Green building and energy frameworks

The Minnesota GreenStep Cities program challenges cities to improve their public and private building stock by providing a number of best practice options. Several of those options involve a city choosing to use a "green building or energy framework"—a code, standard, rating/certification, or guidelines with verification—differing formats and processes that all provide guidance to improve the sustainability of buildings.

Here is a list of frameworks the GreenStep program thinks provide value to cities.

Assistance and advice. To learn more about the differences among these frameworks, their applicability to your city, and for help in choosing to use one framework over another, contact Laura Millberg, Green Building Specialist, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (651-757-2568, laura.millberg@state.mn.us).

Codes

HTML icon Code: International Green Construction Code

The IgCC is the first model code to include sustainability measures for the entire construction project and its site — from design through construction, certificate of occupancy and beyond. The new code is expected to make buildings more efficient, reduce waste, and have a positive impact on health, safety and community welfare.

Code: City of Maplewood Green Building Program
Municipal ordinance required for all city buildings and voluntary for private buildings is based on the International Green Construction Code for commercial-type buildings and the National Green Building Standards for homes.

Standards

From site location to energy use to recycling, Standard 189.1 sets the foundation for green buildings by addressing site sustainability, water use efficiency, energy efficiency, indoor environmental quality, and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources. Developed cooperatively by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), the U.S. Green Building Council, the Illuminating Engineering Society, and the International Code Council, this standard serves as a compliance option in the 2012 International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

Accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). A collaborative effort between the NAHB and the International Code Council, the standard provides “green” practices that can be incorporated into new homes, including high-rise multifamily buildings, home remodeling and additions, hotels and motels, and the site upon which the green homes are located. The green practices include lot design, preparation and development; resource, energy, and water efficiency; indoor environmental quality; and operation, maintenance, and building owner education.

Passive House provides the highest certified building-energy standard in the world, with the promise of reducing the total energy consumption of buildings by up to 90% while providing superior comfort and indoor environmental quality.

ENERGY-STAR-certified new homes are designed and built to energy standards well above most other homes on the market today, delivering energy efficiency savings of up to 30% when compared to typical new homes.

Builds on the foundation of EPA's ENERGY STAR requirements for new homes to provide comprehensive indoor air quality protections in new homes. Construction specifications include the careful selection and installation of moisture control systems; heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning systems; combustion-venting systems; radon resistant construction; and low-emitting building materials.

Rating systems with certification

LEED is the most widely used third-party verification for green building projects of all kinds: Building Design and Construction; Interior Design and Construction; Building Operations and Maintenance; Neighborhood Development; Homes.

Green Globes is a nationally recognized program for green rating assessment, guidance and certification. Project types include New Construction; Existing Buildings; Interiors.

A building certification program, advocacy tool and philosophy that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment. Its twenty imperatives can be applied to new buildings or existing structures.

Formerly the Minnesota GreenStar (MNGS), this certification is a robust above-code renovation, addition & new construction program based on the 5 pillars of green (Energy, Health, Water, Materials, and Place) and how they are affected systematically by the 7 components of a home (outdoor/site, building envelope systems, mechanicals, electrical/lighting, plumbing systems and fixtures, finish materials and coatings, and waste management). The online checklist and manual are free. GreenStar raters and quality-assurance reviewers ensure what was planned was actually done in the home

Guidelines with verification

The B3 Guidelines for new construction and substantial renovation of commercial buildings are intended to help make buildings more energy efficient and sustainable. These Guidelines have been developed for and are required on State-funded projects in Minnesota, however they are easily applied to any project to meet sustainability goals for site, water, energy, indoor environment, materials and waste. The SB 2030 Energy Standard is automatically included in the process.

Minnesota Green Communities is a statewide collaboration of the Minnesota-based Greater Minnesota Housing Fund and Family Housing Fund together with Enterprise’s national Green Communities Initiative. It seeks to ensure that all new affordable housing built in Minnesota is green. Additionally, the initiative aims to green rehab or retrofit 10,000 units of existing affordable housing by 2015. Guidelines include the Green Communities Criteria with Minnesota Overlay, and the Green Specifications for Single Family Housing Rehabilitation in Minnesota.

The B3 Sustainable Building 2030 (SB 2030) Energy Standard is intended to significantly reduce the energy use and carbon emissions of Minnesota commercial, institutional and industrial buildings. Based on the national Architecture 2030 program, program, SB 2030 has been tailored to the needs of Minnesota buildings. The SB 2030 Energy Standard for all projects built after 2010 is 60 percent below that of an average building. Then in 2015, the standard becomes 70 percent better and so on until net zero energy is reached in 2030. SB 2030 is required on all projects that receive general obligation bond funding from the State of Minnesota, but it can also be applied to any new or renovated building project on a voluntary basis during design.