‘B3: Buildings, Benchmarks & Beyond, the Tools and Programs for Sustainable Buildings in Minnesota’ is a specialized design process that is utilized for Minnesota government-funded projects. The classifications are broken down into the Design of New Buildings & Renovations and the Operation of Existing Buildings and works in conjunction with the SB2030 Energy Standard.


Use of the guidelines will help designers meet sustainability goals for site, water, energy, indoor environment, materials and waste. The benchmarking tool helps the users track energy usage in an effort to sustain or reduce energy usage through the life of the building.


LKPB Engineers has been on the design team for many projects in the State of Minnesota that utilize B3 standards. They include buildings on college & university campuses and for state parks as well as civic centers, veterans’ homes and visitor centers.


In 2016 LKPB along with Perkins+Will won the award for “Best of B3 Benchmarking.

On their website you’ll find the following details about the win:


North Hennepin Community College tracks the energy use of 22 buildings that total 490,064sf. Through a year-long manual optimization of the temperature and pressure settings on the campus’ steam boilers, they were able to achieve an energy use intensity (kBtu/sf) that is 56% lower than the code-based benchmark, a 33% reduction from the previous year.


In 2017, LKPB was nominated for two Best of B3 Recognition Awards for Indoor Environmental Quality for Higher Education, the nomination is by post-occupancy ratings done by a survey of the end users. The projects were in collaboration with BWBR Architects; the Jason R. Carter Science Education Center at Metropolitan State University and with RRTL Architects; the Academic Partnership Center at Minnesota State Normandale Community College.


We are pleased to announce that on Thursday, October 26th 2017 LKPB was awarded:Best of B3 Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) – Classroom”!

The B3 website states the following details about the win:


The newly constructed Normandale Community College Partnership Center uses daylight, views, and personal adjustability (e.g. window shades, task lights, and furniture) to achieve an IEQ Satisfaction Score of 5.94 (on a scale from 1 to 7) based on student responses to a post-occupancy survey regarding their classroom space.


Rhonda Smude, LKPB’s project manager for this project was at the event to accept the award and stated “This award is based on user input on post-occupancy comfort, so I am particularly proud of this award. Congratulations to the team!”


In addition to receiving awards, LKPB Engineers was involved in the design team for many projects that are case studies for B3 sustainability. Including one for the Minnesota Air National Guard Corps of Engineers and the Minnesota State Colleges & Universities Mankato Dining Services Building. The details of those projects can be found in their online database.


Minnesota B3 is one of many third-party sustainability-focused programs utilized by the industry to help reduce energy usage. Others we’ve worked with include the more commonly recognized; Energy Star and U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.