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Additional Code Information
Regulatory: Authority for adopting the state energy codes has been given to the Department of Labor & Industry. The state's Administrative Procedures Act provides for a minimum update process of 18 months. Its procedures require a formal public hearing only if requested by 25 or more individuals. The Building Codes and Standards Division delivers an executive summary of the proposed rule changes to the office of the Governor. After the Governor and State Reviser's Office approve the rule changes, a Notice of Adoption is published in the state register.
No set schedule. The 2007 Minnesota State Building Code became effective on June 1, 2009.
In 1979, individual counties outside of the seven-county Minneapolis/St. Paul area and incorporated cities with populations of less than 2,500 were given the option of enforcing a statewide building code. Many elected to have no enforcement within their area. Currently enforcement occurs for about 80% of the population base; approximately 20% of the population has no enforced energy code. For buildings not inspected by the State Department of Administration, interpretations were made at the local level. Disagreements may be forwarded to a local appeals board. The Department of Commerce was frequently asked for an opinion, but has no enforcement authority. A commercial energy code that exceeded ASHRAE 90.1-1989 became effective July 20, 1999. A residential energy code developed from the 1995 MEC became effective April 15, 2000. After authority over energy codes was transferred to the Building Codes and Standards Division (within the Construction Codes and Licensing Division) in the Department of Labor & Industry, significant effort was made to transition the Minnesota building community from a purely state-developed code to one aligned more closely to the national model codes. In 2008, after seven and a half years, the state adopted new residential and commercial energy codes based on the 2006 IRC and ASHRAE 90.1-2004, respectively. Officials hope to streamline this process in the future and update the state codes more frequently. On June 1, 2009, the 2007 Minnesota State Building Code became effective. The new residential energy code (Chapter 1322) has been simplified to the point that in virtually all cases a REScheck-like program is not needed to show code compliance. The code now simply requires minimum R-values and maximum U-factors for building components without regard to square footage of those elements. A REScheck for the new Minnesota code is not currently available. Other alternatives are listed in the code at Part 1322.1102. COMcheck is not yet available for the new commercial energy code (Chapter 1323), but commercial building envelope and lighting compliance can be readily determined by available tools. The envelope requirements of the new commercial energy code are not difficult to determine from the two tables (one for northern and the other for southern Minnesota) in Part 1323.0550. The lighting requirements of the code are identical to ASHRAE 90.1-2004, with the exception of exterior building grounds and parking lot lighting (Part 1323.0944). To demonstrate lighting compliance, simply start COMcheck and select "Code: 90.1 (2004) Standard" for all but building grounds and parking lot lighting.
6A, 7A (zones based on DOE's most recent zoning: zone numbers based on a spectrum, zone 1 represents very hot weather and zone 8 represents subarctic weather. Letters indicate climate type, A-Humid, B-Dry, C-Marine)
5,266,214 (2009, U.S. Census Bureau)
New Housing Units Authorized by Permit:
Total units: 11,551
Number of Housing Units by Structure Type:
1 unit: 8,908
2 units: 110
3 and 4 units: 140
5 or more units: 2,393
(2008, Real Estate Center)
Single family dwelling:8,912 (-39% less than previous year), and with an avarage value of $208,900 per unit.
(2008, Real Estate Center)
99.86 MMT CO2 (2007)
Petroleum: 38% (2007, EIA)
Total Annual Energy Consupmtion of 1,874.6 trillion Btu (2007, EIA)
21,708.2 Million Nominal Dollars (2007, EIA)
68% of the state’s natural gas supply is used for heating the home.
Natural gas is the largest consumed source of energy for the state’s residential sector.
Residential use of natural gas in Minnesota costs up to $8.26/thousand cu ft.
According to the United States Global Change Research Program, the Midwest has experienced rising average temperatures with the largest warming seen in the winter months. The growing season has been extended by one week because of earlier last spring frosts and precipitation has become more frequent including increased instances of heavy downpours. Since the 1980s, large heat waves have become more frequent than any time in the last century. In addition, there has been a decrease in lake ice, including on the Great Lakes. These effects of climate change are predicted to continue, threatening the region’s economy, landscape, character, and quality of life.
In 2007 Governor Pawlenty signed the Next Generation Energy Act into law. The State of Minnesota worked closely with the Center for Climate Strategies to create a Climate Mitigation Action Plan which was completed in April 2008 and includes improving the building energy code and incentives for more efficient buildings. In addition, Minnesota signed on to be a member of the Midwest Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord which was signed by nine governors and two Canadian premiers in 2007 in recognition of the impacts that the Midwest has on climate change.
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