Monday, March 7, 2022

County Council approves new green building standards that improve flexibility, enhance requirements for County buildings

Rod Dembowski sponsored
the green building legislation
The King County Council on Tuesday approved legislation that steps up the County’s own green building standards, including adding certification requirements for County capital projects, projects on leased properties and easing restrictions that could limit higher level green certifications.

“The time to invest in more sustainable buildings and infrastructure is now. We don’t have a moment to lose,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine. 
“Through the adoption of our newly updated Green Building Ordinance, King County is leading the way – getting carbon out of our built infrastructure and laying the foundation for our sustainable future.' 
"I’m thankful for the King County Council’s work to pass this legislation, raising the bar and charting a green course for King County.”

Sponsored by King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, the changes to the green building code include:
  • Requiring higher green building standards for all County capital projects, including new construction and substantial retrofits;
  • Identifying and defining green building rating systems that would be accepted;
  • New green building requirements of the ordinance would apply to new third-party leases of county-owned property executed after the effective date of the ordinance, and to existing leases that are renewed or extended after the effective date of the ordinance; and
  • Eliminating cost prohibitions to achieving the highest certification possible.

“Reducing emissions from the built environment is one of the most impactful things we can do to address climate change.” said King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski, prime sponsor of the legislation. 
“King County spends billions of dollars on infrastructure and this new law ensures that we will lead the way in reducing carbon emissions from our own projects. I am hopeful other jurisdictions will follow King County’s lead.”

The approval comes on the heels of the latest UN Climate Report, a sobering analysis that found efforts to respond to and slow climate change have had little impact and have come too slowly.

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