Minnesota Sustainable Design آ© 2000 Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, College

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  • © 2000 Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. All rights reserved. (Draft May 2000)

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    Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide

    The design strategies for the Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide fall into six environmental topics: site, water, energy, indoor environment, materials, and waste. Many of the sustainable design strategies relate to more than one environmental topic. Subsequently, linkages are provided between topics. Some of the greatest design and ecological benefits occur when strategies combine with others to address and integrate multiple concerns (such as the relationship between environmental impacts, human experience, economics, and design aesthetics).

    ENVIRONMENTAL TOPICS

  • © 2000 Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. All rights reserved. (Draft May 2000)

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    Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide

  • © 2000 Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. All rights reserved. (Draft May 2000)

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    Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide

    Site Environmental Concerns From the very outset, building development affects and transforms the land. On a macro level it contributes to deforestation, destruction of wetlands and sprawl among other environmental problems. Nearly half of the forests that once covered the earth are gone. Over 50% of the wetlands of the contiguous United States have been destroyed - filled, contaminated or otherwise “reclaimed” (National Science and Technology Council, 1994). In addition to the sheer quantity of loss of forest cover it is the quality and biodiversity of the remaining ecosystem that is under threat by human enterprise. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), at least 50,000 species become extinct per year (137 per day or 6 per hour). The sprawl of cities also affects the environment adversely. Further, when development is spread out at a low density it requires more infrastructure - sewer pipes, power lines, water mains, roads and so on. In addition, the thousands of energy burning vehicles driving out to these areas contribute to environmental damage.

    Site Goals In view of these environmental concerns, sustainable design embodies the following goals:

    • Reduce sprawl due to new development. • Maintain and/or restore the biodiversity of natural

    systems. • Respond to microclimate and natural energy

    flows. • Restore, maintain, and/or enhance the natural

    character of the site. • Reduce energy use for transportation.

    Site Strategies The sustainable design goals listed are translated into the following strategies:

    1.1 Direct Development to Environmentally Appropriate Areas

    1.2 Maintain and Enhance the Biodiversity and Ecology of the Site

    1.3 Use Microclimate and Environmentally Responsive Site Design Strategies

    1.4 Use Native Trees, Shrub, and Plants 1.5 Use Resource Efficient Modes of

    Transportation

  • © 2000 Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. All rights reserved. (Draft May 2000)

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    Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide

    Strategy 1.1: Direct Development to Environmentally Appropriate Areas

    Purpose: To direct development to appropriate sites and locations (i.e. previously developed areas, brownfields, and locations with existing infrastructure or transportation connections), and to avoid disturbing undeveloped sites, green spaces, and farmland.

    Points Possible: 3

    Related Strategy: Strategy 1.2: Maintain and Enhance the Biodiversity and Ecology of the Site

    1 point: The building is constructed on a site that is characterized as at least one of the following: • previously developed land • a remediated brownfield (see EPA’s Brownfield Redevelopment Requirements) • an existing minimum development density of 60,000 square feet per acre (2 story

    downtown development)

    AND

    2 points: A site is selected that avoids all of the following: • Prime agricultural land as defined by the Farmland Trust • Land with an elevation lower than 5 feet above the elevation of the 100-year flood

    as defined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) • Land subject to erosion, wildfire, or landslides • Habitat for any species on the Federal or State threatened or endangered list • Land that is used as a wildlife corridor • Wetland as defined by 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 230-233, and

    Part 22

    Community-Based Planning in Minnesota. http://www.mnplan.state.mn.us/commplan/overview.html.

    Good Levels of Transit Service Supply, Metropolitan Council. http://www.metrocouncil.org.

    “Growing Smart in Minnesota: A Preliminary Report” is a 65-page booklet published this year by 1000 Friends of Minnesota for the Minnesota Smart Growth Network. It is the Network’s first work product and is available at the web site above and as a free printed publication for MnSCN members. The MN Smart Growth Network includes a diverse range of organizations, including builder’s associations, cities, state agencies, farmer groups, and non-profit organizations. Members endorse ten MN Smart Growth Principles and 36 policy and study recommendations that address barriers to smart growth. The recommendations have also been endorsed by the Ventura Administration and are organized around barriers (e.g., “Current zoning regulations, subdivision standards, building codes, and other engineering

    Performance Indicator

    Resources

  • © 2000 Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. All rights reserved. (Draft May 2000)

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    Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide

    standards that encourage sprawling land use patterns at the expense of Smart Growth”). “Growing Smart” includes the following chapters and appendices:

    • Why Worry About Sprawl? • The State of Land Use Planning in MN • The Role of Taxation • Demographic Trends in MN • Previous Reports & Recommendations • Existing MN Statutes: An Early Framework • A Summary of Growth Management Legislation in Other States • National Growth Management Organizations

    For a free copy of this booklet, please contact Sally Peterson at (651) 215-0286, (800) 657- 3843 or e-mail sally.peterson@moea.state.mn.us. http://www.1000fom.org/Smart_Growth/GS_Report/gs_report.html.

    PREDESIGN Project Initiation Develop site and development goals and objectives that are environmentally responsible and appropriate.

    Programming Develop specific programming criteria and standards for site location and development based on environmental and program considerations.

    Site Selection Select sites which: avoid ecologically sensitive areas; reuse existing urban, industrial and brownfield sites; are located near mass transit and public amenities to encourage walking to services instead of driving; and can utilize existing infrastructure such as utilities, roadways, services, etc. Select sites that support Minnesota’s Community-Based Planning Act.

    DESIGN Schematic Design & Design Development Develop design strategies that avoid inappropriate sites and minimize the disturbance of undeveloped areas of the site. See also Strategy 1.2: Maintain and Enhance the Biodiversity and Ecology of the Site.

    OCCUPANCY Next Use Evaluate the site to determine how to maximize the use of developed areas and minimize the disturbance to undeveloped areas.

    Actions

  • © 2000 Regents of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus, College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. All rights reserved. (Draft May 2000)

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    Minnesota Sustainable Design Guide

    Strategy 1.2: Maintain and Enhance the Biodiversity and Ecology of the Site

    Purpose: To maintain or improve the ecology and natural features of the site.

    Points Possible: 3

    Related Strategy: 1.1 Direct Development to Environmentally Appropriate Areas

    The development effectively integrates the building with the site in a manner that minimizes the impact on natural resources, while maximizing human comfort and social connections.

    3 points: The development footprint enhances the existing biodiversity and ecology of the site by strengthening the existing natural site patterns and making connections to the surrounding site context. Apply all of the following:

    • Select a site where the development process will cause minimum alteration and ecological disturbance.

    • Design the site to reconnect fragmented landscapes and establish contiguous networks with other natural systems both within the site and beyond its boundaries.

    • Avoid major alterations to sensitive topography, vegetation, and wildlife habitat. • Preserve ecologically significant and/or sensitive vegetation, wildlife habitat, and

    topography. • Minimize the area of the site dedicated to the building, parking, and access roads. • Site the building to create traffic patterns that cause minimum site disruptions. • Other appropriate issues.

    OR

    2 points: The development footprint, excluding the building(s), allows approximately 75% of the remaining biodiversity and ecology to remain, as determined spatially, by area measurement, of the existing conditions and surrounding site context.

    OR

    1 point: The development footprint, excluding the building(s), allows a