222 Hennepin PIC1

Whole Foods Mixed Use Market Rate Housing Certify LEED Silver in Minneapolis

Ryan Companies and The Excelsior Group collaborated to bring this 579,706-square-foot mixed-use project to downtown Minneapolis. The project – called 222 Hennepin – will contain 286 luxury apartments and will be anchored by the first Whole Foods Market in downtown Minneapolis.

222 Hennepin PIC1

Ryan Companies co-developed the project with The Excelsior Group, specialists in multifamily real estate. Ryan is also the architect-of-record and builder for the project, which will occupy a full city block at the corner of Hennepin and Washington Avenues. The corner is one of the most prominent downtown, and development challenges had kept it vacant for more than five years.

A 40,000 -square-foot Whole Foods Market occupies the ground floor of the project. Luxury apartments, featuring dramatic views of the downtown skyline and Mississippi River, occupy the second through sixth floors. Ryan Design worked with Humphreys & Partners Architects on the conceptual design of the project, which focused on balancing the housing needs of sophisticated, discerning apartment residents with the commercial needs of a top-tier urban grocery store.

222Hennepin PIC INTProject amenities include a fourth-floor terrace with an outdoor pool, bocce ball area, fire pit, dog walk, enclosed party room, cyber cafe and state-of-the-art fitness center. The terrace itself affords spectacular views of the downtown Minneapolis skyline. The construction of the project prioritizes sustainable building practices by incorporating an existing 300-stall parking structure, effectively wrapping the new project around the existing improvements and re-using them.

In working toward LEED Silver Certification for mid-rise residential, the team

LEED Facts Labelincorporated a variety of sustainable and energy-saving elements into the new building. Some of these features include:

  • The downtown location encourages the use of public transportation as well as bike and foot traffic, which reduces emissions. In addition, the compact, amenity-rich site promotes community living.
  • The existing 300-stall parking structure remained in place, which saved in excess of 20 million pounds of concrete and over 1 million pounds of steel rebar that would have been used to replace it.
  • Saving the existing parking structure drastically reduced the demolition waste that would have been generated.
  • Cleaning up, reinvesting and redeveloping an urban brownfield site of contaminates protects the environment and reduces blight.
  • The building is 100% smoke-free and extra measures have been taken to seal the units to reduce air leakage which will lower the risks of indoor air pollutants.
  • The use of high efficiency water faucets, showers and toilets reduce water demand.
  • The off-site fabrication of the interior roof, walls and floors minimized the waste created on-site. In addition, approximately 65% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills through recycling programs.
  • The use of low maintenance, non-invasive native plants, which will thrive in an urban environment, will reduce irrigation needs.222 Hennepin PIC2

Click here to learn more about Ryan’s sustainability efforts.

Follow 222 Hennepin on Facebook or Twitter for the latest project updates.



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Washington Ave PIC

Minneapolis Market Rate Midrise 7west is LEED Certified

Washington Ave PIC

Sustainable architecture is nothing if it’s not deeply rooted in the surrounding community. Whether it’s sculpture by a local artist or an intimate concert at the Cedar Cultural Center, 7west (1800 Washington) celebrates the satisfying connections that come from Seven Corners living. For residents, LEED is a seal of quality, providing peace of mind that they are living in a home designed to deliver fresh air indoors and improved water and energy efficiency.

The 7west building has several green features that its renters find attractive. Each floor has recycling and organic composting available for the tenants. Green roofs and terraces provide relaxing greenspace, while a white membrane roof provides additional energy efficiency.

Washington Ave PIC INT.The building also features a passive solar design and high efficiency lighting. Tenants are encouraged to utilize alternative transportation with convenient onsite bike storage set in an easily walkable community. The apartments are located within a half mile of public transit services which provide at least 60 rides per week day. However, those that do drive vehicles regularly are provided garage space with continuous exhaust to  minimize pollutants that could leak into the residence and affect the indoor air quality. Inside the apartments Low-VOC paints hardwood flooring, and sustainable cabinetry provide for a healthy, natural, and sensible interior environment.

