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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 130 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 extends from South Lake Union to SoDo, and from the Waterfront to portions of First Hill and Capitol Hill, thereby covering the major downtown commercial area of Seattle.

How was the boundary set?

The boundary was initially set around our Founding Member property owners and managers. The boundary represents the Urban core of Seattle, which includes Downtown Seattle and all the surrounding neighborhoods. It was based off the Metropolitan Improvement District (MID) boundaries. It also encompasses much of Capitol Hill, reflecting our partnership with the Capitol Hill Ecodistrict.

What do you measure?

We measure Energy usage, Potable Water use, Stormwater managed and CO2 Emissions from transportation (specifically commute trips) and compare that to the District baselines.

What are the benefits of membership?

You can see all the Member Benefits in our One Pager

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.  No data will be released to third parties without prior consent. Members must also pay their annual fees to retain their active membership status. See our Become a Member page for more details.

How did you set the Performance Baselines?

Our energy reduction baseline is set by ENERGY STAR, which is based on a national database called Portfolio Manager. Our water baseline is based on actual consumption within the Seattle 2030 District boundary as well as on the amount of stormwater that could be managed. 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 STAR 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 is not shared with the City of Seattle or with other District members. See Statement 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?

No, there is no certification program or public recognition program such as display plaques.  

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.  

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

Members that have signed the commitment letter and paid their annual fees 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.  2030 Districts across the United States may vary in approach, however, they all establish performance goals based on the 2030 Challenge for Planners. 

2030 Districts Network