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Economic Development - News

Posted on: September 19, 2023

Learn about the Washington State Clean Buildings Initiative

Commercial building in industrial park.

In 2019, the state's Clean Buildings bill was signed into law (and later expanded in 2022). The state's objective is to lower costs and pollution from fossil fuel consumption in the state’s existing covered buildings and multifamily buildings. The law also provides incentives to encourage building owners to make energy efficiency improvements earlier than required. 

Visit the state's Clean Buildings Initiative and Clean Buildings Performance Standards websites.

  • The Clean Buildings Performance Standard is mandatory for Tier 1 buildings located in the state of Washington. A Tier 1 building (formerly known as covered commercial building) is a building where the sum of nonresidential, hotel, motel and dormitory floor areas exceeds 50,000 gross square feet, excluding the parking garage area. Compliance and reporting for Tier 1 buildings begins June 2026 for buildings greater than 220,000 square feet. State rules for Tier 1 buildings have been proposed and are in the amendment phase as of August 2023.
  • On March 25, 2022, Governor Inslee signed the Clean Buildings expansion bill into law. The expansion applies to buildings 20,000 square feet or larger, adding a new second tier that includes multifamily buildings. The first phase of this expansion will require reporting on benchmarking, implementation of energy management plans and operations and maintenance programs for all Tier 2 buildings. Compliance and reporting for Tier 2 buildings must be submitted by July 1, 2027. The state recently completed a series of workshops in various communities to provide information about proposed Tier 2 rules and gather feedback from business owners. Comment on Tier 2 rules can be submitted here, preferably by Sept. 29, 2023.

For more information:
Emily Salzberg
Buildings Unit Managing Director, Department of Commerce
Phone: 360-725-3105

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