Sunrise Banks Addresses Climate Change with Minnesota’s First Multi-Family Passive House

Passive House

Addressing climate change has been a long-standing priority for Sunrise Banks. Because we believe that a healthy environment means a healthy economy, we are committed to lowering our emissions and working toward a greener, more sustainable future.

A recent UN report Off Site Link revealed that greenhouse gas emissions are at a record high and that we are currently on a trajectory that shows no signs of slowing down. While this information is troubling, and the window of opportunity for tackling climate change appears to be shrinking, many scientists and scholars worldwide agree there is still time to win the battle. With these facts about climate change in mind – and hope for our global future – Sunrise Banks is proud to fund construction of one of Minnesota’s first Passive House certified multi-family buildings. This project, Solstice Apartments, is a building with 23 low-carbon footprint apartments in the heart of northeast Minneapolis.

What is Passive House?

Passive house is a voluntary set of standards that aim to create energy efficient buildings with significantly reduced ecological footprints.

When construction is built according to these high-performing standards, the need for mechanical heating and cooling is radically reduced. Instead, heat is gained through external solar energy and internal heat from the building’s occupants, including body heat, appliances, televisions, and light bulbs.

The keys to Passive House builds include higher levels of building insulation, extreme air tightness, no air leakages, elimination of “thermal bridges” (weak spots in the building envelope where heat transfers easily) and building orientation that allows the sun to provide heat in the winter and where shade is provided in the summer.

Because these low-energy buildings are extremely airtight, Passive Homes also balance mechanical fresh air supply and exhaust systems. The fresh air supply system continuously replaces and filters stale indoor air with fresh outdoor air, which helps make buildings healthier, cleaner, and more comfortable.

Meet the Developer of Solstice Apartments

The Solstice Apartments project was initiated by Cody Fischer, founder and developer of Footprint Development LLC. He created Footprint Development to meet the rising demand for environmentally friendly, healthier homes with fresh, filtered indoor air and reliably low utility costs. The company uses science-based building practices to develop, own, and manage carbon-smart, climate-resilient, medium-scale multi-family housing in Minneapolis.

Footprint Development recognizes that location is crucial in the fight against climate change. The EPA estimates that occupants who live in housing like Solstice, located near transit, jobs, and commerce, use around 80% less energy on transportation than those who live in auto-dependent locations.

In May, the project became Minnesota’s first market rate apartment to be awarded Design Certification by the Passive House Institute of the U.S. Off Site Link Solstice Apartments will use around 84% less energy than the average apartment building in the region and will emit approximately 38% less carbon during construction when compared to today’s typical new construction. Additionally, the project is 100% electrified, with one-third of this power coming from a rooftop solar array. Footprint Development will provide the residents of Solstice Apartments with unlimited Metro Transit passes, a bike hub equipped with 1.5 spots per unit, and bike washing and repair stations.

The Sunrise Banks Connection

Sunrise Banks continuously creates environmentally focused partnerships as a proud Global Alliance for Banking on Values member and a Certified B Corporation. In addition, it consistently measures the carbon emissions of our loan portfolio and operations.

The opportunity to fund this Passive House is part of Sunrise Banks’ promise to our planet and in coordination with our focus on projects that create sustainable outcomes. In addition, the Solstice Apartments project aligns with our ongoing commitment to the Minneapolis community in which we live, work, and serve.

If you are a developer looking to acquire funding for your sustainable building project, contact Sunrise Banks’ commercial lending team for more information.

Digital Banking Log In

Securely log in to digital banking to manage your accounts, send payments, transfer money and pay bills.


Forgot Password