The Legal Requirements
The Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) have adopted Director's Rule 2016-01, Implementation of Building Tune-Up Requirements, under the authority of Sections 3.14.970 and 22.930 of the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC). SMC 22.930 on the Building Tune-Up requirements was adopted by Ordinance 125002 in March of 2016. The Ordinance requires owners of nonresidential buildings 50,000 square-feet or greater to tune-up building energy and water systems every five years. A tune-up includes (a) an assessment of building systems to identify operational or maintenance issues; (b) corrections to operational issues identified in the inspection that have quick paybacks; and (c) a report to the City Office of Sustainability & Environment summarizing issues identified and actions taken. The Ordinance authorized the OSE Director to further specify program implementation details by Rule. OSE Director's Rule 2016-01 includes clarification of the Ordinance requirements of the following: buildings and spaces subject to the requirement; requirements related to tune-up assessments, corrective actions and reporting; requirements related to compliance extensions and exemptions; and qualifications for tune-up. 

As of February 2017, the OSE Director's Rule 2016-01, the Seattle Building Tune-Up's requirements has been finalized. You can read the final rule here: OSE Director's Rule 2016-01.

What is a Building Tune-Up?
Buildings are like cars. They have complicated, integrated systems that can drift from optimal performance over time, wasting energy. Building tune-ups are performed to maintain performance and energy efficiency. During a building tune-up, sensors are checked for calibration, set points are confirmed or optimized, filters (and filter change schedules) are confirmed, efficiency of heating and cooling equipment is checked, and smooth operation of moving parts is confirmed. The appropriateness of the systems and settings is also confirmed relative to the building use. 

How KBA Can Help
KBA has been following Seattle's new Tune-Up Ordinance since it's inception. Based on current knowledge, we may be able to help owners in the following ways, once the Ordinance goes into effect:

  • Minimum Compliance: KBA Commissioning Professionals satisfy the Tune-Up Specialist qualifications required to comply with the Seattle SOE Director's Rule. Our Tune-Up Specialists can perform your tune-up independently, or with the help of your building staff. 
  • Alternate Compliance Pathways: KBA can also help you with alternate compliance pathways and equivalent processes. For example, our ongoing/monitoring-based commissioning experts can help you use your existing automation systems to monitor performance and help you comply with your tune-up requirement. 
  • Utility Grants: KBA can help you obtain utility company grants that can offset, or obtain maximum benefit from tune-up costs. 
  • Comprehensive Retro-Commissioning: KBA can help obtain leverage from your tune-up to implement a more comprehensive retro-commissioning or ongoing commissioning program. 

Contact us if you are interested in further discussion or consultation.

To download a copy of this information as a PDF, click here