What is The Seattle 2030 District?

The Seattle 2030 District is a non-profit organization dedicated to making Downtown Seattle a more sustainable place. We have specific performance goals for reducing the energy use, water use, and transportation emissions associated with Downtown Seattle’s buildings.

For more information see the About us section

Who does it involve?

The Seattle 2030 District is made up of members that are separated into three different Stakeholder groups. Property Owners and Managers, Professional Stakeholders and Community Stakeholders. We have over 70 member organizations to date, including some of Seattle’s largest property owners, managers, architecture and engineering firms.

Who are the “Stakeholders”?

Property Owners and Managers are defined as individuals or entities that owns, manages and/or develops real estate within a 2030 District boundary.

Professional Stakeholders are an individual or entity that provides services within a 2030 District boundary. Examples include architects, engineers, energy services companies (ESCOs), utilities, and contractors.

Community Stakeholders are not for profit entities, government entities and community organizations. Examples of a Community Stakeholder include, industry and/or professional organizations, local green building councils/USGBC chapters, city, county and state agencies, and community groups

What is the boundary?

The boundary currently includes the Downtown core, South Lake Union, and portions of First Hill and Capitol Hill

How was the boundary set?

The boundary was initially set around our Founding Member property owners and managers. The boundary can be expanded to accommodate new members, but is meant to remain within Seattle’s dense, Center-City neighborhoods

What do you measure?

We measure Energy usage, Water usage and CO2 Emissions from transportation (specifically commute trips) and compare that to the District baseline

What are the benefits of membership?

Benefits vary depending on Stakeholder type. Additional incentive dollars, free building dashboards, streamlined permitting, and access to a wealth of information are just some of the benefits that our members enjoy. Please follow the link below and click on each member type for a full list of benefits

What does membership offer that I could not otherwise find on my own?

Membership provides Seattle 2030 District specific member services, as well as exclusive access to limited pro-bono professional services from District members, free access to Lucid’s Building OS_ platform and public online dashboard to display performance data, limited free access to baselining and comparison software platform WegoWise Pro, participation in the “Assess – Target – Deliver” service and the ability to provide input on District policy and incentives issues.  Additional benefits include reduced admission fees at 2030 District sponsored educational sessions and the opportunity to connect with peers that are committed to sharing lessons-learned and realizing a high performing district.

What does it cost to be a member?

There are currently no fees associated with membership; however, members are required to participate in a minimum of two taskforce meetings per year to maintain membership status.

What contributions are required from property owners, managers and developer members?

All property owners are required to share energy, water and transportation data with the District.  Sharing of energy and water data is through the Portfolio Manager online tool.  All data will not be released to third parties. Members are also required to participate in a minimum of three taskforce meetings per year to maintain membership status.

How did you set the Performance Baselines?

Our energy reduction baseline is set by Energy Star, which is based on a national database. Our water baseline is based on actual consumption within the Seattle 2030 District boundary. Transportation baselines are based on commute trip data provided by Commute Seattle. Each baseline is underpinned by a great deal of specific research and information. Please see the following document for references on all three baselines:

For more detailed information on the 2030 District Baselines click here.

How do you collect performance information?

Property owners and managers record their energy and water use in an Energy Start Portfolio Manager account. They grant The Seattle 2030 District read-only access to this account. We do not share this information in an identifiable way without a property owner or property manager’s express permission.

If we anonymously share water, energy and transportation information, how do we know this is secure?  Who sees this data?

Published data will be in aggregate for all reporting properties and will not identify the individual building owner, name or address and square footage unless the owner explicitly permits this.  Data is only viewed by Seattle 2030 District Staff and Architecture 2030, and is not shared with the City of Seattle or with other District Members. SeeStatement of Disclosure for Building Data Sharing for more information.

I see that there are different sets of performance targets for existing buildings and new construction projects with the performance target getting more aggressive each five years.  If I hit the target for the year in which the project is finished, am I “grandfathered” or am I required to make incremental performance upgrades each five years?

New Construction Projects or Existing Building Retrofits that meet the performance levels which were current at the time the design process concluded are considered compliant with the Seattle 2030 District goals.  The ultimate goal to improve overall, district-wide performance.  Given that performance is averaged over all buildings within the District, to meet overall District targets some buildings will need to voluntarily exceed the minimum requirements. In addition, new construction goals are more aggressive than existing building targets, therefore new construction project meeting the new construction goals already exceed expectation for individual existing buildings. 

Are projects certified as 2030 compliant or as meeting the goals of the Seattle 2030 District?

Owners can choose to publish their performance data on the District’s publically-accessible dashboardhowever, there is no certification program or public recognition program such as display plaques.  The Seattle 2030 District and Architecture 2030 are not certifying entities.  

If I join as a Developer, does this require our organization to meet the District’s performance requirements for all our future renovation projects and/or new construction projects?

Property owners, managers and developers are required to make a good-faith effort to meet the District’s performance goals for the existing and/or new buildings under their control and in their portfolio within the 2030 District boundary.  The timing for portfolio performance upgrades and/or the development of new properties is affected by a myriad of factors.  There is not a requirement to bring individual existing buildings into compliance within a specific timeframe.

What’s the relationship between the Seattle 2030 District as a public-private partnership and the City of Seattle?

The Seattle 2030 District is a privately led, voluntary membership organization and participation is not required by any government entity.  The City of Seattle supports the organization’s energy, water and transportation goals and to that aim has joined the District as a Community Stakeholder, as well as a Property Owner and Manager member.  Separate from the pro-bono services offered by District, the City of Seattle is offering a limited pilot program for expedited permitting, which is above and beyond current expedited programs, for projects meeting the performance goals of the Seattle 2030 District.  Participation in city administered programs, such as expedited permitting, are separate from programs of the Seattle 2030 District.

Are professional services free to property owners, managers and developer members of the District?

Members that have signed the commitment letter are eligible for Seattle 2030 District specific services, as well as access to limited pro-bono professional services from District members and reduced admissions to Seattle 2030 District sponsored educational programs.

How is the Seattle 2030 District related to or different from Architecture 2030, the AIA+2030 Professional Education Series, the AIA 2030 Commitment and other 2030 Districts around the United States?

The year 2030 is widely considered as the decisive deadline for achieving a carbon-free society in order to mitigate catastrophic climate change.  In response to this crisis, the non-profit organization, Architecture 2030, was founded by Edward Mazria in 2002.  This organization put forth the 2030 Challenge, a set of defined performance targets that incrementally step down carbon emissions from the built environment to zero emissions in the year 2030.  To support this challenge, other organizations, such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) have used these targets as the framework for programs such as the AIA’s 2030 Commitment. The AIA+2030 Professional Education Series is an education program created by AIA Seattle, in partnership with Architecture 2030, and is now provided by 23 AIA chapters and other partners throughout North America.  2030 Districts across the United States may vary in approach, however, they all establish performance goals based on the 2030 Challenge for Planners.