February 23, 2018

City of Seattle Priority Green and Built Green Partnership to Meet Carbon Reduction Goals

Picture of the city of Seattle with built green expedited permitting program logo.

Through its Priority Green Expedited Permitting Program, the City of Seattle offers faster permitting as an incentive for certified green building developments. Seattle relies on independent third-party green rating systems to set the baseline for Seattle’s green building standards. Built Green, a local Seattle organization, is the certification program most utilized for earning incentives. The partnership between Built Green and the City coordinates existing resources and processes towards high but achievable thresholds for energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and indoor air quality.

Seattle City Goals

The City of Seattle has established a Climate Action Plan to move towards a carbon-neutral community by 2050. In support of this goal, former Seattle Mayor Gregory Nickels and a local committee explored new ways to incentivize green building projects. The Built Green certification program stood out as a strong framework for green construction performance, given its wide adoption across other Western Washington jurisdictions and its alignment with the City’s own sustainability goals.

Seattle established the Priority Green Expedited Program in 2009, which offers faster construction permit processing to projects designed, constructed, and certified per Built Green 4-Star standards or higher. This partnership is highly attractive to developers and supports the City’s goal for buildings to use15% less energy as compared to the Seattle Energy Code(SEC). It also improves metrics for water conservation, indoor air quality, and recycling rates.

To meet Seattle’s climate goals, we partner with many organizations, but it is great working with local organizations like Built Green, and getting the added community value.



Seattle, WA


City of Seattle, Built Green


  • Built Green Washington
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