Green Building Incentives

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Our City Code offers incentives to encourage building projects that demonstrate a reduced environmental impact. These code incentives include reductions to required stormwater and transportation fees, reductions to required on-site parking spaces and additional building floor area. Also, the Building Code allows for alternate building materials, which encourages new technologies often connected with green building innovations.

Citywide Incentives

The Storm and Surface Water Utility offers stormwater fee reductions by allowing the reclassification of properties to the next lower development intensity classification if the property demonstrates a hydrological response substantially similar to that next lower classification per Ordinance 6442. Otherwise, Low Impact Development Best Management Practices are required by the State Department of Ecology and implemented via the Utilities Code.

Transportation impact fees can be reduced if projects demonstrate a reduced trip rate compared to the prescribed rate for the site and propose a custom trip rate or project-specific trip rate per Transportation Impact Fee Program Code 22.16.080.D.

The Building Code allows for alternative materials, designs and methods of construction and equipment not specifically prescribed if the alternative is at least equivalent in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability and safety to that prescribed per 23.05.080.K. This code section does not require that the alternate material show a reduced environmental impact but gives builders the flexibility to use more experimental materials to build more sustainably.

  • Stormwater Fee Reductions
  • Transportation Impact Fee Reductions
  • Building Code Flexibly for Alternates

Downtown and BelRed Incentives

The Land Use Code allows for a reduction to the parking minimums in the Downtown and BelRed land use zones with support from a parking demand analysis per LUC 20.25A.080.H in Downtown and 20.25D.120.F in BelRed.

The Land Use Code offers additional FAR for the following green building certifications.

  • Parking Minimum Reductions
  • Floor Area Ratio Bonus

    0.25 FAR Bonus for Built Green 5 Star, LEED Platinum, or Living Building Net Zero Energy

    0.2 FAR Bonus for Built Green 4 Star, LEED Gold, or Passivhaus PHIUS+2015 Verification per LUC 20.25A.070.

    After fully utilizing 2.5 FAR Tier 1 Amenity Bonus, additional 0.5 FAR Tier 2 Amenity Bonus can be utilized partially as 0.33 FAR Bonus for LEED Platinum, or 0.13 Bonus for LEED Gold per LUC 20.25D.090.

    • Downtown
    • BelRed Zones MO-1, OR-1, OR-2, RC-1, RC-2, and RC-3