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 Communities
Financial technical assistance projects
Model policy and ordinance development has been supported by technical assistance from green building staff.
- City of Saint Paul Sustainable Building Policy
- Ford Plant Site
- City of Minneapolis Commercial Building Benchmarking and Disclosure
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 (CSBR)
- 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.