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GreenStep City Best Practices Buildings and Lighting

Efficient Existing Private Buildings
no. 2

Provide incentives for energy, water and sustainability improvements in existing buildings/building sites.
  Best Practice Action 2      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]       [all actions]

Integrate green building best practices information and assistance into the building permit process.

  • At various steps leading up to when a resident or builder secures a building permit, cities can provide green building information sheets, building tips, checklists, case studies, lists of contractors who have built certified green buildings, information on utility rebate and other financing programs, or green building plan review.
  • The WELL Building Standard is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and wellbeing, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort, and mind. Fitwel, created by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a related standard designed for commercial interiors and multi-tenant and single-tenant buildings. Fitwel has twelve sections: location, building access, outdoor spaces, entrances and ground floor, stairwells, indoor environment, workspaces, shared spaces, water supply, cafeterias and prepared food retail, vending machines and snack bars, and emergency procedures.
  • See, for example, Burnsville's Green Guide (green remodeling strategies), Richfield's Sustainable Home Improvement Guide (2011) and the 2008 Green Remodeling Idea Book from First Suburbs Coalition of Kansas City.
  • MN Pollution Control Agency green building program resources.
  • Light-colored roofs and pavement reflect sunlight, reducing cooling costs and urban heat island effects. See A Practical Guide to Cool Roofs and Cool Pavements (Global Cool Cities Alliance).
City staff informs applicants of green building practices and resources.
All building permit applicants receive green building information and links to web resources, as well as references to local resources such as certified green builders.
Green building information offered to all applicants along with specific suggestions tailored to applications.


Date action report first entered:   05/04/2012

Implementation details:
City staff mentions green building resources informally to applicants. The City also let applicants know that they have two green building guides available on our website, as this is more sustainable then handing out information sheets. Some applications have specific green suggestions tied to their permit, if appropriate.

Descriptive links: http://www.burnsville.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1686 ; http://www.burnsville.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/1685

For more information contact:
Sue Bast (City staff)   |   basts@ci.burnsville.mn.us   |   952-895-4524

View All Burnsville Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/18/2016
Date of last report update:   02/15/2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
During the building development review process, City staff make it clear through both oral and written directives that they will evaluate proposals based on the applicable goals and objectives in the Comprehensive Plan including the City's adopted sustainability goal (ch. 4): “Emphasizing sustainability as a measure to ensure the future economic, environmental and social health of the community.”

For more information contact:
Melissa Poehlman (City staff)   |   MPoehlman@richfieldmn.gov   |   6128619766

View All Richfield Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/14/2013

Implementation details:
Energy code pamphlet with building code application. Shoreview Home Energy Improvement Loan information available online and at building permit counter. City Environmental Quality Committee reviews all new development plans at regular monthly meetings and suggest green building practices to implement.

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

View All Shoreview Actions

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

Date action report first entered:   04/13/2015
Date of last report update:   04/15/2015

Implementation details:
The Leech Lake Green Team has direct input at planning and construction meetings with all public buildings.

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

View All Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Actions


Date action report first entered:   03/20/2012
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
Currently, the city of Maplewood includes green building practices suggestions into its building code. They are finalizing the ICC700 Green building standard which will be integrated into official city code once complete. The city will work on making information available about the cost and energy savings available through various program during the building permit processes required by the city. The goal is to make building a home to the ICC700 code adopted by the city a standard throughout other construction as well.

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

View All Maplewood Actions


Date action report first entered:   08/22/2012

Implementation details:
IN PROGRESS: Marshall Municipal Utilities offers an ENERGY STAR New Homes program which provides rebates for ENERGY STAR qualification. Conservation, rebate and energy efficiency information is sent out to new building permit holders.

For more information contact:
Mark Antony (City staff)   |   MarkA@marshallutilities.com   |   (507) 537-7005

Marshall Municipal Utilities, City of Marshall

View All Marshall Actions

White Bear Lake

Date action report first entered:   05/08/2013
Date of last report update:   10/19/2016

Implementation details:
The City discusses green building practices if an applicant inquires.

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

View All White Bear Lake Actions

Fergus Falls pending

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

Implementation details:
The City of Fergus Falls is interested in more green building best practices information on our city website under the Building and Zoning Department area.

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

View All Fergus Falls Actions

Lexington pending

Date action report first entered:   08/21/2015
Date of last report update:   09/28/2015

Implementation details:
Efficient exiting Private Buildings Odd/even water watering restriction

Descriptive links: BP 2 Action2

For more information contact:
Peggy McNamara (City staff)   |   pmlexington@comcast.net   |   763-784-2792

View All Lexington 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