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GreenStep City Best Practices Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Public Buildings
no. 1

Benchmark energy and water usage, identify savings opportunities in consultation with state programs, utilities and others to implement cost-effective energy and sustainability improvements.
  Best Practice Action 5      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ]       [all actions]

Document that the new construction or major remodeling of a public building has met the SB 2030 energy standard or has met or qualified under a green building or energy framework.

  • List of green building frameworks, which include codes, standards (including the SB 2030 energy standard), rating systems with certification, and guidelines with verification. Frameworks such as LEED address issues related to energy consumption and building air tightness such as toxicity, indoor air quality, water use, landscaping and integrated pest management.
  • Many sustainability features can be worked into an office remodel as in this 2016 remodel that, utilizing various third-party sustainable purchasing specifications, salvaged and recycled building materials, and used reclaimed, recycled-content, energy- and water-efficient and non-toxic materials and furniture.
  • See action 1.3 for tracking and reporting energy use reduction in the B3 database.
  • 32 GreenStep cities (as of summer 2018) had within their boarders a Minnesota National Guard facility where typically some more sustainable building improvements have been made.
Report one city building or school, or county/other government building, that used a green building standard or certification or code (3rd party verification not required) OR that has several sustainability features that were NOT required by city policy. Report city policies that require green building features under action 3.1; report park buildings under best practice action 18.7
Report, for 2 or more buildings, use of a green building standard or certification or code or city-determined list of sustainability features buildings; third-party verification not necessary. Report energy use reduction in remodels.
Show that a new or remodeled building has been certified at gold-equivalent or better; report at least one building that meets the SB 2030 energy standard.

Elk River

Date action report first entered:   11/24/2010

Implementation details:
The Elk River Public Library is certified LEED Gold by the USGBC.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The library has vastly lower energy usage than other buildings of its type and size according to B3 benchmarking. (45.9% of a normal library of its size)

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.elk-river.mn.us/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={D6C1620D-5BED-4374-A206-5A57BC3652DD}

For more information contact:
Amanda Bednar (City staff)   |   ABednar@ElkRiverMN.gov   |   763-635-1068

View All Elk River Actions

Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

Date action report first entered:   07/17/2018
Date of last report update:   07/31/2018
Year action initially completed:   2010
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
In 2010 FDL constructed a new Resource Management Division and Tribal Court building which was the first LEED certified building in Carlton County. The new building features a 12.5kw solar array, utilizes passive solar and daytime lighting, low flow water fixtures, and a green roof and storm garden to help mitigate erosion.

For more information contact:
Shannon Judd (City staff)   |   shannonjudd@fdlrez.com   |   218-878-7123

View All Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Actions


Date action report first entered:   05/02/2016
Date of last report update:   05/02/2016

Implementation details:
In September of 2013, the Maplewood City Council adopted the Maplewood Green Building Program. The Green Building Program is based on the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC). Maplewood was the first city in the country to adopt a Green Building Code based on the new international standards. Fire Station No. 1 (600 McKnight Road) was the first building in the nation designed and built to the specifications of the new code. The City tracks the energy use for all City buildings through the B3 benchmarking program. After reviewing the energy use from the first year of operation, Fire Station No. 1 is using significantly less energy than its counterparts in the City and around the State. The largest impact has been the decrease in the amount of natural gas used to heat the building. Fire Station No. 1 had a decrease of 38 percent in natural gas use in 2015 compared to the other fire stations in the City. This energy reduction equates to $5,000 in energy savings per year.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Reduction in energy use.

Descriptive links: http://www.maplewoodmn.gov/756/Green-Building-Program

For more information contact:
Jason Brash (City staff)   |   Jason.brash@maplewoodmn.gov   |   651-249-2324

View All Maplewood Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/14/2013

Implementation details:
Maintenance Center renovation - first in the nation to be certified under the 2009 LEED rating system and fifth City facility in the state to be LEED certified.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The existing building was renovated and updated through the installation of a new roof, mechanical system replacements, and electrical and lighting system improvements. Will add basline B3 comparisons.

Descriptive links: http://www.shoreviewmn.gov/pdfs/shoreviews/2011-june.pdf

For more information contact:
Ellen Brenna (City staff)   |   ebrenna@shoreviewmn.gov   |   651-490-4665

View All Shoreview Actions

Apple Valley

Date action report first entered:   08/05/2011

Implementation details:
The Liquor Store #3 and Hayes Community and Senior Center buildings are both Green Globes certified for their green building standards.

