It's a common story that resonates with many local governments: plunging building permits, shrinking budgets, hiring freezes and overworked staffers who are charged with driving sustainability initiatives — such as encouraging green building — with little support. The story is no different in King County, Wash., the state's most-populous county and home to Seattle and 38 other cities. But King County's green building program, GreenTools, has helped its cities ...

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