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GreenTools – Powered by the Solid Waste Division GreenTools for King County Green Building

King County Green Building

Buildings are large energy users: in the Puget Sound region, about 22% of the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change are attributed to the building sector. Additional environmental impacts include contaminated storm water generated by continued creation of hard surfaces, and burdens on existing landfill space from construction and demolition debris generation. Green building techniques, coupled with upgrades and proper maintenance of existing buildings, can help reduce these impacts.

GreenTools Program

King County's GreenTools program helps builders, residents, businesses and governments create and sustain "green" buildings and developments.

Green Building and Sustainable Development Ordinance

The ordinance covers all King County-owned and county-financed projects, specifies reporting requirements to improve the information compiled on county divisions' green practices; and requires project managers to be trained in green building practices.

Green Building Team

The Green Building Team consists of representatives from King County Departments including Natural Resources and Parks, Transportation, Development and Environmental Services, Finance, Executive Services, and Adult and Juvenile Detention.

Green Building Standards

The first step to achieving LEED Certification is to register your project with the U.S. Green Building Council.

Managing the LEED Process

Building projects wanting to pursue LEED certification will have the most success by setting goals early on and establishing a process for managing the administrative needs and coordination of the project team.

Green Building Case Studies

Case studies can provide good “how-to’s” on accomplishing green building goals. Finding a case study on a project that matches well with your project type and size is often a good starting and reference point.

Technical Resources

Tools to evaluate your commercial green building projects. Includes a detailed explanation of Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) - an economic methodology for selecting the most cost-effective design alternative for your project.

Climate Change

King County has adopted many strategies that will enable us to adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. Green building is one key focus area and provides specific actions to meet the challenges presented by climate change.


GreenTools provides green building training to King County staff to support project managers and team members in effectively implementing the Green Building Ordinance (GBO).

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Green O&M Guidelines

Read the King County Facilities Green Operations & Maintenance Guidelines Handbook (PDF, 1.7 MB).

Cargo Container Camper Case Study (PDF)

Case study

Cargo Container Camper Case Study (PDF, 400 K) – “Little Footprint in a BIG Forest”.

2011 Annual Report of King County's Climate Change, Energy, Green Building and Environmental Purchasing Programs (PDF)

2011 Annual Report

View the 2011 Annual Report (PDF) of King County’s Climate Change, Energy, Green Building and Environmental Purchasing Programs.

Updated: Jan. 28, 2015

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