For more information contact:
Charless Grawe (City staff)   |   CGrawe@ci.apple-valley.mn.us   |   952-953-2508

View All Apple Valley Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/27/2016
Date of last report update:   02/26/2016

Implementation details:
Austin Public Schools built a new Intermediate School in 2013 utilizing LEED principles in the design, but has not attempted to certify it. The building currently has an Energy Star score of 96. Some of the building technologies employed include thermal energy storage, intelligent toilet flush valves, hydration stations, daylight harvesting, chilled beam ventilation and LED light fixtures. The first year of operation saw energy use of 77.24 kbtu/SF/yr. while we were working to fine tune the building systems. We have been able to reduce that to 60.48 kbtu/SF/yr. and are continuing to analyze energy use and patterns to reduce it even further. In addition, a group of students recently started an initiative to recycle all of the milk cartons on a daily basis with Waste Management. We started this in early January and are hopeful it will reduce the waste stream.

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For more information contact:
Janet Anderson (Community volunteer)   |   janetanderson2840@gmail.com   |   5072190680

Austin Public Schools

View All Austin Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/19/2012

Implementation details:
The City's Fire Safety Center, which opened in the spring of 2011, is the first Green Globe certified Fire Station in the Country (recipient of two gree nglobes in June 2011). The facility includes geothermal heating,repurposed wood from trees that were removed from the site, and many other sustainable features.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The baseline has not been set for this building as yet. The building was occupied May 5, 2011 and the first baseline for the building will be established after 12 full months of utility usage has been documented. The B3 reporting continues each month to establish that baseline.

Descriptive links: http://www.cityofeagan.com/live/article.aspx?id=40399

For more information contact:
Cherryl Mesko (City staff)   |   cmesko@cityofeagan.com   |   651-675-5505

View All Eagan Actions

Fergus Falls

Date action report first entered:   01/14/2016
Date of last report update:   03/16/2018

Implementation details:
The Fergus Falls Police Station received the Silver LEED Award for their new building project at the October 5, 2015 City Council meeting. The Community Arena, Water and Waste Water Treatment plants and Fire Hall have installed LED lighting.

For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff)   |   len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us   |   218-332-5418

View All Fergus Falls Actions

Golden Valley

Date action report first entered:   11/29/2016
Date of last report update:   03/30/2018
Year action initially completed:   2017
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
Brookview was designed to meet the LEED silver certification requirements. Major sustainable design elements on the Brookview project include: • bicycle racks at north and east entrance • three new storm water management basins • solar reflective roofs and roof pavers to reduce heat island effect, and solar-panel-friendly roof design for future solar panel installations • high-efficiency, low-water-use plumbing fixtures throughout • high efficiency electrical and mechanical systems • overall building designed to achieve approximately 15 percent reduction in energy use compared to non-green construction • recycled/re-constituted veneer used for interior wood doors • conference tables made from salvaged wood from trees damaged in storms • reclaimed white oak paneling in lobby and restaurant • low-VOC adhesives, paints, coatings, and flooring • high-tech lighting control system with ad-justment for daylight and occupancy • abundant natural daylight in public spaces and offices • LED light fixtures throughout • native and/or drought-resistant and resilient plants selected for landscaping

Descriptive links: http://www.goldenvalleymn.gov/recreation/brookview/brookview-study.php

For more information contact:
Rick Birno (City staff)   |   rbirno@goldenvalleymn.gov   |   (763)-512-2342

View All Golden Valley Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/26/2013

