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Last Updated July 14, 2023

Program Overview


Regulatory Policy



Incentive Type:

Energy Standards for Public Buildings



Start Date:


Expiration Date:


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Applicable Sectors:


Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:



The King County Green Building Initiative started in 2001, and was updated most recently by the Green Building Ordinance passed in December, 2013. Effective August 1, 2014, the ordinance requires that all County-owned new construction and major renovations strive for LEED Platinum standards, and achieve at least Gold certification.  Major renovations are defined in the statutes as work that affects more than twenty-five percent of a building's square footage when the affected space is 5,000 square feet or more. Any projects that are not able to achieve LEED certification due to the scope of the project or structure limits must incorporate methods from the Sustainable Infrastructure Scorecard, and all projects should plan for the Scorecard's Platinum rating.These requirements are subject to incremental cost impact standards (see ordinance or program website for details). 

The 2013 Ordinance establishes criteria for energy use, emissions, stormwater management, and construction and demolition materials diversion. The 2010 Ordinance 16769 previously stipulated efficient lighting requirements. The 2013 Ordinance also allows for the use of additional building rating systems (such as the Evergreen Sustainable Development Standard, Built Green, Salmon Safe, or the Living Building Challenge) in lieu of LEED or the Sustainable Infrastructure Scorecard upon permission of the department director.