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OSE Releases Final Rule for Seattle Building Tune-Ups Requirement

OSE is pleased to issue OSE Director’s Rule 2016-01 which implements the Seattle Building Tune-Ups Ordinance adopted in March 2016. The Director’s Rule further explains the Tune-Ups requirement, and is the result of more than a year of collaboration with stakeholders to make this new policy clear and workable, with a focus on saving energy and flexibility for building owners. OSE thanks the Tune-Ups Technical Working Group and the dozens of other building owners, managers and energy management experts who helped shape these requirements.

The Rule clarifies the following: tune-up assessment components, corrective actions, and reporting; compliance extensions and exemptions; qualifications for tune-up specialists; and buildings and spaces subject to the requirement. This final version has several edits to address public comments received on the draft Rule, which was released in November. Highlights of the changes include:

  • The size threshold for tenant spaces with tenant-owned equipment that are not required to be tuned-up was increased from 2,500 to 5,000 square feet.
  • References to costs and payback periods were edited to make it clear that cost calculations are not required.
  • One Alternative Compliance Pathway – that of demonstrating at least $1/square foot of investment in energy conservation measures over three years – was removed from Section 9 “Exemptions” because of the challenges in identifying a form of evidence about actions taken, energy savings, and associated costs.
  • Additional certification and license options were included as eligible qualifications for a Tune Up Specialist in Section 12.

Seattle Building Tune-Ups phases in a periodic tune-up requirement for nonresidential buildings 50,000 square feet or larger (excluding parking), beginning in 2018 with buildings 200,000 SF or greater due first. Tune-ups aim to optimize energy and water performance by identifying no- or low-cost actions related to building operations and maintenance, focusing on actions that typically pay back within three years and generate 10-15% in energy savings on average. The legislation is a key piece of Seattle’s Climate Action Plan, our roadmap to achieving carbon-neutrality, by helping ensure buildings don’t use energy and water wastefully.

Support for Mid-Size Buildings to Comply with Seattle Building Tune-Ups

We’re recruiting up to 100 buildings (less than ~100,000 SF excluding parking) to jump-start their Tune-Up through the new Building Tune-Up Accelerator Program Benefits will include enhanced technical support and financial incentives to help comply with the Seattle Building Tune-Ups requirement. This funding will sunset after 2018, so contact us now if your building is due in 2020 or 2021. Trainings for service providers and in-house facility managers will also be offered on the Accelerator Program in mid-2017. Email or call 206-233-7184 for more information.

Questions about the Seattle Buildings Tune-Up Requirement?

Visit for more information, or contact Christie Baumel at (206) 233-7173, or