1800 Washington label

The Buildings landscaping was created with 100% drought tolerant plants. Rain barrels provide the irrigation needed to water the green roof and plants. As a former brownfield this lot has come a long way. Additional LEED points were awarded to the project for its density of 100.9 units per acre.

 That’s just the start. Sunny gathering spaces, private study nooks, yoga and fitness studios, and common areas with billiards, fire pits, and entertainment centers recognize that many residents need a respite from the stress of daily life. Innovative Chinese Feng shui design creates a positive atmosphere.  The LEED verification team included Jimmie Sparks, Rick Cobbs, and Jason LaFleur of Eco Achievers.

Download and Share the 1800 Washington Project Profile – PDF


Washington Ave PIC INT Shared


Sustainability Photo

College of Saint Benedict Senior Housing, LEED Platinum Certified

The Centennial Commons townhouses were designed to be a sustainable part of the colleSustainability Photoge’s landscape. The 32 townhouses were intended to be at least LEED Silver certified. The townhouse were originally considered in order to provide affordable housing for the 90% of students that live on campus, particularly the seniors.  These townhouses were also built to represent the college’s commitment to sustainability, as well as the first college student housing in the state of Minnesota to have any LEED certification. Each townhouse has been outfitted with as many locally sourced materials, furniture, carpeting, and wood, as possible. The exterior is decorated with native plants and landscaping. Each townhouse is also individually metered for teaching students about their energy consumption and sustainability.

The 2-story townhouses were designed for a durable 100-year life and to be as efficient as possible.  The townhouses provide housing for 125 students, accommodating 3-4 students in 4 bedrooms, with 2 full bathrooms.  Each townhouse also has two bathrooms, laundry room, living room, kitchen and front porch.  Also included in this project was the Commons Building to provide the community with a gathering space, study rooms, computer lab, kitchen and a multi-purpose room.

The townhouses are clustered for a compact development within half a mile of community resources; churches, libraries, convenience stores, fitness centers and shops. The building site was selected as it was not a habitat for endangered or threatened species, a wetland or public parkland. The townhouses also utilize outdoor LED lighting, non-toxic pest control and low flow plumbing inside.  During construction 37% of waste was diverted, documented, and recycled while  erosion control was also put into action in designing and installing the landscape.

One unique feature, according to Judy Purman, CSB’s Director of Sustainability, is that each unit is individually metered for gas, electricity and water usage. Judy Purman also stated, “Each apartment will receive a ‘mock’ bill so that the residents will understand what their actual usage is,”  which in turn provides a “life skills learning opportunity. We’re integrating an educational component so that they will understand what it’s like to pay gas, water and electricity bills when they leave campus.”

CSB checklist     Project Details
Project Type                Custom
Conditioned Space     1,492 sq ft. per townhouse,  11,936 sq ft per building,  52,167 sq ft total (32 units),  4,423 sq ft (Commonss Building)
Bedrooms                     3
Bathrooms                   2
Lot Type                       Edge
Construction Type    New Construction

      Key Features
Natural Lighting
Merv 8 HVAC Efficiency
Provides Community Space and Access to Amenities
Provides Housing for Higher Education Students
Teaching Tool for Sustainability


Project Team
DLR and Associates
Sand Companies Incorporated
-General Contractor
Judy Purman
-CSB’s Director of Sustainability/Project Team Leader
NEC: Neighborhood Energy Connection
-Green Rater

CSB Centennial Commons Project Profile

St. Cloud Times Article on CSB Townhomes

College of Saint Benedict’s Official Page for the Centennial Commons

Congratulations Jimmie Sparks, Certified Green Rater in MN.

