Site and Water Guidelines

S.1 Identification and Avoidance of Critical Sites Required Documentation Required
S.2 Stormwater Management Required Required for Minimum Site Scope (See Guideline)
S.3 Soil Management Required Required for Minimum Site Scope (See Guideline)
S.4 Sustainable Vegetation Design Required Required for Minimum Site Scope (See Guideline)
S.5 Light Pollution Reduction Required Required for Exterior Lighting Scope
S.6 Erosion and Sedimentation Control during Construction During Construction Required Required for Any Site Scope
S.7 Landscape Water Efficiency Required Required for Minimum Site Scope (See Guideline)
S.8 Building Water Efficiency Required Required if Plumbing Scope (See Guideline)
S.9 Appropriate Location and Development Pattern Recommended Not Applicable
S.10 Brownfield Redevelopment Recommended Not Applicable
S.11 Heat Island Reduction Recommended Reccommended if Roof or Site Scope
S.12 Transportation Impacts Reduction Recommended Recommended
S.13 Wastewater Management Recommended Recommended if Plumbing or Site Scope
S.14 Bird-Safe Building Required Required if glazing in scope
S.99 General Project Data Recommended Recommended


Related Documentation

B3 Guidelines Tracking Tool


Appendix S-0 Suggested Implementation for All Site and Water Guidelines
Appendix S-7 Irrigation Water Consumption
Appendix S-8 Building Water Calculator
Appendix S-14a Bird-Safe Calculator
Appendix S-14b Bird Monitoring Worksheets
Appendix S-14c Bird-Safe Building Narrative



Building construction transforms land that provides valuable ecological services. Society has only recently begun to understand that these services have a quantifiable economic value. For example, the City of Minneapolis has recently developed a stormwater management fee that better reflects the true costs of stormwater runoff and that provides more economic incentive for improved stormwater performance. Site selection and design affect transportation and energy use which leads to ground-level ozone, acid rain, smog, and global climate change. Current development practices on the land can lead to uncontrolled stormwater runoff, degraded water and soil quality, depletion of water, soil, and valuable vegetated areas, and destruction of habitat. The State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (B3 Guidelines) seeks to restore and improve site water and soil quality, and to reduce negative impacts associated with site selection and design.


To design and maintain sites which have soil and water quality capable of supporting healthy, bio-diverse plant, animal, and human communities, which reduce water and energy consumption, improve the rate, quantity and quality of stormwater runoff, and which minimize pollutant contributions related to transportation requirements.


  • Maintain and improve the ability of the soil to maintain its structure against adverse impacts.
  • Restore/improve the hydrologic cycle of water on the site to avoid adverse impacts on the site and downstream of the site.
  • Reduce consumption of potable water.
  • Improve the biodiversity of the site by introducing flora/fauna which will help contribute to the sustainability of the site over time.
  • Reduce energy consumption and pollution contributions to air and water related to site location and associated transportation requirements.
  • Restore/improve the outdoor environmental quality (OEQ) of the site to enhance occupant productivity, building performance, and community benefits.