News Release: CEE provides efficiency insights for Red Lake Band apartment complex

Aug 31, 2020

The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians has hired the Center for the Energy and Environment for energy efficiency consulting in a newly constructed apartment complex in south Minneapolis. CEE’s new homes team will conduct energy testing, and the nonprofit’s engineering department will perform fundamental commissioning to ensure that the building’s energy systems are properly installed and calibrated for efficiency. The complex is named Mino-bimaadiziwin, from an Ojibwe phrase meaning “living the good life.”

“Throughout the Tribe’s history, natural resources have factored into both our economy and our survival,” said Hunter Boldt, executive director of the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians. “In addition to cutting potential energy waste and costs, CEE’s attention to efficiency underscores the importance of sustainability as a touchstone to the longstanding heritage of tribal members.”

20200810_184846638_iOS.jpgFor its first development off the Red Lake Reservation, tribal leaders chose south Minneapolis because many of its members live in the area and some face significant challenges related to homelessness, substance use disorder, and other mental and physical health issues. “Many of us were displaced here through things such as relocation, such as boarding schools. And this trauma has hurt our people,” explained Red Lake’s Tribal Secretary Sam Strong last September at the site’s groundbreaking. “This development is the start of a path toward healing. It’s the start of a path toward bringing our people back together.”

Speaking for Landon Group, an affordable housing financing and project management consultant engaged by Red Lake Band, Sarah Larson emphasized, “With this project, Hunter and the Red Lake Band demonstrate the value of focusing on the far horizon. The Tribe has invested a significant amount of time, funding, and intention to ensure that Mino-bimaadiziwin serves its residents and the broader community both comfortably and cost-effectively. CEE’s energy expertise will play a key role in that effort.”

20200727_150046506_iOS.jpgCEE’s energy testing will include thermal enclosure inspections, as well as blower door and duct leakage tests, all aimed to evaluate the building’s airtightness and insulation levels. Additionally, CEE’s engineers will observe construction and start-up to assess compliance with construction contract documents, documenting any deficiencies discovered during air balancing and other functional performance tests. The team will also thoroughly review all ventilation equipment to ensure alignment with the balancing report and contract documents.

“We always tailor our process to meet client goals, relying on their vision for the best results,” said Mark Hancock, CEE’s director of engineering. “For this project, CEE’s building optimization expertise is well suited to help apply the Red Lake Band’s commitment to community through safe, affordable, and energy efficient housing.” CEE's engineering team helps building owners and managers better understand and optimize their energy use to improve the operation of equipment and systems, reduce energy waste, and manage long-term sustainability planning.

IMG_3982.jpgSpecific to housing, CEE supports the new construction of multifamily housing developments to cost-effectively meet specific energy efficiency goals and requirements. “Our energy experts are proud to work with some of Minnesota's largest multifamily developers,” expressed CEE quality assurance manager Phil Anderson. “We know from experience that every new apartment building has its own story to write, and it is our honor to partner with the Red Lake Band and Landon Group to help strengthen the energy efficiency story of Mino-bimaadiziwin.”

Slated to open this winter, the 110-unit, mixed-use development will offer studios and larger units with one, two, and three bedrooms. The Red Lake Band will also co-locate their wellness center and the Red Lake Nation Embassy on the first floor. Mino-bimaadiziwin is funded through low-income housing tax credits and funding from the City of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Federal Home Loan Bank, Metropolitan Council, Minnesota Housing, and private financing. The development includes project-based rental assistance and will accept rental vouchers. The development will provide supportive housing units for households experiencing homelessness as well as units serving households below 50% and 60% of area median income.

About CEE

Center for Energy and Environment is a clean energy nonprofit with special expertise in energy efficiency that stretches back 40 years. Working in homes, buildings, and communities, CEE discovers and deploys the most effective energy solutions to strengthen the economy and improve the environment. In 2020, CEE was named a Minnesota Top 150 Workplace.

About the Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians

The Red Lake Nation is committed to helping every member achieve independence and economic security by using technology, developing strong economic infrastructure, and providing a quality educational system. The Council preserves, protects, and maintains its land base, natural resources, health and welfare, cultural heritage, language, and traditions to ensure that its future generations will continue to have the resources to live as sovereign people.

About Landon Group

Landon Group provides financial structuring and project management services to affordable housing, mixed-use, and mixed-income developments. Landon Group LLC is a certified small, women-owned business enterprise, advancing quality affordable housing and community economic development are key ingredients to successful and prosperous neighborhood.