Jimmie Sparks of the neighborhood Energy Connection in St Paul MN has passed his Green Rater exam and is ready to service the state of Minnesota as a LEED for Homes Green Rater and HERS Rater.  If you have a new project or have program questions in that state please contact Jimmie below.


Jimmie Sparks
Residential Energy Program Manager
Neighborhood Energy Connection
624 Selby Ave, St Paul, MN 55104
651-221-4462 x123

Area served: Whole state of MN and the western edge of WI.
Other Services: HERS Rater


How do we ensure a home is Green?

Green living and environmental sustainability is proving to be much more than just a recent fad. More and more people are jumping on the environmental bandwagon, which has created more need for professionals within this field.  Recently, the American National Standards Institute recognized LEED AP Homes as the “most qualified, educated and influential green-building professionals in the marketplace” (ANSI). Because of the accreditation from ANSI, the demand for LEED certified homes and LEED AP professionals is expected to increase.

Building residential homes to LEED certification has become incredibly popular over the past several years.  A 91-unit housing development in Tacoma, Washington was the 10,000 home to be LEED certified.  The development was the first federally funded redevelopment project to reach LEED platinum status (10,000th Home).   On a more local level, the Kent County chapter of Habitat For Humanity has made the commitment to have every home be LEED Gold certified.  This decision is saving the families who reside in these homes an estimated $1000.00 a year on utility bills, making LEED the perfect fit for Habitat For Humanity (HFH LEED Commitment).

For those who are less familiar with LEED certification, they may be left wondering how exactly it benefits themselves, the environment, and their pocketbook.  LEED homes reduce allergens and triggers for diseases such as asthma and other chemical sensitivities.  LEED certified homes are also built with nontoxic materials, which lower exposures to mold and mildew.  LEED homes are environmentally friendly because they use less energy to maintain which reduces pollution from fossil fuel resources.  In fact, in a recent report from the Green Home Institute (), LEED homes in the Midwest use an average of 40 percent less energy than conventional homes ( Report). Building a LEED home can reduce utility bills by up to 51 percent and also increase the property value of the home (Why LEED).

For a resident in Minneapolis, choosing to have her home LEED certified was an easy decision. She gave three reasons as to why it was a no-brainer for her:

            -Easy to follow instructions in the LEED rating systems manual

            -Required green rater visits ensures that the project is meeting the standards of LEED certification                       

            -Utility bills are 65 percent less in the LEED home than in her previous conventional home (LEED Minneapolis).

While it can seem like a daunting task to make sure everything in the home is up to par for LEED certification, the United States Green Building Council is making it a little easier.  They recently launched a LEED Home Scoring Tool on their website which will give people an idea as to how close their project is to reaching LEED certification.  This tool is available free of charge and can be found on the LEED for Homes website (Home Scoring Tool)

Post By:

Katie Alman is a recent summer Intern at . She is completing  her marketing bachelors degree at Grand Valley State University.  She currently has interested in promoting healthy and affordable living and green building practices.



3 Reasons for LEED in Minneapolis

A recent homeowner describes their rational for buidlgin a green home in Minnnesota in a recent article in the Downtown Journal.

Minnesota LEED HomeShe outlines three reasons for her decision:

  1. Authoritative Source: the LEED rating system helped tremendously to guide us along the path toward building a sustainable home. Its 342-page reference manual provides green building strategies in five key categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality. The rating system itself is a gold mine for any builder or remodeler to learn more about building high-quality, durable homes.
  2. Third-party Verification: LEED requires a Green Rater to come to the site, twice: first, to inspect the insulation (pre-dry wall, post-insulation); second, to test the leakage of the entire building envelope, duct system and air flow. These tests were inexpensive relative to the entire cost of the building, and it was more than worth it to have the peace of mind that the house was actually built to specification.
  3. Triple Bottom Line Benefits:  The green rater had predicted the home’s energy consumption to be 35 percent of a similar-sized home built to code, meaning the utility bills would be 65 percent less than if we had not built a LEED home.  The homeowner now has almost two year’s worth of utility bills to compare against the planned design. And they are coming in right on target — the bills are actually slightly lower than predicted!  In addition, a healthy home for their family and is a large step towards a sustainable lifestyle.

