Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies Office Building Renovation and Expansion

KFI was contracted to provide the energy modeling, engineering, and commissioning services for the expansion and renovation of Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies’ office building. Sustainable design was a focal point of this project. The owner desired and received a LEED Platinum rating for the facility. This desire for energy efficiency and sustainability led the client to hire KFI for the complete design of the building’s MEP systems. In addition to redesigning portions of the existing building, a two story addition was constructed. The expanded portion of the building includes outdoor work areas, collaborative meeting spaces, a central cafe, fitness room, and workspaces with ample access to natural light. The building also incorporates energy efficient, motion-activated lighting and high quality indoor air supported by state of the art HVAC systems.

Highlights of the project

Energy Efficiency

In order to achieve the desired sustainability goals, KFI conducted both energy and daylight modeling which was later used in the systems implementation decision making process. The existing building utilized 96 photovoltaic panels covering 60% of the roof, this was expanded to a total of 408 photovoltaic panels. In addition to the photovoltaic expansion, a geothermal well field was added to the campus. The system contains 12 loops with 12 bore holes on each loop, totaling 144 wells that average 220′ deep and is located in a wetland. KFI worked with Nine Mile Creek Watershed to add the necessary safeties to help protect the wetland. These systems provide an estimated 60-70% energy savings. The property features a grey water drip irrigation system, a first of its kind in Minnesota. The building also features a rainwater collection system with a storage capacity of over 55,000 gallons. Additional strategies modeled for the site included a green roof, rainwater system for irrigating the roof, a green power contract, radiant heating and cooling, daylight harvesting, advanced lighting controls, and additional photovoltaic energy solutions.

Technology Design

KFI’s electrical and low voltage engineers completed the design for the telecommunications systems, emergency communications system, fire alarm system, and digital networked lighting controls. KFI also designed the full pathways for the security system, security access control system, intercom system, paging system, audio/video system, distributed antenna system (DAS), and the intrusion detection system. This design included all of the telecommunications pathways shared by multiple systems and the telecommunications racks, uninterruptible power supply, and power supplies for various low voltage equipment.


In addition to the design and construction administration, KFI’s independent commissioning team conducted LEED fundamental commissioning tasks for this project. This technical commissioning process began early in the project with independent design reviews of our engineer’s design. Comments were forwarded to the project team for consideration. Throughout construction, KFI’s commissioning team attended construction meetings and performed construction observations to ensure quality craftsmanship and installations were being provided. As systems came online, KFI’s diverse commissioning team provided functional testing on all systems to confirm the functionality and conformance to the design intent. Our commissioning engineers and technicians worked with the project team to ensure any issues were resolved, and the owner received a building that functions according to design.