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FAQs for SEED

What is SEED?

SEED is the State Energy Efficient Design program. 
 
SEED was originally established in 1991 as a result of Oregon State law, ORS 276.900-915. This law directs state agencies to work with the Oregon Department of Energy to ensure cost-effective energy conservation measures (ECMs) are included in new and renovated public buildings. 
 
The law was revised in 2001 (House Bill 3788) to require that all state facilities constructed on or after June 30, 2001 exceed the energy conservation provisions of the Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code by at least 20 percent.

Senate Bill 242 in 2011 exempted the Oregon University System from complying with SEED requirements starting on Jan. 1, 2012.

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How does SEED work?

Under SEED rules, state agencies are required to notify the Oregon Department of Energy’s SEED Program of any new construction or renovation projects.
 
Depending upon the size and complexity of the project, SEED staff provides technical consulting services to state agencies, and/or their authorized contractors throughout the course of a project. State agencies reimburse the SEED Program for services rendered. Fees are capped at 0.2 percent of capital construction costs.
 
These services ensure that all cost-effective energy conservation measures are included in the building design and that the building exceeds the energy conservation provisions of the Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code by more than 20 percent.

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Who is required to follow SEED?

SEED applies to all state agencies that are authorized to finance the construction, purchase, or renovation of state owned buildings. It is not optional.
 
The only instance where SEED does not apply is when a facility has absolutely no energy using systems.

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Who pays for SEED?

State agencies, involved in the construction and/or renovation of state-owned buildings pay for SEED. In order to meet the requirements of SEED, state agencies may incur higher design and/or construction costs. Early involvement by SEED can help minimize these costs.
 
State agencies reimburse the SEED program for services provided based on an hourly rate for the actual hours worked on a project. Invoices are issued quarterly. As established by ORS 276.900-915, total charges cannot exceed 0.2 percent of a project's capital construction costs.
 
The goal of SEED is to ensure that all cost-effective ECMs are included in state buildings and that the buildings exceed the energy efficiency required by the Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code. History has shown that the greater the commitment by the agencies to achieve this goal the less work SEED staff must do, and the less cost to the agency for SEED assistance.

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Why do SEED?

  1. By constructing and renovating buildings with energy efficiency in mind, state agencies can significantly reduce long-term operating costs. In some cases, initial capital costs may also be reduced. Those savings can be redirected to fund essential services. Additional benefits of energy efficiency are reducing environmental impacts and improving comfort for building occupants.
  2. It´s the law.

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What is the ODOE's role in SEED?

The department’s role is to assist the state agency. ODOE acts as the owner's representative, assists them through the SEED process, and works with the design team to meet the SEED requirements. We also act as the owner's expert on energy efficient building design practices and provide an additional level of project quality control.
 
Beginning the SEED process early in a project helps ensure that all parties are on the same page from the beginning and limits the possibility of future surprises.

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What is SEED's history?

1991
ORS 276.900-915 adopted by legislature.
OAR 330-130 written. Officially establishes SEED program.
1998
OAR 330-130 amended. Major changes included adopting a two-path approach to SEED (Design Review Method or Design Assistance Method), establishing an hourly fee for services, and setting a cap on service charges of 0.2 percent of the first $3 million and 0.05 percent of costs over $3 million.
2001
House Bill 3788 passed by legislature. Amended ORS 276.900-915 to include "20 percent better than code, unless otherwise required by rule" and renewable energy provisions.
2001
OAR 330-130 amended. Major changes included eliminating the Design Assistance Method and establishing the Metering Plan, Verification Plan, and Post-Occupancy Monitoring.
2002
OAR 330-130 amended. Changed fee cap of 0.05 percent of construction costs to 0.20 percent of construction costs.
2003
OAR 330-130 amended. Major changes included changing wording to more accurately reflect current practices.
2008
OAR 330-130 amended. Among other changes, requires pre-qualification of energy analysts performing energy analysis.

2011

Senate Bill 242 passed benate Bill 242 passed by legislature. Exempted the Oregon University System from complying with SEED requirements starting on Jan. 1, 2012.

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How will my agency benefit?

By constructing and renovating buildings with energy efficiency in mind, state agencies can significantly reduce long-term operating costs. In some cases, initial capital costs may also be reduced. Those savings can be redirected to fund essential services. Additional benefits of energy efficiency are reducing environmental impacts and improving comfort for building occupants.

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What if the program objective is not met?

If for some reason the project does not meet program objectives, the state agency must submit a plan to bring the project into compliance.

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What is the difference between a Class 1 and Class 2 Building?

Class 1 Buildings are defined as follows:

  1. New buildings, additions, or renovations of 10,000 ft2 or more of heated or cooled floor area; and
  2. Building additions that increase the size of an existing building to 10,000 ft2 or more of heated or cooled floor area and renovations to buildings of 10,000 ft2 or more of heated or cooled floor area, which significantly affect:
    • i) The existing mechanical or control systems; or
    • ii) At least two of the following energy systems: interior lighting, building envelope, domestic hot water, or special equipment
    • iii) Only those systems identified in (i) and (ii) that are significantly affected are subject to the SEED requirements.) Only those systems identified in (i) and (ii) that are significantly affected are subject to the SEED requirements.

Class 2 Buildings are all new buildings or renovations of less than 10,000 ft2 of heated or cooled floor area except:

  1. Those described as Class 1 Buildings; and
  2. New buildings, structures, or facilities of any size which have no energy using systems. 

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What do I need to do for Class 2 Buildings?

  • Notify ODOE about impending project(s) by completing the project notification form.
  • Agency incorporates all reasonable, cost-effective ECMs into the building design.
  • Agency reports to ODOE on cost-effective ECMs installed within six months after project completion.

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