Learn why more people are building LEED homes.

Kenilworth Bungalow LEED Platinum Home Front

Kenilworth Bungalow – LEED Platinum

A new home along the Kenilworth Lagoon – reminiscent of a modest Arts and Crafts bungalow – is scaled to fit the specific needs of the homeowner and tailored to match the scale and character of the neighborhood. Designed by Domain Architecture & Design®, Minneapolis, MN, the interior of this single-family, detached bungalow feels large and spacious, despite it small footprint. This LEED for Homes registered project also benefited from a whole-structure, whole-site, integrated design approach utilizing emerging, as well as proven, sustainable technologies and construction systems. Sustainable design strategies were integrated in ways that harmonize cutting-edge technologies with a traditional aesthetic.In September, the Project’s strengths were acknowledged through its selection to the prestigious ’09 AIA-MN Homes By Architects Tour. A distinguishing feature of the home is its construction from structural insulated panels (SIPs). These panels, which were custom built off-site, sandwich insulation between a structural skin of two sheets of OSB

(oriented strand board) structural skin. This eliminates on-site waste common with typical wood framing, increases construction efficiency, and creates a high performance building that is stronger, quieter and considerably more energy efficient than homes of traditional construction. The use of SIPs, as well as high-efficiency windows, appliances, fixtures, and heating and air conditioning systems, will drastically reduce energy use and energy bills. In fact, with a HERS Index of 49, this home is projected to be 51% more energy efficient than its built-to-code-standard analogue would be. Moreover, the indoor air quality of the home should far exceed that of a conventional home, thanks to the use of low-VOC paints, formaldehyde-free cabinetry, and integrated moisture control measures that will limit mold and mildew build-up. The landscape design retains and infiltrates 100% of an ‘average’ rainfall onsite, allowing the owner to defray costs via municipal stormwater abatement credits and minimizing use of the site’s high efficiency irrigation system. This is the result of utilizing only no-mow turf; non-invasive, drought-tolerant,native flora; numerous infiltration devices; and pervious-concrete ‘trapping’ strategies in the driveway.For every square foot of impervious concrete hardscape found within the site, there is a square foot of
pervious (permeable) concrete offsetting it. Domain is committed to green building, with designers that are LEED accredited, and completed projects that have been recognized for excellence in sustainable design – such as the renovation of the Pillsbury Library in Northeast Minneapolis (LEED-NC v2.2 Gold). For more information on building a new home or renovating your existing home in a way that reduces energy use, limits waste, and provides
a healthy indoor environment, please go to the Domain website at

Project Particulars
Total Property Area: (in Square Feet) 5570
Gross Home Square Footage: (in Square Feet) 3633
Total Home Footprint: (in Square Feet) 1337
Surface parking spaces: 0
Structure Parking Spaces: 2
Undisturbed Site Area: 0
Site Context/Setting: Urban
Site Conditions: Previously Developed
Green features and highlights:
 Fly Ash (recycled from coal power plants) used to strengthen the foundation concrete.
 SIPs (Structural Insulated Panels) used for the exterior envelope (walls and roof).
 Interior walls constructed with finger-jointed studs; and floor trusses are open-web type.
 Cabinetry & moldings constructed from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and urea-formalde
hyde free wood products.
 Project’s waste management plan facilitated a 67% landfill diversion rate for construction
waste removals.
 Appliances, ceiling fans, and bathroom fans are Energy Star rated.
 Lighting circuits are dimmable, and 80% of the lamps are Energy Star CFL’s.

