Buildings and Infrastructure

woman walking on sidewalk at Kirkland Urban development across from Shake Shack  

Why are the City's building stock and infrastructure important for sustainability?

All building types and infrastructure in Kirkland could use far less energy and resources than current codes require if constructed sustainably or retrofitted. Existing and new buildings account for half of the energy used city-wide. Seventy percent of the buildings in Kirkland were built before 1986, when energy efficiency was incorporated into the building code. These older buildings present a big opportunity to increase energy efficiency and reduce energy bills.

70 percent of Kirkland's housing stock was built prior to better efficiency requirements starting in 1986, as of 2020

 How was Kirkland doing before adopting the Sustainability Master Plan?

  • the Arete Residential Suites in downtown Kirkland offer small space living that target Built Green and LEED Platinum standards

    There is no requirement for Net Zero Energy or High Performing Green Building design for new development.
  • Kirkland’s Green Building Program includes incentives for single family development, though there is no comparable program for commercial or multi-family development.

What key building and infrastructure goals are included in the Sustainability Master Plan?

modern duplex housing in Kirkland

Key building and infrastructure goals include:

  • Certify all new construction as High Performing Green Buildings
  • Incentivize new construction to be Net Zero Energy
  • Reduce energy use in all existing buildings
  • Reduce water use in buildings

What does that mean?

High Performing Green Buildings deliver a relatively higher level of energy-efficiency performance than that required by building codes or other regulations. A Net Zero Energy building has zero net energy consumption, meaning the total amount of energy used by the building on an annual basis is equal to the amount of renewable energy created on site or by other renewable energy sources.

How can the community help meet these goals?