PRESS RELEASE: IDS Center Hires CEE to Investigate and Improve Buildingwide Energy Efficiencies

Jul 20, 2015

CEE engineers to help massive Minnesota landmark save energy and cut costs


Center for Energy and Environment (CEE) and IDS Center today announce a new partnership to improve energy efficiencies in the 57-story office tower that has long been a centerpiece of Minneapolis’ downtown skyline. Coupling the IDS Center’s massive scale with CEE’s strong track record in other buildings, IDS management believes the investment in engineering research and advising will more than pay for itself through energy-cost savings over time.

The Minneapolis nonprofit CEE promotes energy efficiency to strengthen the economy while improving the environment. CEE conducts research and develops programs to help businesses operate more efficiently and profitably, government agencies and nonprofits spend less on facilities and functions, utilities achieve energy-efficiency goals at lowest cost, and households save money and improve comfort. CEE was introduced to the IDS Center staff by representatives of NRG Energy Center Minneapolis, the long-term provider of steam and chilled water services to the property. “Energy efficiency is every company’s lowest-cost resource for energy savings,” explains CEE engineering lead Mark Hancock. “Getting a better handle on energy usage empowers all our clients to take control of their energy bills in very practical ways.” 

CEE has a number of services tailored to help building owners and managers understand their energy use and improve the operation of equipment and systems to achieve efficiency goals. The IDS Center has contracted with CEE’s Existing Building Commissioning program, which provides comprehensive analysis to improve the operations of building systems, ensuring they meet occupant needs while minimizing energy use. CEE’s primary goal is to provide healthy, comfortable, and productive work environments by bringing ventilation and indoor air quality up to standards, solving problems with building operations, and training management staff for ongoing efficiency savings. 

“As a company, we believe in the concepts of impact investing and a triple-bottom line,” says Ariel Bentata, managing partner, investments, of Accesso Partners, LLC, owner of the IDS Center. “First, we have a financial responsibility to our investors. But we must also have a beneficial impact on our ‘community’ — our tenants and their employees and patrons — by providing a healthy work and retailing environment, and, third, by contributing to the cities in which we operate by conserving critical elements like energy. Deb Kolar, our general manager in Minneapolis and her team, look forward to working with the Center for Energy and Environment to help us jointly reach these important goals.”

CEE’s engineers have worked in over 1,000 buildings, resulting in more than $1 million in annual energy savings so far. The organization’s team has brought its extensive experience to facilities from manufacturing to offices, schools, healthcare, ice arenas, parking ramps, and theaters. Within the impressive portfolio, CEE’s Hancock recognizes that partnering with IDS is something special. “The IDS Center is iconic,” says Hancock. “I can’t wait to dig in and find ways to make this amazing Minneapolis landmark even better.”

Minnesota’s tallest building at 792 feet, the IDS Center has long demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship, from a full-scale recycling program for its 630-plus tenant companies to Metro Transit events on commuting options, green cleaning methods in public spaces, environmentally friendly purchasing practices, and multiple energy building management initiatives to save on energy consumption. Completed in 1972, the IDS Center contains over 2 million square feet, including the 57-story office tower, an 8-story annex, 2-story retail center, 19-story Marquette Hotel, and 8-story Crystal Court.


About Center for Energy and Environment

The Center for Energy and Environment is a Minnesota nonprofit that promotes energy efficiency to strengthen the economy while improving the environment. In over 35 years, CEE has served more than 65,000 homes and 12,000 businesses, providing a range of practical, cost-effective programs to help homeowners, businesses, nonprofits, and governments reduce energy waste and save money.

Media Contact

Tim Hanrahan, 612-244-2419