High Performing Green Building Program

Parque Apartments

All buildings in Kirkland could use far less energy and water resources than current codes require if constructed sustainably or retrofitted. Existing and new buildings account for 50% of the energy used citywide and their construction and operation are responsible for over one third of the community’s GHG emissions.

Kirkland has offered an expedited permit review for certified high performing single-family buildings since 2008. Now the City has expanded this program to all new building construction as well as certified high performing residential remodels. For a list of qualified certification programs, cert levels and other program requirements see the Expedited Permit Review Program section.

Expedited Permit Review Program

To qualify for Expedited Permit Review under Kirkland’s High Performing Green Building Program, you must submit the following items with a complete building permit application:

  1. A preliminary checklist that shows how the development will achieve certification of one or more of the following programs:
    1. International Living Future Institute’s (ILFI) Living Building Challenge™
    2. ILFI Living Community Challenge™
    3. ILFI Petal Recognition (energy, water and materials petals at a minimum)
    4. ILFI Zero Energy™ (ZE)
    5. ILFI Core programs
    6. Built Green 4-Star, 5-Star, and Emerald Star™
    7. Built Green Remodel Certification
    8. U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design™ (LEED) Platinum rating system
  2. Proof of registration with the selected program.
  3. A copy of a Third-Party Verifier contract who will verify your Built Green, LEED or ILFI project.

Note: Projects required to comply with KZC 115.62 are not eligible for expedited review.


Here are some resources that will help you get started thinking about high performing green building whether your project is large or small:

  • Built Green’s Eco-cool remodel tool virtual house and find ways to green up your next home remodeling project.
  • Rewire America provides information on how to electrify your home and a guide to the Inflation Reduction Act incentives to help go electric. The website features a Savings Calculator.
  • BetterBuiltNW provides a list of resources for builders and real estate professionals to take advantage of opportunities Inflation Reduction Act incentives.


  • King County's Deconstruction webpage provides practical information on deconstruction and salvaging as well as a list of salvage and deconstruction companies. 

Embodied Carbon

This performance standard stems from an aim to understand and begin to reduce a building’s embodied carbon emissions. This standard does not prescribe any specific emissions reductions or material performance. The aim of this standard is to help instill a new practice in the building industry. The City will use the collected embodied carbon calculations and work with leaders in this industry in developing future policy and regulations.

There are two carbon calculators available for applicants to use:

  • Builders for Climate Action Building Emissions Accounting for Materials (BEAM) estimator tool. BEAM was developed by the team at Builders for Climate Action to suit the needs of the low-rise building sector.
  • Carbon Leadership Forum offers a free and easy-to-use Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator (EC3) tool that allows benchmarking, assessment and reductions in embodied carbon, focused on the upfront supply chain emissions of construction materials.