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Building Green in Seattle

The City of Seattle is promoting architects, designers, contractors, and homeowners to pursue green, sustainable construction projects through their Green Permitting process. Green permitting is designed to assist applicants through the permitting process to make obtaining a permit quicker and easier. The program hopes to raise awareness of the green movement and bring sustainable construction practices into standard practice. There are several components of the program that will benefit sustainable development projects.


To qualify for expedited Green permitting, the project must be:

- LEED silver, gold, or platinum
- Built Green 4 or 5 star
- DPD's Green Q Alternative Path


Deconstruction versus demolition of the existing structure is also a preferred method for addressing structures that will be removed. The Residential Deconstruction Program allows a demolition permit to be issued prior to the new construction permit to be approved. To qualify, a percentage of the existing structure is to be salvaged and recycled.


The Priority Green Permitting program is designed to ease permitting for innovative projects. Projects qualifying for this program are on the cutting edge of green design and must meet the 2030 Challenge. A DPD contact person is assigned to the project to streamline the review process and assist with questions.

Regardless if you are homeowner, architect, designer or contractor, now is the time to make your project green. For more information on the program or to find out if your project will qualify, visit the City of Seattle DPD website.

One such partnership who went through the extra trouble and expense of building a new Green dwelling is architect Karen DeLucas and builder and principal of Brixton Builders, Neil Chapman. They built an exquisite little gem of a home in Madison Valley, in Seattle's Central District, and made it a 4-star BuiltGreen/Energy Star home, with lots of sweet extra features like increased insulation with Blown-In-Blanket-Insulation, energy efficient compact fluorescent light fixtures, low VOC paint and Energy Star appliances.

The house was designed as a "Not So Big House", with less material and maintenance, and is located in a neighborhood with a Walk Score of 74, which places the home in a very walkable neighborhood, close to shops and restaurants, parks and schools.

You can follow along with Karen and Neil's project on their site

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