Building Performance Standards

 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. 

Webinars and Video Links

What Are Building Performance Standards?
BPS Learn at Lunch Webinar 1.19.2022
BPS Advisory Task Force Meeting 2.16.22
BPS Advisory Task Force Meeting 3.16.22
BPS Advisory Task Force Meeting 4.20.22
BPS Advisory Task Force Meeting 5.24.22
BPS Learn at Lunch 6.6.2022
BPS Advisory Task Force Meeting 6.15.22

BPS Advisory Task Force

Meeting Notes & Agendas

11.29.21 Meeting
01.13.22 Meeting
02.16.22 Meeting
3.16.22 Meeting
4.20.22 Meeting
5.24.22 Meeting
6.15.22 Meeting

Additional Resources

BPS Timeline

What is Building Performance Standards?

Institute for Market Transformation – Building Performance Standards

Urban Sustainability Directors Network – BPS Framework

City of Seattle Resources

OSE Building Performance Standards Webpage

SDCI Building Code Requirements for Existing Buildings Undergoing Substantial Alterations (One-pager)

SDCI Energy Code Tips Webpage- New & Updated

City of Seattle – Building Tune-Ups FAQs

BPS and Affordable Housing

Understanding the Housing Affordability Risk Posed by Building Performance Policies

Comparison Chart of US Building Performance Standards

Case Study – BPS Process in Montgomery County, MD

Executive Summary: BPS Development – Technical Analysis

Building Energy Performance Standards Technical Report & Other Resources