barker_seattlecasestudy - Sustainability Building for the...

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Building for the Future Seattle's Policy Lead by Example' Seattle City Hall. Editor s Note: This is thefirst in a series of articles and columns on sustainability that will appear in each month s issue of ASHRAE Journal. We welcome contribu- tions and ideas for topics. By Lynne Barker In 2000, the city of Seattle was the first U.S. city to formally adopt a citywide sustainable building policy. The city adopted the policy to "Lead by Example" and demonstrate the city's commitment to environmental, economic, and social stewardship; yield cost savings to the city taxpayers through reduced operating costs; provide healthy work environ- ments for staff and visitors; and con- tribute to the city's goals of protecting, conserving, and enhancing the region's environmental resources. Seattle's policy calls for new and renovated city projects with over 5,000 ft 2 (460 m 2 ) of occupied space to achieve a Silver Rating using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED® Green Build- ing Rating System. This program helps establish minimum performance levels, creates a common dialogue for discus- sion, and allows Seattle to measure its building performance relative to other jurisdictions using the same system. The policy affects all city departments involved wlth building, including the Deiartment of Planning and Develop- ment. An interdepartmental group of city employees called the Green Building 72 ASHRAE Journal Team coordinates implementation of the policy and encourages green building in the private sector. The city currently funds 16 LEED projects. Three are certified projects, and thirteen are registered projects in various phases of development. Over the next few years, the city expects to add more projects funded by a Fire Fa- cilities and Emergency Response Levy that was passed by voters last year. The 16 LEED projects represent 2.8 million ft 2 (260 000 m 2 ) and $700 million in capital investment. The city estimates it will generate $800,000 in annual operat- ing cost savings from better energy and water performance, less waste generated and reduced storm water impact. The productivity benefits from increased comfort. and reduced illness are esti- mated at $2 million per year. Seattle's experience has demonstrated a strong business case for LEED and identified strategies for strengthe,ning that case. The city found that on the first eight projects, the cost increment for achieving a LEED Silver certification fell between l 2-2% of construction costs, with a payback period of 5.7 years. Over the first four years, the city found that as LEED was introduced earlier in the project budgeting and design pro- cess, incremental costs decreased. The About the Author Lynne Barker is a sustainable development planner with the City of Seattle's Department Traugott Terrace.
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  • Spring '08
  • Green building, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Seattle, sustainable building, ASHRAE Journal, Seattle City Hall

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barker_seattlecasestudy - Sustainability Building for the...

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