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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 7      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 ]       [all actions]

Customize a model sustainable building renovation policy that includes the SB 2030 energy standard and adopt the language to govern private renovation projects that:

a.  Receive city financial support, and/or
b.  Require city regulatory approval (conditional use permits, rezonings, variances, PUD status).
  • The St. Paul sustainable building policy, adopted in 2009 and including the SB 2030 energy standard, was developed to serve as a model for other cities, which are allowed under state law to mandate building renovations that exceed the state energy code when a city is a financial or regulatory participant with a private development.
  • Realizing the Energy Efficiency Potential of Small Buildings (National Trust for Historic Preservation: 2013) finds that small, neighborhood businesses such as restaurants, grocers and retailers can improve profitability by more than 10% through smart investments in energy savings. These businesses can benefit from the pairing of (1) a city sustainable building renovation policy that sets a high bar for building performance and (2) links to efficiency financing programs.
Adopt policy beyond the state building code for residential, and/or commercial, industrial building renovations and require that buildings receiving city financial support meet the policy; note incentives/requirements for EV chargers.
Adopt a policy AND create regulatory incentives (fee waivers or expedited permitting) for renovations that meet it.
Policy requires meeting the SB 2030 energy standard; policy requires all buildings needing regulatory approvals to meet it.


Date action report first entered:   04/20/2013
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
Maplewood has adopted a model for sustainable building renovation policy and language based off the International Green Construction Code offered by the International Code Council governing commercial renovation projects require city regulatory approval.

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

View All Maplewood Actions

Saint Paul

Date action report first entered:   12/23/2014
Date of last report update:   12/23/2014

Implementation details:
The Saint Sustainable Building Policy becomes in effect for buildings where there’s added footprint (square footage) and a new HVAC system. Kurt Schultz www.stpaul.gov/sustainablebuildingpolicy

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

View All Saint Paul Actions

Saint Louis Park

Date action report first entered:   05/04/2017
Date of last report update:   05/04/2017
Year action initially completed:   2010
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   No

Implementation details:
On February 16th 2010, the City of Saint Louis Park Economic Development Authority adopted a city wide Green Building Policy. This policy affects new municipal, commercial, hotel, industrual and mixed use construction, additions 15,000 square feet or greater (gross) and renovations 50,000 square feet or greater (gross) receiving $200,000 or more in City financial assistance. This policy also affects new and renovated multifamily residential buildings receiving $200,000 or more in City financial assistance and all new and renovated detached single family home projects receiving $10,000 or more in City financial assistance.

            view file

For more information contact:
Shannon Pinc (City staff)   |   spinc@stlouispark.org   |   952-924-2191

View All Saint Louis Park 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 follows the energy standards found within the Minnesota State Building Code.

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

View All Fergus Falls Actions

Shoreview pending

Date action report first entered:   02/14/2013

Implementation details:
b. Yes, regulatory approval required. Considered at planning stage of project with Planning Commission. Environmental Quality Committee also reviews project plans, including stormwater and landscape plan.

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

View All Shoreview 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