 The plumbing system utilizes a central-manifold plumbing system to conserve water and to equalize pressure throughout system.  Plumbing fixtures (lavatories, showerheads, and toilets) are all high efficiency fixtures.  A heat recovery system provides continuous ventilation of fresh exterior air into the home.  Individual forced-air registers are pneumatically controlled from the furnace room to balance airflow throughout the home.  The fireplace and energy efficient furnace are direct-vented, and the energy savingr water heater is power-vented.  Landscaping includes three rain gardens, drought resistant flora, and no-mow turf.  The driveway’s outer concrete bands slope inward, directing water to the permeable center section, with a crushed rock field below. Water then percolates into the lower rain garden.  The irrigation system includes a zone controller, drip irrigation, and a rain delay controller.

Exterior General Information:
Roof Shingles: Barkwood by GAF-ELK
Front Door: TruStile
Front Door Hardware: Baldwin
Garage Doors: 9700 Series by Wayne Dalton
Exterior Material: James Hardie Lap Siding
Mechanical System: Paul Stafford Electric
Structural Insulated Panels (SIPs): Extreme Panel Technologies
Interior General Information:
Floors: Hickory by Schaefer Hardwood Floors
Cabinets/Millwork: Timber Creek Cabinets
Paint Colors: BEN by Benjamin Moore
Fireplace: Sweet Dreams by Lopi
Fireplace Surround: Meredith Tile
Interior Door Hardware: Baldwin
Tile – Fireplace Surround and Kitchen Backsplash: Meredith Tile
Tile – Entry Hall, Mud Room, and Bathrooms: Baoding Slate, Copper Rust slate, Jinshan Bone, Jinshan
Caramel Baoding Crème Yuma, and Banning Listello by Tile Shop
Bathroom Fixtures: Kohler
Toilets: Karsten by Sterling Kitchen
Range: Kenmore
Hood: Vent-A-Hood, Stainless Steel
Microwave: Kenmore
Dishwasher: Bosch Integra 500 series
Ref/Freezer: Kenmore
Kitchen Sink: Blancowave Plus by Blanco
Countertops: Maple Butcherblock by John Boos
Laundry Washer/Dryer: Epic by Maytag
Countertop and backsplash: LG, Confetti Quartz

Design Team: Domain Architecture & Design®, Inc., Minneapolis, MN
LEED Consultant / Project Team Leader: Mike Everson, LEED AP BD+C
Landscape Architect: Brubaker Landscape Designs
General Contractor: Reuter Walton Construction

Fairway Pine Golf Cottage. LEED Silver

It’s Green! It’s Golf! It’s Grand! Fairway Pines is Minnesota’s first golf community to feature homes exclusively with the
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) certification. This “green” cottage is nestled on The Pines golf course amongst Grand View Lodge Resort’s amenities. It consists of 1,344 square feet of one-level resort living.

View & Download LEED project Profile

Sustainable, luxurious finishes include reclaimed beams, wainscotings, hand scraped, engineered wood flooring with
recycled content, granite countertops, ceramic tile baths, Energy Star® appliances, dual-flush toilets, lighting and mechanical equipment efficiency along with Low-E Integrity® windows for an energy-efficient and air-tight building envelope.

Julkowski Inc. LEED Silver

Once we got into the process, we learned that certifying our home meant we were getting a guarantee that it was built correctly and operating efficiently.  How many homes come with a guarantee?  Through the testing and third party verification required by LEED we had documented proof that all the important elements of a home’s construction and operation (mechanicals, windows, SIPS, etc.) were not only installed properly, but were operating at levels of of excellence.

We are pleased to announce that Julkowski, Inc.’s LEED Certified Silver Home won a national award for Building Excellence at the Structural Insulated Panel Association conference this year in Chicago!  2010 SIPA Building Excellence Awards Peoples Choice Winner Our HERS score is 44.  That might not mean much to some of you, but I bet this will – our home is 3200 square feet and we heat it for an average of $35/month (with a 96% efficient furnace)




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