It takes a big idea to make changes in the world possible. Minnesota is happy to be at the forefront of construction with the next big idea. A new plan, called the MN Sustainable Building (SB) 2030 B3 program, is designed with the end goal of creating only net zero energy and carbon buildings in the state of Minnesota by the year 2030.

With this new program, there are many questions about design and construction for new buildings. Below is a brief overview of the program and what it means to your new construction project.

What is the MS SB 2030 B3 Program?

Greenhouse gasses are a major contributor to the current environmental problems throughout the world. Scientists have estimated that up to 48% of all greenhouse gasses come from commercial buildings. Therefore, Minnesota has created a new program designed to reduce, and eventually eliminate, the carbon output in all commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings.

Using the Architecture 2030 program as a guide, Minnesota has created a customized plan that suits our building types and location. In 2015 we saw new construction buildings perform 70% better than the energy standard. Our goal is to have all new construction buildings operate as net zero energy buildings by 2030.

What Does This Mean for Your Building?

If you are considering new construction of a commercial building, or are looking to undergo a significant renovation of an existing building, you may be subject to follow the outlined requirements for the MS SB 2030 B3 Program.

If your building is set to receive a Minnesota State backed bond for funding, you are required to adhere to the new program. Participation for privately funded construction projects is voluntary but strongly encouraged.

New projects planned between 2020 and 2024 must show an 80% reduction from the energy usage baseline. This number is calculated by using the Energy Standard Tool. Currently, the tool is useful for 17 different building types. Your new build project will be compared to a similar building type, in a similar location, and must achieve an 80% reduction in energy usage when compared to the 2003 energy baseline model. Your new construction design will be evaluated based on compliance to the program for design, construction, and usage for an estimated 10 year occupancy span.

How is This Achieved

The MN SB 2030 B3 program hopes to achieve a gradual reduction in greenhouse gasses produced by commercial buildings through two main points of focus:

●        First, commercial buildings will be graded on their use of onsite renewable energy. This can range from solar energy, to wind powered energy, to the use of geothermal energy sources.

●        Second, the building will be assessed on its energy efficiency. The power used within the building must be used in the most effective ways possible, using alternative lighting, heating, and cooling techniques to help reduce commercial greenhouse gases.

Our entire engineering team at Gausman & Moore is passionate about sustainability and renewable energy sources. With Minnesota's new SB 2030 B3 program, we are excited to be at the forefront of design and technology, leading the way for sustainable commercial construction.

 To learn more about past projects we have been a part of check out our portfolio. And for more information about our sustainability practices, contact our team today.