Implementation details:
The Orness Plaza Apartment Complex, owned and operated by the Mankato Housing and Redevelopment Authority, received grant funding to assist with its rehabilitation. The 1970s era building has been revitalized with a geothermal heating system and central air conditioning, among other improvements. Reserved parking stalls for designated fuel efficient and hybrid vehicles have also been included as part of the rehabilitation program. The Rosa Parks Elementary School was certified LEED Gold in January 2012. It was the second LEED-certified building in south-central Minnesota. Opened in fall of 2010, the sustainable features of the facility include a ground source heat pump system for heating and cooling the school, occupancy sensors for lighting, regional and recycled material use, water-saving fixtures and landscape and many indoor air quality strategies. Completed in fall of 2012 and awarded LEED Gold status in 2013, Mankato's Public Safety Center has been remodeled for the future and is the most significant investment in a city of Mankato public safety facility within the last 40 years. It has been converted to bring police and fire staff together for the first time ever in one facility. The city is better positioned for optimal response times, particularly to West Mankato, the hilltop area and neighborhoods to the west, south and north of the university. Building updates have been made to last well into the future. As a remodeled, re-used building, major upgrades include: • Energy efficient--since the Public Safety Center is more than 40 percent efficient compared to a typically designed building since it uses less energy, saves costs and benefits the environment; • Location--the Public Safety Center is well-placed in a downtown location surrounded by services and transportation options, providing bike racks and reserving preferred parking for hybrid vehicles and carpools; • Materials and resources--the Public Safety Center is a reused building that uses reclaimed and recycled materials for sustainability; • Air quality--air ventilation and filtration and a heating and cooling system provide efficient and cost-effective maintenance of building temperatures * A passive solar array integrated on roof of the building to reduce energy use and costs.

Outcome measures/metrics:
The Orness Plaza project received LEED Silver certification on March 27th, 2013. The Rosa Parks Elementary School project received LEED Gold Certification in January 2012. The Mankato Public Safety Center received LEED Gold Certification on April 26th, 2013.

Descriptive links: http://mankatofreepress.com/local/x1267396396/Rosa-Parks-certified-gold

For more information contact:
Molly Westman (City staff)   |   mwestman@mankatomn.gov   |   507-387-8571

Blue Earth County, Paulsen Architects, R.W. Carlstrom, and BARKL Consulting

View All Mankato Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/19/2016
Date of last report update:   02/14/2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
In 2008, the City built a new Public Works Facility as a model for incorporating sustainable design principles in the architectural design as well as the building's operations. The building was designed to meet LEED certification; however, the City decided not to seek certification due to the high cost. The building employs occupancy sensors throughout, low-flow water fixtures; state-of-the art HVAC systems, etc. Public Works Facility: Maximizes energy efficiency (30-35% better than standard construction), ground source heat pump, daylighting. Green construction and deconstruction (65% demolition materials and construction waste recycled). Low-flow water fixtures. Exceeds the zoning open space requirements by 10%. Manages close to 100% of stormwater on site via rain gardens, retention ponds, minimized building footprint, and permeable paving. All lighting is LED.

For more information contact:
Chris Link (City staff)   |   clink@richfieldmn.gov   |   6128619174

View All Richfield Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/29/2015
Date of last report update:   02/11/2015

Implementation details:
Tne new fire station was built with environmentally responsible construction that would be equivalent to LEED silver, though certification was not sought. It also uses geothermal heating and is designed for maximum use of daylight.

For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff)   |   Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com   |   651-792-7049

View All Roseville Actions

Saint Cloud

Date action report first entered:   05/13/2011

Implementation details:
With the recent construction of the St. Cloud Public Library, the St. Cloud Police Department, Kennedy Community School and the Stearns County Westside Service Center, GLT Architects has helped the City of St. Cloud, the St. Cloud School District and Stearns County create highly sustainable public buildings. All have daylight harvesting and lighting sensors and controls, reducing or eliminating the need for artificial light. Storm water is managed at all three through a variety of strategies including green roofs, infiltration basins and rain gardens. Kennedy School and the Westside Service Center both have geothermal heating and cooling systems, and the other two have highly efficient HVAC systems. All have water saving plumbing fixtures; and highly sustainable, easily maintainable materials were used in their construction.

For more information contact:
Liz Kramer (City staff)   |   elizabeth.kramer@ci.stcloud.mn.us   |   320-255-7226

View All Saint Cloud Actions

Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   09/24/2014
Date of last report update:   09/24/2014

Implementation details:
Plaques are installed on City-owned buildings that have undergone energy efficiency projects. All new constructions of city-owned buildings or buildings that receive more than $200,000 in public funding must comply with the Sustainable Saint Paul Building Policy. Projects completed or underway include the Western District Police Station, the Penfield, the West Side Flats, Kendall’s Ace Hardware, Arlington Hills Community Center, Episcopal Homes Nursing Home, Lofts at Farmers Market.

