A 2021 Executive Order directed the Seattle Office of Sustainability (OSE) to implement new carbon-based Building Performance Standards (BPS) for existing buildings over 20,000 sq ft. This order presents a great opportunity to improve the efficiency, comfort, and safety of our multi-family affordable housing, but it will also bring additional costs and challenges.
HDC recently launched a BPS Advisory Task Force to ensure that the city’s policy process is informed by recommendations that deliver options to lower upfront and operating costs for affordable housing while addressing the climate crisis and improving resilience as we create, operate, and maintain housing for low-income households.
We are also conducting research to better understand the impacts a new BPS policy may have on affordable housing. We’ve analyzed available benchmarking data and have identified a group of 15 buildings that represent broad affordable housing typologies. On-site audits of these buildings have begun and will help us determine the opportunities for, and the constraints to, electrification and decarbonization. Our BPS Advisory Task Force will incorporate the audit findings into our policy recommendations.