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Energy & Atmosphere Guidelines


To promote energy efficient buildings and renovations that reduce the state’s expenditures on imported fuel and power and have the lowest reasonable environmental impacts resulting from energy generation and the use of refrigerants harmful to the atmosphere. A parallel goal is to support and enhance the state’s building benchmarking activities for ongoing operations performance.

Energy and AtmosphereNew BuildingsMajor Renovations
E.1 Energy EfficiencyRequiredRequired
E.2 Renewable EnergyRequiredRecommended
E.3 Efficient Equipment and AppliancesRequiredRequired
E.4 Atmospheric ProtectionRecommendedRecommended


Energy consumption for building operations represents approximately one third of the total energy use in the State of Minnesota. This section of the B3 Guidelines provides guidance on mitigating both the cost of energy and associated ecological impacts that affect the state’s economy. For each building, there are multiple paths to conservation. To further reduce impacts on the environment and to promote community economic development, this guide requires a minimal baseline of onsite wind or solar renewable energy and recommends the investigation of renewable and distributed forms of power generation using wind, solar, and biomass technologies as well as other cleaner forms of hydrogen or hydrocarbon-based power generators. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) systems may be an appropriate solution for individual buildings or groups of state facilities.


  • Design New Buildings and Major Renovations subject to SB 2030 to meet the energy benchmarks of the SB 2030 program.
  • Provide building performance data for benchmarking activities.
  • Reduce plug loads and process energy through energy-smart purchasing practices.
  • Design New Buildings and Major Renovations to source at least 2% of their SB 2030 target or better final energy use from onsite renewable sources.
  • Encourage the consideration of additional power usage from renewable energy and cleaner generation systems whether generated onsite or purchased from offsite “green power” generated in Minnesota.
  • Encourage the installation of onsite renewable energy systems to provide 2% of total building energy use, in accordance with Minnesota legislation.
  • Encourage the balanced consideration of global warming potential, ozone depletion potential, and atmospheric lifetime in selecting refrigerants.
  • Help assure that long-term operations meet or exceed original design operating parameters.

General Energy and Atmosphere Information

The following information is collected in the Energy and Atmosphere Section of the B3 Guidelines Tracking Tool, under Section E.0:

Final Design:

  • Energy and atmosphere strategies used, including narrative.


  • Updated energy and atmosphere strategies used, including narrative.