Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 2.7

GreenStep City Best Practices: Buildings and Lighting
Efficient Existing Private Buildings No. 2

Provide incentives for energy, water and sustainability improvements in existing residential, not-for-profit and commercial buildings/building sites.

Best Practice Action 7

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.
1 star 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.
2 star Adopt a policy AND create regulatory incentives (fee waivers or expedited permitting) for renovations that meet it.
3 star Policy requires meeting the SB 2030 energy standard; policy requires all buildings needing regulatory approvals to meet it.

Who's doing it

Edina - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2021
Implementation details:
In November of 2021, Edina City Council adopted the Sustainable Buildings Policy, which became effective on April 1st, 2022. This policy states that all new construction or major renovations to which the policy applies are required to be certified under an eligible Sustainable Building Rating System at the listed rating level, and must meet the standards set forth in the Edina Overlay. Applicants may choose one Sustainable Building Rating System with which to comply, and must comply with the full Edina Overlay. Applicable versions of Sustainable Rating Systems and Overlay standards include the most recent or current iteration of a rating system in existence at the time of development application.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
As part of our Climate Action Plan, Edina has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030. Since the built environment has shown to be a significant contributor to Edina’s greenhouse gas footprint, this policy will help further ensure we, as a community, meet this goal by requiring applicable new developments be built to minimize emissions and environmental impact during construction, and during operation of said buildings.
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Partners:
Maplewood - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Jason Brash (City staff) | Jason.brash@maplewoodmn.gov | 651-249-2324
Partners:
Saint Paul - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
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
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Kurt Schultz (City staff) | Kurt.Schultz@ci.stpaul.mn.us | 651-266-6530
Partners:
Saint Louis Park - 1 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2010
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.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File: view file
For more information contact:
Emily Ziring (City Staff) | eziring@stlouispark.org | 952-924-2191
Partners: