Green building, also called sustainable or high-performance building, means a significantly reduced impact on the Earth's resources compared to conventional building practices.
We define a green building as one that is both economical to operate and healthy and comfortable for its occupants. It conserves resources (including energy, water, raw materials and land) and minimizes the generation of toxic materials and waste in its design, construction, landscaping, operations and maintenance. A green building also considers historic preservation and access to public infrastructure systems, as well as the entire life cycle of the building and its components.
MPCA's Green Building Program
The Green Building program strives to help communities find creative environmental solutions that are economically viable and meet social needs. By teaming up with other state agencies, local governments, community groups, trade associations, building professionals, academic institutions, and citizens, MPCA helps advance sustainable building practices in Minnesota.
Developing partnerships and capacity to expand green building
The MPCA partners with other groups to promote training, public education, policy, and program development, including:
- U.S. Green Building Council - Minnesota Chapter
- Duluth Energy Design Conference & Expo
- Minnesota Green Schools Coalition
- Minnesota Green Communities Initiative
- ICC/AMBO Upper Great Plains Region III Educational Institute
Offering financial and/or technical assistance
Green building staff offer one-on-one and general technical assistance to cities, counties, associations, schools, and others to help them integrate green building into planning, policies, and operations.
- City of Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy
- Ford Plant Site Sustainability Planning
- Eco-Home at Hawk Ridge (Duluth)
- City of Saint Louis Park Green Remodeling Program
- Thinc.Green MSP - Mayors’ Green Manufacturing Initiative
- LEED and B3 Local Government Workshops
- City of Morris Eco Friendly Affordable Housing
Providing green building tools and resources
By combining environmental assistance grants with technical assistance, MPCA staff help create cutting-edge tools for sustainable design.
- Smart Remodeling Curriculum
- Carbon Calculator for Green Buildings
- Comprehensive Renewable Energy Curriculum
- Minnesota Green Affordable Housing Guide
Providing service and recognition to communities
Direct assistance is provided to help Minnesota communities conserve energy and implement other green building strategies.
Facilitating development of green building guidelines and certification programs
Green building guidelines set performance standards and provide important information on local materials, waste issues, and climate-related design considerations.
- LEED 2009 and 2012 Regional Priority Credits
- Minnesota GreenStar
- Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (B3)
Increasing awareness through public education and outreach
Green Building specialists help build a foundation by educating Minnesotans about the value of green building in their lives.