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Aiming for Net Zero at Metro Storage Eagan

CNH Architects recently partnered with Emanuelson-Podas Engineers to provide Net Zero energy modeling for Metro Self Storage. The energy modeling study determined the requirements necessary to achieve zero energy goals for the to-be-built facility in Eagan. 

What is Net Zero?

A Net Zero facility is a building with net zero energy consumption, meaning the annual amount of energy a building uses is equal to the annual amount of renewable energy created on the building site. Various methods are used to achieve this including solar panels and high-efficiency windows and insulation.

Examples of options to reach Net Zero at self storage facility include:

  • Occupancy sensors for control of outside air, including lights that monitor when people are in the building and reduce the outside air volume to zero whenever the storage spaces are unoccupied
  • Incorporate overhead doors with high-speed door closings
  • Swap constant volume rooftop single speed unit fans with variable speed drive units that can vary the amount of airflow based on temperature in the storage spaces

Net Zero at Metro Storage Eagan

The planned 112,734 sf three story building includes an office area, drive aisle, and self-storage units. It will be both heated and air-conditioned, factors that play a large role in achieving the zero energy goal.


The modeling study found that nearly 67 percent of total energy use comes from space heating (fossil fuels). Different options for heating the complex were compared (electric and rooftop heat pumps) as were a variety of solar panels, scenarios for insulation, lighting design, cooling source, high-speed overhead doors, and occupancy sensors.

CNH is introducing to Metro Storage Eagan the following:

  • a large array of solar panels on the roof
  • an energy-efficient HVAC system
  • R-40 roof insulation
  • high-speed overhead doors

“We have implemented mechanical strategies to minimize energy use and are providing solar panels to provide a majority of the energy needs,” explained CNH Senior Associate and Project Architect Jessica Johnson Kreps, “We are working toward Net Zero electrical needs.” 


The study was completed in part to see if the facility could feasibly and cost-effectively achieve zero energy goals. 

Construction on the facility will start in Spring 2022.

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