Clean Buildings Law

Does this apply to my building?

This standard is mandatory for all covered commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet (sf) located in Washington State. According to the Department of Commerce, “A covered commercial building is a building where the sum of nonresidential, hotel, motel and dormitory floor areas exceed 50,000 gross square feet, excluding the parking garage area.” For more information on exemptions and if you building is covered, visit the Washington State Department of Commerce.

How will building owners be notified?

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) will be posting compliance requirements and a full list of possible covered commercial buildings on the Clean Buildings webpage, available beginning July 1, 2021. The list was generated using records obtained from each county assessor and other available information sources. Commerce will also be mailing notification letters to building owners after quality assurance checks on the list are complete.

How do I comply with the law?

Compliance with the law requires several steps. First, building owners need to develop two plans: an energy management plan and an operations and maintenance plan. In addition, buildings will either need to meet an energy performance standard OR meet the law by conducting energy audits by qualified professionals and implementing cost-effective energy conservation measures.

In select cases, building owners may obtain temporary exemptions. If a building owner does not comply, the State may levy fines. Newly constructed buildings must meet more stringent performance requirements. Lastly, select building types are exempt, e.g., industrial facilities, but an exemption must be filed to and approved by Commerce.

When is the law mandatory for building owners? (Compliance Dates)

Compliance dates are organized based on the floor area of buildings that fall under the law. Building owners will then need to comply every five years after their first compliance date.

Compliance dates by building size:

June 1, 2026:Over 220,000 sf (and then every five years thereafter)
June 1, 2027:90,001 – 220,000 sf (and then every five years thereafter)
June 1, 2028:50,000 – 90,000 sf (and then every five years thereafter)