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Minnesota Energy Code Resources


Overview

The Minnesota State Building Code (which incorporates the 2006 edition of the International Residential Code by reference) is mandatory, statewide, and applicable to all residential and commercial construction. The Department of Labor and Industry, Construction Codes and Licensing Division holds the authority to adopt and enforce the state's building codes, including a sub-set of the Minnesota State Building Code, the Minnesota Energy Code. The updated Residential Energy Code and the Commercial Energy Code are effective June 1, 2009 and this document contains the new rules, statutes, guidelines, and other resources regarding the new state energy code. For related information, check the links on the right-hand side of the page—including a link to the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry Construction Codes and Licensing web page.

Residential

Residential Code Rules - New state energy code rules for residential construction contained within the state building code.

REScheck - no longer available
The residential energy code has been simplified so that in nearly all cases, a REScheck-like program is not needed to show code compliance. The code now only requires minimum R-values and maximum U-factors for building components, without regard to square footage of those elements. Therefore, for Minnesota Energy Code, REScheck is not currently available. Other alternatives are listed in the code at part 1322.1102 in Minnesota Administrative Rules. 
 
The Builders Association of Minnesota - Provides an energy code toolkit, designed to help building professionals understand the new state residential energy code. It also includes the following documents: "Top 20 Changes to the Residential Energy Code for New Construction, Additions and Remodels" and "Field Guide to the Residential Energy Code Including Radon Requirements". Also, a compliance certificate prepared by BAM is available.

Commercial

Commercial Code Rules -  New state energy code rules for commercial construction contained within the state building code.

COMcheck 2009 - not available
COMcheck is not available for the 2009 Minnesota energy code, but commercial building envelope and lighting compliance can be readily determined by available tools. The envelope requirements of the new commercial energy code can be determined from the two tables (one for northern and the other for southern Minnesota) listed in Part 1323.0550. The lighting requirements of the code are identical to ASHRAE 90.1-2004, with an additional requirement for exterior building grounds and parking lot lighting (part 1323.0944). To demonstrate interior lighting compliance simply start COMcheck and select "Code: 90.1 (2004) Standard." COMcheck does not calculate exterior lighting allowances.

ASHRAE has prepared compliance forms for ASHRAE 90.1-2004, the standard for lighting requirements. In the Standard Forms & Procedures section of the ASHRAE website, scroll down to the section titled "Interactive 90.1-2004 Compliance Forms." There are forms here that cover aspects such as the building envelope, HVAC systems, and lighting. Additionally, there are forms for the Energy Cost Budget method and Building Performance Rating reports. Note: the compliance forms and instructions have not been changed to include Minnesota commercial energy code amendments.

Thermal Envelope Design
The following three references illustrate recommended good practice, but in some cases may be beyond the minimum requirements of the code.

"Envelope Design Guidelines for Federal Office Buildings: Thermal Integrity and Air Tightness." Provides an in-depth examination of the topic and illustrates the difference between acceptable and unacceptable thermal envelope design details and performance.

"Guidelines for Delivering Effective Air Barrier Systems." Presents a concise methodology to guide designers and installers in delivering an effective air barrier system.

Air Barrier Association of America library
Supplies links to a wealth of resources about air barriers, building science, and building envelope design.

Additional Commercial Energy Code Resources

New Minnesota Energy Code Commercial Lighting. This link goes to a wmv file with video and audio. It's a 50 minute recorded webcast that provides a basic understanding of the commercial lighting provisions of the new energy code.

Federal Deductions for Commercial Lighting. This link goes to a wmv file with video and audio. It's a 20 minute recorded webcast that reviews federal tax deductions available for commercial buildings focusing on lighting projects.

Series on Requirements of ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2004. Go to the section titled Training/Education and click on Recorded Webcasts in the list of options. Then scroll down the page to the Commercial section and under ASHRAE click on Standard 90.1-2004. The recorded webcasts, including Q&A, provide an overview of lighting, mechanical, and envelope requirements of the ASHRAE standard. It does not include the Minnesota code amendments.