Seattle To Go LEED Gold For New Buildings, But Is It Enough?

Should Seattle shoot for Living Buildings?


The City of Seattle is revising its public building standards. The new amendments will change the current LEED Silver requirement, raising it to LEED Gold. While I am happy to see the City shoot for higher ground, when will we finally see a net zero building?


The City of Seattle announced this week that it will raise the building standard  to LEED Gold for all municipal buildings over 5,000 sq. ft. Left in the distance are the more coveted LEED Platinum and perhaps even more intriguing Living Building Certification. To date, I am unaware of a single Seattle building project aspiring to meet either of these two high statures.


Interesting enough, Seattle was the first city in the US to mandate that its public projects met a LEED standard. However, since making that call back in 2000, hundreds of cities and other public bodies have demanded more. There are now some juridictions demanding the LEED Platinum standard.


So, its a little confusing why the “green” government leader is making such a gradual move. In 2010, the local regional section of the USGBC, Cascadia, created the Living Building Challenge. Since unveiling its first three certified “living buildings,” the challenge has become a popular goal for builders in the Northwest. At least two schools are after the coveted¬†achievement, and I am sure that many other public structures will follow.


Shoot a little higher? I’d say so, even if it requires a longer wait to amend the building standards.






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