Descriptive links: http://www.stpaul.gov/sustainablebuildingpolicy

For more information contact:
Kurt Schultz (City staff)   |   Kurt.Schultz@ci.stpaul.mn.us   |   651-266-6530

MPCA, Minnesota State Energy Sector Partnership/ U.S. Department of Labor, U of M Center for Sustainable Building Research, Xcel Energy, District Energy, The Weidt Group

View All Saint Paul Actions


Date action report first entered:   04/23/2013

Implementation details:
In July 2009, the City Council passed a resolution to adopt a Sustainable Building Standard for New and Renovated Municipal Buildings in the City of Woodbury. The resolution states that at a minimum, the city will utilize the B3-State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines in the planning, design, construction and commission of new buildings and major renovations greater than 5,000 square feet that are owned by the City of Woodbury. Woodbury City Hall is Energy Star Certified. The B3 guidelines were utilized in the renovation and expansion of the building in 2007. Since the resolution was adopted, the renovation and expansion of Public Safety (2011) was documented through the B3 process. The expansion of the Bielenberg Sports Center is being documented through the B3 process, as well as Xcel's Energy Design Assistance Program. The new building will also meet the SB 2030 standards. Construction at Bielenberg is expected to begin spring 2013.

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For more information contact:
Jennifer McLoughlin (City staff)   |   jmcloughlin@ci.woodbury.mn.us   |   651-714-3522

View All Woodbury Actions

Coon Rapids

Date action report first entered:   04/29/2016
Date of last report update:   04/29/2016

Implementation details:
In 2010, the Coon Rapids Ice Center was built to include several sustainable practices related to green building and energy framework. The Ice Center includes a high-efficiency boiler system. The waste heat that comes off the refrigeration system in the building is reused to melt snow that is removed from the ice, saving energy on a regular basis. This waste head is also used to heat the Zamboni machine flood water. The Ice Center lobby and rink were both designed to utilize natural sunlight via the use of large windows. These designs have reduced heating costs for the building and provide a significant aesthetic appeal. Additionally, the lighting systems in both the lobby and rink are equipped with sensors to automatically adjust to natural sunlight, which further reduce energy use. High ceilings and large windows make this building very bright and inviting, which has helped make it a perfect place for many community activities. During construction for this building, energy efficiency was a high priority. Recycled and repurposed building materials were also utilized during construction.

Descriptive links: http://coonrapidsmn.gov/183/Ice-Center

For more information contact:
Colleen Sinclair (City staff)   |   csinclair@coonrapidsmn.gov   |   763-767-6485

View All Coon Rapids Actions


Date action report first entered:   01/03/2015
Date of last report update:   04/19/2016

Implementation details:
Crystal is constructing a new Public Works facility and the building is being constructed under a green building framework, following LEED standards. The new facility includes Energy Star and energy efficient appliances and systems as well as geothermal heating.

For more information contact:
Anne Norris (City staff)   |   Anne.Norris@crystalmn.gov   |   763-531-1140

View All Crystal Actions

Elko New Market

Date action report first entered:   03/19/2016
Date of last report update:   04/27/2018
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
The city's brand new water treatment facility began operation on 01/01/2016 and was constructed using a green building framework. The property used some recycled materials and is heated using hot water circulation methods and air circulators. It also uses energy efficient lighting and the new facility is generally more efficient provided its age. In addition, it should be noted that the City's Public Works Facility, which was occupied beginning 10/15 was constructed using the same green methods as the Water Treatment Facility. going forward, new and renovated City buildings will require specs that require green building methods.

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.enm.mn.us/

For more information contact:
Mark Nagel (City staff)   |   mnagel@ci.enm.mn.us   |   952-461-2777

View All Elko New Market Actions


Date action report first entered:   03/05/2013

Implementation details:
Remodeled grocery store has met all of the energy efficient construction.

For more information contact:
Dianne Johnson (City staff)   |   heda@runestone.net   |   320-986-2448

Hoffman Building Systems, Ottertail Power

View All Hoffman Actions

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Date action report first entered:   04/13/2015
Date of last report update:   04/13/2015

Implementation details:
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Green Team works with core construction committees to implement green practices on each new construction project.

For more information contact:
Brandy Toft (City staff)   |   air@lldrm.org   |   218-335-7429

View All Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Actions

Red Wing

Date action report first entered:   01/30/2013

Implementation details:
City Hall, built in 1907, doesn't meet any LEED standards, but the city has successfully brought a 105 year old building up to today's energy efficiency standards/codes for heating, cooling, ventilation, etc. with new state of the art systems.

