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. 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 Communities
Green building tools and resources
By combining environmental assistance grants with technical assistance, MPCA staff help create cutting-edge tools for sustainable design.
- Regenerative design as a path to resilience (U of MN College of Design)
- Minnesota Sustainable Housing Initiative (U of MN Center for Sustainable Building Research)
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.
- Minnesota GreenStar certification
- Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines (B3) – The B3 programs were developed for state-funded projects in Minnesota, but they are easily applied to any project.
Finding a professional
- American Institute of Architects - Minnesota Chapter firm directory
- Certified Commissioning Professionals (Building Commissioning Association) — Buidling commissioning is a process to ensure buidling systems are functioning optimally.
- Energy Star builders, lenders, raters, or utility programs
- Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) professionals
- GreenHome Institute professional partners
- The Not So Big House: Architects Builders and Craftspeople