SEATTLE-Inspired in part by the eco-friendly King Street Center building, county officials have pledged to promote the use of “green” construction practices in all buildings the county constructs, remodels and renovates.

King County Executive Ron Sims has signed the “Green Building Initiative” to affirm this pledge.

“King Street Center is not only helping the environment, it’s saving the county money in energy costs,” Sims says. “What it proves is that green building practices do not have to come at the expense of businesses’ and governments’ bottom lines. It’s a great example of what we now will do county-wide with our facilities.”

The Green Building Initiative adopts a national green rating system for King County’s construction methods and techniques – the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) a self-certifying, performance-based system designed for rating new commercial, institutional, and high-rise residential buildings.

The eight-story King Street Center office building, completed in 1999, was constructed to reflect the goal of protecting natural resources and reducing waste going into the county landfill. The building houses the county’s transportation and natural resources and parks departments.

In the two years since the King Street Center opened, the county has saved nearly $100,000 in energy costs alone. Its on-site water reclamation system – which collects storm run-off and ground water and reuses the water for flushing toilets – is saving an estimated 1.4 millions gallons of water a year for people and fish.