Under this new program, all commercial and multifamily residential buildings larger than 10,000 square feet will be measured and rated or “benchmarked,” for their energy performance. These ratings – coutesy of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager – will be made available by the city to building owners, as well as to prospective buyers, tenants and lenders upon request during real estate transactions.
The program will apply this fall to nonresidential buildings encompassing 50,000 sq. ft. or more, and then extend to both nonresidential and multifamily residential buildings 10,000 sq. ft. or larger in April 2012.
Seattle’s Department of Planning and Development Director Diane Sugimura said, in a statement, that this new program will help building owners “take a key step toward increasing building energy efficiency, which, in turn, helps lower operating costs, makes buildings more competitive and creates good local jobs.” The city cites studies that show energy-efficient buildings – in particular those with green certifications – out-competing inefficient buildings in the rental market.