For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff)   |   paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us   |   651-410-6744

View All Red Wing Actions


Date action report first entered:   06/01/2011

Implementation details:
Rochester completed construction of the new Minnesota BioBusiness Building. The 8 story, 124,000 BioBusiness Center was completed in early spring 2009. The building is connected to downtown, Mayo, and UMR by a climate controlled pedestrian skyway system. Ample parking is available in a newly expanded municipal garage. Specifically related to the Transit Operations Center including the storage garage the following technologies have been incorporated into the design. (Note- due to the cost the City is not pursuing LEEDS certification.) 1) Geothermal heating and cooling 2) Natural day lighting 3) Photocell daylight controlled indoor light fixtures 4) Quality indoor lighting 5) Photocell and timer controlled exterior light fixtures 6) Exterior light pollution control 7) Exterior sun shading devices 8) Internal sun shading devices 9) Low maintenance site landscaping 10) Automatic (sensor controlled) plumbing fixtures 11) Increased roof system warranty from 15 years to 25 years 12) Use of waste oil on-site to partially heat maintenance areas 13) Majority of exterior building cladding materials are produced within 500 miles of the site 14) Low life cycle costs for exterior building cladding materials 15) On-site bio and storm water retention basins to control and infiltrate most storm water 16) Pervious asphalt, concrete and unit site pavements 17) Facility is located on a bus route and on bike path 18) On-site bike rack parking equipment and showers 19) Energy recovery ventilators for fleet garage and maintenance areas 20) Automated system controls 21) Fundamental building energy systems commissioning 22) Site is entirely a smoke free zone Contact Tony Knauer

Descriptive links: http://www.minnesotabiobusinesscenter.com/description.aspx

For more information contact:
Steven Kvenold (City staff)   |   skvenold@rochestermn.gov   |   507-328-2000

View All Rochester Actions

Sauk Rapids

Date action report first entered:   03/03/2013

Implementation details:
The City participated in an energy design assistance process with Xcel Energy during the design process for its new city government center constructed in 2011/2012. The City chose and implemented the maximum bundle option, which included energy efficient strategies for envelope insulation, window glazing, daylighting control, and HVAC efficiency, among others. For a $77,954 investment, the City is projected to save about $14,097 on its annual energy bills, providing a return on investment of 5.5 years. When practical, the City selected green options for its new building construction.

For more information contact:
Marilyn Patterson (Community volunteer)   |   mpp03@charter.net   |   320-258-5300

View All Sauk Rapids Actions

White Bear Lake

Date action report first entered:   03/25/2013

Implementation details:
The City's new public works building was constructed to the equivalent of LEED silver. The City did not apply for actual certification because of the cost to be certified. This building opened in 2010.

For more information contact:
Connie Taillon (City staff)   |   ctaillon@whitebearlake.org   |   651-429-8564

View All White Bear Lake Actions

Arlington pending

Date action report first entered:   08/18/2015
Date of last report update:   08/18/2015

Implementation details:
Sibley East in Arlington will soon be undertaking a large construction and remodel of their High School. A representative from MMPA and the City meets periodically with the school architect and engineer to discuss adding a rain garden and many energy efficiencies throughout the project.

Outcome measures/metrics:
This will be an ongoing process into 2016. Staff to post updates as they are available.

For more information contact:
Liza Donabauer (City staff)   |   ldonabauer@arlingtonmn.com   |   507-964-2378

View All Arlington Actions

Silver Bay pending

Date action report first entered:   03/31/2014
Date of last report update:   05/12/2014

Implementation details:
Silver Bay has planned to construct a WARF Greenhouse Bio-fuel Energy Facility as a part of their developing eco-park.This project integrates the production of algae for bio-diesel along with agriculture and aquaculture. The bio-diesel generated from algae will be used by local industries and be another renewable energy source for not only the Greenhouse, but the entire park.

For more information contact:
Lana Fralich (City staff)   |   lanaf@silverbay.com   |   218-226-4408

View All Silver Bay Actions

pending means a star rating has not yet been assigned to this city

greenstep advisor
Peter Lindstrom, Local Government Outreach Coordinator, Clean Energy Resource Teams: 612/625-9634, plindstr@umn.edu, http://tinyurl.com/PeterCERTS