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GreenStep City Best Practices Buildings and Lighting

New Green Buildings
no. 3

Construct new buildings to meet or qualify under a green building framework.
  Best Practice Action 1      [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]       [all actions]

Require by city policy that new city-owned buildings be built using the SB 2030 energy standard and/or a green building framework.

  • The St. Paul sustainable building policy was developed to serve as a model for other cities. It governs both buildings the city builds itself and private construction when a city is a financial participant. See also a list of green building frameworks, which include codes, standards, rating systems with certification and guidelines with verification. For green garage certification see Parksmart, which assesses 50 elements of parking facility sustainability, including management practices, encouraging alternate modes of transportation and community engagement, and efficient and sustainable technology and structure design (so garages can be reused as warehouses, offices or other uses due to having flat floors and high ceilings).
  • One of the frameworks - the State of Minnesota B3 Guidelines - are for new construction and substantial renovation of government buildings. These Guidelines have been developed for and are required on State-funded projects in Minnesota, however they are easily applied to any project to meet sustainability goals for site, water, energy, indoor environment, materials and waste. The SB 2030 Energy Standard is automatically included, as are detailed sustainability standards such as bird-safe buildings.
  • 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.
Require use of a green building standard or certification or code or city-determined list of sustainability features for some but not all city buildings; third-party verification not necessary. Note solar orientation requirements. Report under best practice action 1.5 new/existing city buildings with green features that were NOT built under a green building policy; report school buildings under 3.2, park buildings under 18.7, and private buildings under 2.4
Require either all buildings to use a green building framework, or that some buildings be certified/rated under a green building framework.
Require either the SB 2030 energy standard or that all buildings be certified/rated under a 3rd-party green building framework.


Date action report first entered:   04/14/2014
Date of last report update:   05/01/2015

Implementation details:
In December of 2009, Maplewood adopted an energy efficiency and conservation strategy. This plan was required as part of the City's energy efficiency conservation block grant. One of the intended goals of the energy plan was to help establish policies and priorities to move Maplewood in the direction of improved long-term operational energy efficiency. To design the Maplewood Green Building Code representatives from the building inspection division of the Environmental and Economic Development Department partnered with the International Code Council to assist in the development of a National Green Building Standards for residential buildings and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC) for commercial buildings. The Maplewood Green Building program is based on these new national codes. This building ordinance applies to all city owned or financed building. City-owned existing buildings will be prioritized for compliance with the 2012 IgCC Chapter 10. All city-financed buildings and projects will be considered by the City Manager, or designee, and approved by the city council to determine inclusion in this green building program. The newest city building, the McKnight Fire Station is the first building in Minnesota to be built to these specifications. Both the building as well as the site contain the qualifications listed within the IgCC 2012. Link to Maplewoods Fire Station Article: http://www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/11801

Descriptive links: http://www.ci.maplewood.mn.us/DocumentCenter/View/10619

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

View All Maplewood Actions


Date action report first entered:   12/18/2012

Implementation details:
Since 2001, city policy has been that any new construction or major remodel of a city facility is required to be built using Oakdale's own Generation Green building program standards. As a result, an addition at public works, a new fire station, and the Discovery Center at Oakdale Nature Preserve were all built to the Generation Green standard. Some of the green building strategies implemented included: increased wall/roof insulation standards, use of recycled construction materials, native habitat landscaping, upgraded HVAC equipment and controls.

For more information contact:
Jen Hassebroek (City staff)   |   jen.hassebroek@ci.oakdale.mn.us   |   651-730-2723

View All Oakdale Actions

Saint Louis Park

Date action report first entered:   05/04/2017
Date of last report update:   05/05/2017
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.

Descriptive links: https://greenstep.pca.state.mn.us/viewFile.cfm?id=3683

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

View All Saint Louis Park Actions

Saint Paul

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

Implementation details:
The Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy was adopted by Mayor Chris Coleman and the City Council and became effective July 1, 2010. It applies to new city-owned buildings and all privately developed new construction projects receiving more than $200,000 in public funding. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency granted Saint Paul funds to develop this policy, with the intent of creating a model policy that other cities and counties could adopt.

Descriptive links: www.stpaul.gov/sustainablebuildingpolicy

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

City of Saint Paul, MPCA, MN State Energy Sector Partnership, US Dept. 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 October 2009, Woodbury City Council passed a resolution adopting a sustainable building standard for new and renovated municipal buildings in the city. The resolution states that 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. The resolution also states that city staff will consider the feasibility of pursuing Energy Star or LEED certification for the same. Since the resolution was passed, the city has utilized the B3 guidelines and documented the renovation and expansion of the Public Safety Building and the Bielenberg Sports Complex. In addition, Woodbury City Hall is Energy Star certified.

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

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Fergus Falls

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

Implementation details:
The City of Fergus Falls has recently completed the design development phase for a renovated/new construction project at our Public Library. The city and BTR has reviewed the design to incorporate green building framework standards.

