Major building renovations that get funding from the city of St. Paul may soon have to meet certain green building standards, including installing electrical systems with capacity for vehicle charging and tracking water use.
The new requirements, which the City Council is likely to approve Jan. 24, would add to the city's Sustainable Building Policy. Adopted in 2010, the policy requires new buildings that get more than $200,000 in city funding to be certified under a sustainable building standard, such as LEED, and meet the requirements of the St. Paul Overlay — a list that includes managing stormwater and diverting construction waste from landfills.
The updated policy would apply both to new construction and to renovation projects over 10,000 square feet and would expand the St. Paul Overlay to include climate change resilience measures, electric vehicle charging, onsite renewable energy generation and water use monitoring.
Six people, including representatives from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the U.S. Green Building Council and the St. Paul Port Authority spoke in favor of the proposed changes at a public hearing Wednesday evening at St. Paul City Hall.
Two people spoke in opposition, but only because the updated policy would remove one type of sustainable building certification, called Green Globes, from the list of allowed certifications.
Since 2010, the Sustainable Building Policy has guided nearly 50 projects, from single-family homes to sports venues to libraries. If approved, the updated policy will apply to projects that have a schematic design ready on or after July 1.