green standards


MN GreenStar

Minnesota GreenStar is a green building standard and green certification program for both existing and new homes that promotes healthy, durable, high performance homes while embracing Minnesota’s climate extremes and natural resources.

Program takes a whole-systems approach applying the five key concepts of green building programs: 

  • energy efficiency
  • resource efficiency (including durability)
  • indoor environmental quality
  • water conservation
  • site and community
  • to the eight components of the traditional building process

Third-party verification assures homeowners that the new home or remodeling project performs as designed.


LEED for Homes

LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system, providing third-party verification that a building or community was designed and built using strategies aimed at improving performance across all the metrics that matter most: 

  • energy savings 
  • water efficiency 
  • CO2 emissions reduction 
  • improved indoor environmental quality
  • stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators a concise framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations, and maintenance solutions.


Passive House Institute U. S.

The Passive House Institute U.S. (PHIUS) is a consulting and research firm working to further the implementation of Passive House standards and techniques nationwide:

  • high performance building envelope
  • high-efficiency mechanical system
  • renewable energy systems
  • net energy / positive energy balance
  • carbon neutral operation


MN Green Communities

Minnesota Green Communities seeks to ensure that all new affordable housing built in Minnesota is green:

  • markedly reduced energy costs
  • use of materials beneficial to the environment
  • conservation-minded land use planning
  • attention to the creation of healthy environments and lifestyles for individuals, children, families, and communities

The initiative aims to green rehab or retrofit 10,000 units of existing affordable housing by 2015.


Energy Star

ENERGY STAR is a joint program between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy created in 1992 to help save money and protect the environment through energy efficient building practices and products, such as appliances and electronics, for both commercial and residential use.


Architecture 2030

Architecture 2030 is an environmental advocacy group focused on stabilizing and reversing greenhouse gas emissions in the building sector through fossil fuel use reduction in new buildings to become carbon neutral by 2030:

  • innovative design strategies
  • application of renewable technologies 
  • purchase (maximum 20%) of renewable energy