0 × 50—Preparing Seattle’s Building Stock for a Carbon-neutral 2050
Seattle’s elected officials have set a target for transforming the city’s “core energy”—including all of the energy serving its buildings and transportation, to be carbon-neutral by the year 2050. What does the city need to do with its building stock beginning today to ensure that it can hit that target in a single generation? The question was studied in part in the 2010 Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) study Getting to Zero—A Pathway to a Carbon-Neutral Seattle (SEI 2010), as well as the 2013 Seattle Climate Action Plan (CAP 2013), both of which set targets and made general recommendations but necessarily stopped short of pinning down a detailed step-by-step solution. This paper proposes a set of potential strategies, centered on the concept of “zero-carbon-ready” communities. This set of strategies forms one of several possible pathways to carbonneutrality that will be debated over the months and years to come. While a number of the components of this strategy are already incorporated into the Seattle Energy Code and other legislation, further actions are still required. These actions must be structured to maintain Seattle’s vibrant economy and culture while dramatically improving the energy efficiency of Seattle’s buildings.