King County proposes banning natural gas in most new unincorporated-area construction

Announced today by King County Executive Dow Constantine – a proposal to change building codes, including a ban on natural-gas use in most new construction. At the heart of that part of the proposal:

The proposed Ordinance:

• Prohibits fossil fuel combustion for space heating in all commercial buildings and in multifamily buildings four stories tall and taller;
• Prohibits fossil fuel combustion for water heating in multifamily buildings four stories tall and taller, as well as hotel/motel and group residential buildings; and
• Increases efficiency requirements, including for lighting and window insulation levels.

As building codes apply to new construction, building additions, and some mechanical and building feature replacements, the effect of the proposed Ordinance would primarily be to reduce natural gas expansion in all commercial buildings, and multifamily buildings over three stories tall, thus helping to curb future GHG emissions.

The city of Seattle already has passed similar legislation. Read the full announcement, including what else would change, here. The proposal goes to the County Council for consideration (documents are here).

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