performance of HVAC system is COP apply to most systems by way of minimum efficiency SEER, EER, IEER, COP or HSPF performance values
  • Efficient Lighting

Energy Performance

130.00kwh

Non-Residential Buildings

GBPN Climate Classification

Heating based

Coefficient for Comparison of Climate Zones

0.00

MeanMinMax
HDD (°C)2652--
CDD (°C)196--
U-Value (W/m²K)
Roof0.15Roof2-
Wall0.29Wall20.32
Floor0.14Floor20.16
Window1.7Window23.41
Others---
Overall U-Value---
Window1Window2
G Value/SHGC0.330.33
Visible Transmission0.510.51
Percent--

Other Requirements Set for:

  • Thermal bridge demands
  • Ventilation:
    Minimum equipment efficiency standards for each category of ventilation equipment. Specific requirements for location and insulation of ducting.
  • Pressure testing for ducting
  • Domestic Hot Water COP - Heat Pump:
    3.1-4.2
  • Value for airtightness:
    0.40 cfm/SF @ 75 Pascals
  • Heat Recovery
  • Technical HVAC systems
  • Efficient Lighting

Residential Buildings (other than single-family)

GBPN Climate Classification

Heating based

Coefficient for Comparison of Climate Zones

0.00

MeanMinMax
HDD (°C)265226522652
CDD (°C)196196196
U-Value (W/m²K)
Roof0.15Roof2-
Wall0.32Wall20.51
Floor0.16Floor20.16
Window1.82Window22.27
Others2.84--
Overall U-Value---
Window1Window2
G Value/SHGC--
Visible Transmission--
Percent--

Other Requirements Set for:

  • Thermal bridge demands
  • Ventilation:
    Minimum equipment efficiency standards for each category of ventilation equipment. Specific requirements for location and insulation of ducting.
  • Pressure testing for ducting
  • Domestic Hot Water COP - Heat Pump:
    3.1-4.2
  • Heat Recovery
  • Technical HVAC systems
  • Efficient Lighting

Non-residential

GBPN Climate Classification

Heating based

Coefficient for Comparison of Climate Zones

0.00

MeanMinMax
HDD (°C)2652--
CDD (°C)196--
U-Value (W/m²K)
Roof0.15Roof2-
Wall0.29Wall20.7
Floor0.16Floor20.16
Window1.82Window22.27
Others---
Overall U-Value---
Window1Window2
G Value/SHGC0.330.33
Visible Transmission0.40.4
Percent--

Other Requirements Set for:

  • Thermal bridge demands
  • Overall Thermal bridge max value:
    No linear value available
  • Ventilation:
    Minimum equipment efficiency standards for each category of ventilation equipment. Specific requirements for location and insulation of ducting.
  • Pressure testing for ducting
  • Domestic Hot Water COP - Heat Pump:
    3.1-4.2
  • Value for airtightness:
    0.40 cfm/SF @ 75 Pascals
  • Heat Recovery
  • Technical HVAC systems
  • Efficient Lighting

Residential Buildings, (other than single-family)

GBPN Climate Classification

Heating based

Coefficient for Comparison of Climate Zones

0.00

MeanMinMax
HDD (°C)2652--
CDD (°C)196--
U-Value (W/m²K)
Roof0.15Roof2-
Wall0.25Wall20.45
Floor0.16Floor20.16
Window1.82Window22.27
Others2.84--
Overall U-Value---
Window1Window2
G Value/SHGC--
Visible Transmission--
Percent--

Other Requirements Set for:

  • Thermal bridge demands
  • Ventilation:
    Minimum equipment efficiency standards for each category of ventilation equipment. Specific requirements for location and insulation of ducting.
  • Pressure testing for ducting
  • Domestic Hot Water COP - Heat Pump:
    3.1-4.2
  • Heat Recovery
  • Technical HVAC systems
  • Efficient Lighting

Code History and Future Targets

General Process in Setting Requirements:

  • How far in advance are future targets set?:
    3-5 years
  • Stakeholders are informed of future targets far in advance

Zero Energy Targets:

  • Definition of nZEB/ZEB/Plus Energy etc:
    Unofficial version is - A rough rule-of- thumb from those working on net-zero energy buildings in the Northwest is that net-zero energy buildings would be achieved by a combination of a 75% reduction in building energy load with the remaining 25% being provided by on-site renewable energy.-
  • All end uses are included
  • There is a realistic roadmap in place:
    No official roadmap.
  • National Target date for nZEB:
    Target for net-zero energy new buildings by 2030, and for the City to be fully carbon-neutral by 2050.
  • Special Requirements for public buildings:
    More stringent energy efficiencyrequirements for public buildings. State agencies must rate public facilities greater than 10,000 SF and disclose benchmarking data by July 1, 2010 to the state General Administration (GA), which will make the information public. A preliminary energy audit is required for buildings with an ENERGY STAR rating less than 50. If that audit identifies cost effective energy savings, an investment grade audit is required by July 1, 2013 and cost-effective measures by 2016.
  • Links

Graph or Table

http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Codes/Energy_Code/Overview/history.asp

Number of Earlier Codes

9

Current Defined Levels beyond Minimum Standard (present code)

0

Number of Future Aspirational Codes

0

Multiple set of data:

  • Levels beyond minimum:
    0
  • Year historic or aspirational codes (planned) :
    2012
  • Baseline (actual code if nothing else):
    2003
  • Actual level of energy consumption in target
    • Relative target in percent:
      70%
  • Primary Energy Performance Frame Non-Residential :
    70%
    70% less energy used by 2015, non-residential
  • Text to explain energy types included:
    This year, Washington State is in the process of adopting a heavily-modified version of the 2012 IECC (International Energy Conservation Code), and final votes on those amendments will take place at the end of 2012.

Supporting Measures

Incentives/Rewards to Encourage People to go beyond Minimum Level?

Incentive programs are provided by electric and gas utilities, helping to subsidize beyond-code measures; Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard for Affordable Housing, and Seattle City Light programs which includes the following - Commercial Energy Efficiency Rebate Programs, Multi-Family Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program, New Construction Incentive Program, Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program.

Involvement of Stakeholders in the Development of Codes

At both the state and City level, code development meetings are open to public involvement. New code requirements are published and we provide outreach to numerous organizations of designers, engineers, builders and developers.

Level of Training Provided to Stakeholders Following Implementation of Code?

Training is often provided via specific professional and trade organizations.

Provision of Appropriate Information for General Public

Information about new code requirements is posted online and through newsletters and public meetings.

Supporting Certification Schemes

Partially, currently no government-sponsored labeling or certification schemes. Voluntary certifications by LEED, Built Green and other third-party organizations are provided to qualifying buildings.

Codes Free to Access?

http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/codes/energy_code/overview/2009_ecupdate.asp

Text on Code Access

Being updated in late 2012.