In March 2016, the Seattle Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) adopted a building tune up requirement Director’s Rule 2016-01, Implementation of Building Tune-Up Requirements (see PDF). The rule requires commercial and industrial buildings 50,000 square-feet or larger to perform a building tune up of energy and water systems every five years. The rule’s intentions are to support the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) whose goal is a carbon-neutral community by 2050. The rule aims to not only reduce carbon pollution and greenhouse gas emissions created by buildings, but also to create jobs and maintain affordability for building owners and tenants by reducing utility expenses.

What buildings are affected?

Nonresidential buildings with a gross square footage of 50,000 square feet or greater; mixed use buildings with 50,000 square feet or greater of nonresidential space; Campus buildings; Commercial condominiums. More information on specific building types and exceptions can be found on page 4 of the director’s rule.

What is a building tune up?

Over time, buildings do not perform how they were designed to and energy use can surge. This causes an increase in utility bills and equipment maintenance and replacement costs. In order to minimize this, a building tune up can be performed. A tune-up includes an assessment of building systems to identify operational or maintenance issues; corrections to the issues identified in the inspection that are no or low cost; and a report to the City Office of Sustainability & Environment summarizing issues identified and actions taken to tune-up the building.

What is the timeline for implementation?

Building or Nonresidential Space Size:Initial Compliance
Required by:
Second Compliance
Required by:
200,000 gross square feet or greater excluding parking
10/1/2018 10/1/2023
100,000 – 199,999 gross square feet excluding parking
70,000 – 99,999 gross square feet excluding parking
50,000 – 69,999 gross square feet excluding parking

Qualifications of Tune Up Specialist

The rule states that a building tune-up must be conducted by a qualified Tune-Up Specialist, or conducted by a team that is under the direct supervision and oversight of a qualified Tune-Up Specialist, with the Tune-Up Specialist finalizing and signing the Seattle Tune-Up Report. Individuals must meet the qualifications listed in subsections 12.A and 12.B (page 17) of the rule to qualify as a Tune-Up Specialist. All certifications must be current, with proof of certification and years of experience provided when the final Tune-Up Report is submitted to the OSE Director. A Tune-Up Specialist may be either a third party vendor or on-site staff.

How BOC Can Help

BOC Level II fulfills the requirements of a qualified Tune Up Specialist. If you have already completed the BOC Level II training and fulfill the experience requirements, your credential must be current to qualify. If you need help bringing your credential up to date, please contact our BOC Help Desk. If you are interested in earning the BOC Level II credential in order to qualify as a Tune Up Specialist, our BOC schedule for WA is available, or contact the BOC Help Desk for more information about upcoming courses.

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