Seattle Energy Code Requirements - Artisan Electric


Meet requirements. Exceed expectations.


Many architects and builders are turning to specialists to fulfill solar requirements and customer needs. Artisan can offer expert insight on including solar in your design.


The 2012 Seattle Energy Code stipulates one of two requirements for commercial buildings:

  1. A small solar PV system installed at the time of construction. (Section C410.1)
  2. A “solar-ready roof” to facilitate a larger solar energy installation in the future. (Section C410.2)

Which of these is right for your given project depends on building height and square footage. Certain buildings must install a small system and be solar ready for a larger system. Some require just solar-ready construction. The chart below may help demystify what requirements a particular project may have.

In the broadest sense, the code fosters solar energy as a standard part of Seattle building construction. By requiring at least a solar-ready roof (if not a system now), the code overcomes a key deterrent to solar: the logistical and aesthetic barrier of installing solar on an un-ready roof. Planning for (or incorporating now) is cheaper and more aesthetically pleasing.

The requirements for a solar-ready roof are more substantial than those for a current system. If you prepare the roof now for solar later, you’re asked to block out 40% of usable space (or offset 20% of electrical usage). If you install a system now, you only have to offset 1% of electrical usage.

For many architects and builders, it’s smart to consider exceeding requirements where possible. it’s far more practical and cost-effective to either prepare the roof for later, larger install—or build a larger system now.

Artisan makes it painless and productive builders to incorporate solar efficiently.

We help designers and builders with planning, design, and component choices (there are literally hundreds of solar panels, inverters, racking systems and electrical equipment components to choose from) to determine the best value for the best performance and warranty. We can analyze and assess how to choose a system size that’s really in your best interest.

However you decide to meet (or exceed) the code for a particular project, Artisan Electric can help. We are here to answer any questions about solar design and installation and meeting building code requirements. You can contact us at 206.557.4215 or use this form.

To set up a “Solar Power Lunch Hour” for your firm, in which knowledgeable Artisan employees will offer a presentation at your firm and answer your questions in person, please contact Commercial Sales Associate Robert Landis at 206.963.2580.

A smarter energy solution is closer than you think. Take the first step today.

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