2015 Consolidated Request for Proposal (RFP) Updates
The 2015 Consolidated RFP has been released and updated materials are now available online. Visit the Building Standards and Multifamily Common Applications pages to review application materials and revised documents. 
The new 2015 Enterprise Green Communities has been released, however we have not adopted it for the 2015 RFP. Please use the 2015 MN Overlay and Guide to the 2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria for the 2015 RFP. 
New Documents
Housing Tax Credits (HTC)
Rental Housing Design/Construction Standards (RHD/CS) Revisions
Chapter 2 – New Construction Minimum Design Standards
  • Windowless bedrooms at one bedroom dwelling units are now allowed if natural lighting is provided and upon Minnesota Housing approval
Chapter 3 - Rehabilitation Minimum Design Standards
  • Revised and updated Property Needs Assessment (PNA) requirements: 25% Dwelling Unit Inspections required (reduced from 50% and 40%)
Chapter 5 – Housing Tax Credits Only Design Standards
  • 4% and 9% Housing Tax Credit Requirement Revisions and Clarifications
Chapter 8 - Sustainable Housing
  • Energy Rebate Analysis (ERA) required for application and before loan closing/ commitment for 9% HTC and deferred funded projects
  • Updates to the MN Overlay as highlighted below
2015 MN Overlay to the 2011 Enterprise Green Communities Criteria (EGCC) Revisions 
Criteria 5.1b - Building Performance Standard, New Construction, 4 Stories or More
  • All buildings under this criteria, with or without heated garage should be at least 15% better than ASHRAE 90.1-2010.
  • There is currently no Prescriptive Path for buildings under this criteria. A Performance Path with an energy model is required per the 2015 MN Overlay the 2011 EGCC. Submittal requirements are clarified in the new overlay.
Criteria 5.1c - Building Performance Standard, Substantial and Moderate Rehab, 3 Stories or less
  • Requirements for following the Prescriptive Pathway are clarified. HERS Index, mechanical equipment replacement, and demonstrating compliance requirements are included.
Criteria 5.5a, 5.5b, and 5.5c - Lighting
  • These criteria are replaced with a new single Criteria 5.5. (based upon 2015 version of Enterprise Green Communities Criteria) Energy Star Advance Lighting Package (ALP) light fixtures and bulbs (with prong connections) are no longer required.
Criteria 5.6a - Electricity Metering
  • Exception omits separate meters for Supportive Housing Dwelling Units.
Building Design Resources and Tip Sheets
Check out the latest resources available on our Building Standards page:
2015 Minnesota Residential Code Update
The new Minnesota Residential Energy Code prohibits exhaust only ventilation. Balanced Mechanical Ventilation is now mandatory.
All Balanced Mechanical Ventilation Systems needs to meet installation requirements specified in Sections R403.5.6 through R403.5.17, which includes among others:
  • Outdoor air intakes and exhausts shall have automatic or gravity dampers that close when the ventilation system is not operating.
  • All balanced systems shall be balanced so that the air intake is within 10 percent of the exhaust output.
  • Outdoor air shall be delivered to each habitable space by a forced air circulation system, separate duct system, or individual inlets.
  • The mixed air temperature shall not be less than the heating equipment manufacturer's installation instructions.
  • All mechanical ventilation system airflows greater than 30 cfm at the building exhaust or intake shall be tested and verified.
Balanced Mechanical Ventilation can be achieved with a small HRV/ERV system. These systems have the benefit of controlled ventilation that saves energy and improves comfort for the residents.
It may be possible to meet the requirements of balanced ventilation using a central-fan integrated system with the outside air duct connected to the AHU return. The outside air duct will need a balancing damper to adjust proper air flow and a motorized damper to close when the central system fan is off. A fan cycling control is needed to meet the continuous ventilation rate and an intermittent exhaust fan (with maximum 1.0 sone) installed to provide supplemental ventilation, resulting in a total ventilation rate complying with Section R403.5.2. These systems depend greatly on the quality of installation and commissioning to assure proper operation and resident comfort. This system design should be reviewed with the local Building Official to determine if it meets the requirements of the code. 
Consult with your Mechanical Engineer and HVAC contractor to discuss the best option for your project. For more information, see the 2015 Minnesota Residential Code Energy Efficiency Criteria.
Project Spotlight: Steve O'Neil Apartments, Duluth
This new 50 unit, four-story apartment building was completed in December 2014 and had its grand opening in February 2015. Forty-four of the units are permanent housing for homeless families, including 22 long-term homeless units and six emergency shelter units.
The project received $1,192,000 of 9% Housing Tax Credits, which leveraged $10,491,751 of syndication proceeds. It also received a Minnesota Housing Supportive Housing Operating Subsidy. 
Steve O'Neil Apartments is on track to be certified by the Energy Star Multifamily High Rise Program and will be the first building in Minnesota to achieve this honor.
  • Developer: Center City Housing Corporation and One Roof Community Housing
  • Architect: Wagner Zahn
  • General Contractor: Johnson Wilson
  • Construction Costs: $8,873,312 ($177,456/DU)
  • Total Development Cost: $12,827,176 ($256,543/DU)
Minnesota Housing has three staff architects available for technical assistance. Find out which architect works in your region.
400 Sibley Street, Suite 300 | Saint Paul, MN 55101 US
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