The Washington State Clean Buildings Act was passed in 2019 with aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the state by targeting commercial real estate buildings, as these buildings account for around 27% of emissions.

Building owners are now required to reduce building emissions to a specified Energy-Use Intensity (EUI) target. EUIs are essentially defined as fuel that comes into a building for operation; electrical and HVAC. Buildings that are exempt from this law include industrial buildings, agricultural structures, and/or properties owned because of financial hardship.

A building’s EUI is calculated using a formula including the following:

  • Building square footage
  • Building activity type (Retail, office, multifamily, hotels, schools, hospitals, government buildings, etc)
  • Standard data for that building activity type (which can be split up if it is a mixed use building)

More information on how EUI is calculated can be found here.

Each building must meet its target EUI in order to comply with the Act and avoid fines for noncompliance.

The law is currently in effect for Tier 1 Buildings (Over 50,000 square feet) and is coming down the pipeline for Tier 2 Buildings (20,000-50,000 square feet).

This law not only includes being compliant with the EUI, but also includes implementing a maintenance plan and reporting your building’s performance. There is still tons of information coming out on this topic regularly, so we will keep you updated as we continue to learn more.

Stay tuned for Part 2 in the coming weeks as we outline the deadlines for owners to be compliant with this new law.


SVN Cornerstone Multifamily Team

Nate Gant is an Advisor with SVN Cornerstone. Nate has been an active member of the Eastern Washington real estate community since 2010. He has brokered more than $100 Million in real estate transactions, specializing in land development, REO and investment properties. To get in touch with Nate, email or call 509.993.4440.

Jordan Lester is an Associate Advisor with SVN Cornerstone. Jordan served as a brokers assistant for 3 years with SVN Cornerstone before becoming a full time broker. Jordan specializes in the multifamily sector of commercial real estate. To get in touch with Jordan, email or call 509.496.6922