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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

Metropolitan Council Headquarters
390 N. Robert St.
St. Paul, MN 55101
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The Council moved into its new home at 390 N. Robert Street in May 2006, after nearly 20 years at its past home a few blocks away. After extensive testing and verification, the new building garnered an EPA energy efficiency rating of 89 percent - up from 79 percent the year prior - earning it a spot in the top 25 percent of commercial and industrial facilities nationwide and the ENERGY STAR award.


The Metropolitan Council is a regional government agency serving the seven-county region surrounding the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn. The Council was created by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1967 and serves Minneapolis and St. Paul as well as 184 other communities throughout Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington Counties - a land area of about 2,975 square miles and a population of 2.8 million.

The Council runs the regional bus and light rail system; collects and treats wastewater and manages water resources preservation; plans regional parks and administers funds that provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income individuals and families. The 17-member Metropolitan Council is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Minnesota Governor.

Located near the heart of downtown St. Paul, the Council's headquarters is a five story office building owned and managed by the Council. Built in 1967, the building was completely renovated in 2005-2006 with the help of the Council's Construction Services Group and Wold Architects of St. Paul, and was occupied by Council staff in four waves from May to June 2006.

Commissioning of the new building systems was completed in June 2006, at which time the Council turned to the UHL Company of Maple Grove, Minn.,
to optimize the building's systems. UHL established a preventive maintenance program, ensured original design specifications were being met, and set up operating procedures to protect occupants and maximize equipment life. The investments were put in place to further improve the building's baseline ENERGY STAR rating of 79. At the end of year one, the rating had improved to 89, yielding a 21.5 percent energy intensity improvement.

Among the major improvements:

?        Reduced ventilation in parking garage
The garage ventilation was originally designed as a constant volume system handling heavy garage usage the same as little to no garage usage. Variable frequency drives were added to the supply fan and the exhaust fan (AHU-4 and EF3), reducing electrical and heating usage and demand charges. The existing CO detection system was utilized to control ventilation rates based on air quality.

?        Added occupancy sensors to conference rooms
The additional sensors allowed building owners to lower ventilation rates, setback heating and cooling set points, and shut off lighting during unoccupied times. This allowed owners to shut down the building's hot water reheat loop at 56 F. outside temperature vs. 75 F.

Optimizing Performance

The UHL Company improved the building's energy performance by optimizing TAC building automation system and by making other cost-effective improvements. Energy consumption at the building is 43 percent lower than the national average. In fact, the building went from an ENERGY STAR of 79 in 2007 (after commissioning the new system in 2006) to an ENERGY STAR rating of 89 in 2008 - an energy improvement of 17.5 percent.

The estimated heat savings from 2007 to 2008 was $30,100 ($12,300 from MBH reduction and $17,800 from reduced demand charges). Estimated cooling savings from 2007 to 2008 was $3,620 from ton hour reductions. Estimated electrical savings from 2007 to 2008 was $12,130 from usage reductions. That's approximately $45,850 in annual energy savings improvement in one year (versus $11,200 in project costs), and prevented greenhouse gas emissions equal to 682 metric tons of CO2 or the greenhouse gas equivalent of removing 125 passenger vehicles from the road for a year.*




"Working with the UHL Company, Metro Council Construction Services, District Energy of St. Paul and Wold Architects, we have achieved our goal of lowering our energy costs while improving employee comfort."

"The Council will not be resting on its laurels. The agency's Information Services Department is currently working to decrease energy consumption from desktop computers, and other steps also are being taken."

-- Michael Karels, Building and Central Services Manager, Metropolitan Council Headquarters

Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by Metropolitan Council or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Service Provider:
UHL Company

Building Owner:*
Metropolitan Council

Property Manager:*
Metropolitan Council

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2008 (89)
2009 (93)
2012 (95)

Facility Type: Office

Total Floorspace: 138424 sf

Year Constructed: 1967

Contract Type: None

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant