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Green building case studies

The Green Building program has developed brief case studies of new and renovated buildings in Minnesota to demonstrate real-world applications of sustainable building principles and strategies.

Central Corridor Workshop: Using health data as a design tool

PDF Document Central Corridor Workshop - Using Health Data as a Design Tool External Link

The Central Corridor light rail line links St. Paul and Minneapolis.This new report summarizes the proceedings from a workshop held in Saint Paul in May 2014, introducing the roles that population health data and Health Impact Assessments (HIAs) can play in the real estate development process. The workshop compared the demographic, socioeconomic, behavioral, and environmental health risk factors associated with three neighborhoods along the new Central Corridor light rail line in Saint Paul. The design recommendations in the report draw heavily from green building practices — many of which offer potential health benefits — to demonstrate the value of matching design strategies with the health needs of a specific location. For more information about Adele Houghton (presenter) and use of health data to inform green design:

Minnesota case studies

These links provide examples of the many buildings in Minnesota designed and constructed using green building guidelines, standards, rating systems and/or certification programs. 

Commercial, institutional, multi-family and single family residential

  • HTML Content Minnesota case studies (U.S. Green Building Council) External Link
    The Minnesota chapter of USGBC has a nice ongoing series of fact sheets about buildings in Minnesota that have received LEED certification, including new construction, existing buildings operations & maintenance, commercial interiors, schools, or homes rating systems.
  • HTML Content Passive House Alliance Minnesota projects External Link
    Details on a sampling of Passive House projects built in Minnesota and the surrounding region.
  • HTML Content Energy Innovation Corridor showcase External Link
    Read case studies about LEED projects along the 11-mile corridor from downtown Minneapolis to downtown Saint Paul.
  • HTML Content B3 Case Studies Database External Link
    Design and performance information on projects using the B3 Guidelines and the SB 2030 Energy Standard. Each project case study includes a Scorecard with several performance metrics including energy, carbon, water, stormwater, and waste. The case study also includes an SB 2030 Label indicating the projects Energy Use Intensity (EUI) during design and actual performance.
  • HTML Content Minnesota GreenStar Project Portfolio External Link
    This Minnesota-designed green certification program with third-party verification takes a whole-building approach by applying the five key concepts of green building programs (energy efficiency, resource efficiency and durability, indoor environmental quality, water conservation, and site and community) to the eight components of the traditional building process (outdoor and site, building envelope and systems, mechanicals, electrical and lighting, plumbing systems and fixtures, finish materials and coatings, waste management) using the Minnesota GreenStar Checklist and Manual.
  • HTML Content Eco-Home at Hawk Ridge (Duluth) External Link
    A solar model home demonstrating energy efficiency, renewable energy and green building (Duluth, Minn.). Initially used for demonstration and educational purposes, funded by a small Environmental Assistance grant from MPCA. The design and construction methods serve as an example of how to build low-energy, high-performance homes with attention to conservation and health of people and the environment.

More local government green buildings

  • PDF Document Dakota County Building Design Standards External Link
    The county has created long-lasting buildings that were systematically planned, designed, constructed, and now operated to create minimal impact to the environment. Adopted in 2001, these standards have been used for the design and construction of the Lebanon Hills Trailhead and Visitor Center, the Northern Service Center, and Thompson Park Center/Dakota Lodge.
  • HTML Content Minneapolis Sustainable Facility Case Studies External Link
    Minneapolis is building municipal facilities that are sustainable and efficient. From conception to completion, the buildings featured in these case studies are meant to be environmentally friendly by incorporating practices that help reduce overall energy consumption, water use, water runoff, construction waste, and materials used.

Award-winning projects

  • HTML Content AIA/COTE Annual Top Ten Green Projects External Link
    The American Institute of Architects Committee on the Environment believes that the best architecture integrates the natural and built environments in a way that improves and sustains quality of life. COTE selects their annual Top Ten Green Projects based on such criteria as site, ecosystem, design process, community connection, high performance, low energy use, water conservation, and materials and resources.


Last modified on July 31, 2014 18:59