City of Seattle - Density Bonus for Green Buildings (Washington)

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Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Financial Incentive Program

Place Washington

Name City of Seattle - Density Bonus for Green Buildings
Incentive Type Green Building Incentive
Applicable Sector Commercial, Residential
Eligible Technologies Comprehensive Measures/Whole Building, Biomass, Daylighting, Passive Solar Space Heat, Photovoltaics, Small Hydroelectric, Solar Space Heat, Solar Water Heat, Wind
Active Incentive No

Implementing Sector Local
Energy Category Energy Efficiency Incentive Programs, Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Program Administrator Seattle Department of Planning and Development
Date added to DSIRE 2007-03-21
Last DSIRE Review 2012-02-22
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


Mayor Nickels signed downtown zoning legislation in April 2006 which established an incentive for the construction of green buildings. The incentive applies to buildings in the central office core and adjoining areas, including Denny Triangle and a portion of Belltown. Commercial and residential buildings in those portions of downtown which achieve a minimum LEED* certification at the Silver level can be built to greater heights and/or greater maximum floor areas. The Downtown Zoning Ordinance allows owners and developers to use either the LEED for New Construction (LEED–NC) or LEED for Core and Shell (LEED–CS) rating system. LEED–NC covers all building elements, including core and shell and interiors. LEED–CS covers base building elements (structure, envelope and systems).

To participate, the developer or owner must submit a letter of intent indicating their commitment to achieve at least a LEED Silver rating before issuance of the Master Use Permit. The City will then issue subsequent permits and the final Certificate of Occupancy based on this good faith commitment. Within 90 days of receiving the final Certificate of Occupancy, the applicant must submit documentation demonstrating that the building has achieved a LEED Silver Rating or higher.

  • The USGBC LEED Rating System is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. Click here for more information on the national LEED program.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name Peter Dobrovolny
Department Seattle Department of Planning and Development
Division City Green Building
Address P.O. Box 34019
Address 2 19th Floor, Seattle Municipal Tower
Place Seattle, Washington
Zip/Postal Code 98124-4019
Phone (206) 615-1094


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: City of Seattle Ordinance Number: 122054

Date Enacted 2006-04-12

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"