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King County, Seattle Offering New Incentives for Green-Building Residential Projects

Single-family residential developers have a new way to "go green," thanks to a new incentive program from King County and the City of Seattle.

The King County/Seattle Built Green Incentive provides funding for single-family residential, town home and community development projects to help offset the cost of certifying and designing innovative projects that meet green-building standards.

The program, which can provide $2,500 to $15,000 in financial incentives depending on the project and level of environmentally sustainable design and building elements employed, was announced at the fifth-annual Built Green Conference, Tuesday in Everett.

Incentives for the development industry to reduce their impact on the environment and conserve valuable natural resources have become increasingly important as local governments draw the connection between water conservation and quality, stormwater runoff and residential development, said Katie Spataro, project manager for King County's "Green Tools" program.

The new grants will be competitively awarded and are funded through the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks' Water and Land Resources Division and Seattle Public Utilities.

Built Green is a residential building program that provides a rating system for single- and multi-family housing projects, remodels and community developments. The program certifies projects at the one- through five- star level based on the number of points a project earns in categories that highlight energy and water conservation, healthy materials, and minimized impacts to the property.

Spataro said King County helped develop the program in partnership with the Master Builders Association of King and Snohomish Counties, and relies on Built Green as an industry benchmark for qualifying green residential development.

The King County/Seattle Built Green Incentive was established to encourage developers, builders, and residents building new homes to use green building standards while attempting to address barriers, such as higher upfront costs for projects. Grant award projects will serve as demonstrations of high performance, replicable, green housing for the region.

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