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

View All Fergus Falls Actions

Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

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

Implementation details:
Leech Lake encourages a list of Green Initiatives depending on construction and building infrastructure that may be implemented, taking into account budget constraints. For example, use of energy efficient lighting, heating, cooling, high r-value insulation, passive solar/lighting and orientation of building.

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:   04/30/2014

Implementation details:
Mankato's policy is to look for opportunities to maximize energy-efficiency and sustainability in locating and constructing new City facilities, and when renovating existing faciliies. Strategic planning of facilities allows efficient use of public funds and opportunities for leadership in sustainable practices.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Orness Plaza renovations, the City's first LEED-certified facility, have saved $27,000 annually in water and fuel expenses by using a geothermal system, EnergyStar appliances, water-conserving fixtures, and updated insulated siding.

Descriptive links: http://www.mankato-mn.gov/upload/images/PI/City-Manager-monthly-topic-October-2013-LEED-building-sustainability.pdf

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

View All Mankato Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/19/2016
Date of last report update:   02/15/2019
Action completed after joining GreenStep?   Yes

Implementation details:
Most major City building construction and rehabilitation projects will require financing (typically bonds) from the State. As such, the projects will comply with the Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines, which are designed to exceed the State energy code by at least 30 percent and achieve the lowest possible lifetime costs. The sustainability policies in the City's Parks Master Plan states, "That all new park and facility improvements include in the planning or process criterion that improves sustainability of materials, energy use, operating cost and lifecycle replacement and natural environmental impact. Best practices for stormwater retention. That innovative stormwater retention techniques be utilized in new park development and in the renovation of existing parks, such as permeable paving and rain gardens.

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

View All Richfield Actions


Date action report first entered:   02/14/2014

Implementation details:
Planning was done in 2013 and construction began winter 2013 and completition in July 2014. Reducing electric usage for heating apartments from using PTack units to using mini split cold temperature heat pumps with natural gas boiler heat for floor heat in new addition.

Outcome measures/metrics:
Cheaper electric operating costs along with more energy effiecent heating and cooling for the building as a whole along with management of individual apartment thermastats from a master computer monitoring system.

Descriptive links: Warren Assisted Living Building Project

For more information contact:
Shannon Mortenson (City staff)   |   shannonm@warrenminnesota.com   |   218-745-5343

View All Warren Actions

Apple Valley pending

Date action report first entered:   03/19/2012

Implementation details:
Apple Valley has two Green Globes certified city-owned buildings: the Hayes Senior & Community Center and Liquor Store #3

View All Apple Valley Actions

Eagan pending

Date action report first entered:   04/04/2011

Implementation details:
Eagan's new Fire Safety Center will be certified as a GreenGlobe certified facility. The City does not currently have an ordinance that requires green building standards for new or remodeled city-owned buildings.

For more information contact:
Mike Scott (City staff)   |   mscott@cityofeagan.com   |   651/675-5910

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Rochester pending

Date action report first entered:   06/13/2011

Implementation details:
Subd. 7. The City of Rochester is a signatory to the 2005 US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement (MCPA), which has been endorsed by the US Conference of Mayors, and signed by more than 900 US Mayors and 40 Minnesota cities as of February, 2009. Under the agreement, cities commit to the following: (1) urge the federal government and state governments to enact policies and programs to meet or beat the target of reducing greenhouse gas emission levels to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012; (2) promote land use and transportation policies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions; (3) increase the use of clean, renewable energy and make energy efficiency a priority; (4) adopt purchasing and building construction and operation practices that reduce greenhouse gas emissions; (5) increase recycling rates and urban forest cover; and (6) support education efforts about how to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Public Works practices addressing 4) Support of Olmsted Countys Solid Waste Policy and location of Waste to Energy Facility within the City limits; (5) Implementation of Inflow and Infiltration Policies to reduce the capacity and operational impacts and costs on the public sewer collection and wastewater treatment system; (6) Construction of sustainable, durable, long lasting public buildings and infrastructure that increases life cycles, conserves energy, reduces long-term operating costs, and minimizes construction materials waste. (7) Incorporation of smart technologies in transportation infrastructure that increases public safety and reduces pollution due to congestion;

For more information contact:
Jeff Ellerbusch (City staff)   |   ellerbusch.jeff@CO.OLMSTED.MN.US   |   507-328-7132

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Shoreview pending

Date action report first entered:   02/14/2013

Implementation details:
Is a goal but not required.

Descriptive links: http://www.shoreviewmn.gov/pdfs/comprehensive-plan/CPConservation.pdf

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
Laura Millberg, MBA, LEED AP BD+C, Sustainable Development and Climate Resilience Principal Planner, MN Pollution Control Agency: 651/757-2568, laura.millberg@state.mn.us, http://www.pca.state.mn.us/yhiz6ef