Alert: Energy Code Update in the State of Washington

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Alert: New Energy Code Requirements in Washington State

The State of Washington will be adopting the 2018 International Building Code in 2020. This will include State Energy Code (WSEC) amendments that will significantly increase the minimum energy performance requirements of all new buildings. This revision includes increased energy performance of both the building envelope and the building MEP systems, and will likely translate to higher construction costs.

In order to have a project vested under the current 2015 building codes, it must submit a building permit application and have it accepted by the appropriate city no later than Tuesday, June 30, 2020. Given the extended permitting timelines for projects, particularly within the City of Seattle, we encourage a consideration of this change in project planning now.

Please note that, currently, there is only a draft version of the 2018 WSEC released, so more changes may occur before the final release. In addition, a draft has not been provided for the 2018 Seattle Energy Code (SEC), so the City could decide to create additional restrictions to the Energy Code. Read more on the State's website.


What Caron Anticipates

Our expectation is that the City of Seattle will adopt the 2018 Seattle Building Code and it will go into effect on July 1, 2020. When adopting new codes, Seattle typically has an overlap grace period of three (3) months during which the project may choose which code to follow, but the City has not yet released this information.