Knowledge Base

Knowledge Base

The Minnesota Sustainable Housing Initiative website is a portal for information and research being conducted by the Center for Sustainable Building Research to inform and support the creation of affordable, healthy, durable, and resource and energy efficient homes throughout the state and region. Two key areas of the knowledge base areas analysis and recommendations and case studies. Together they offer information across environmental topics and project scales; and provide insight into the decisions, process, and outcomes of noteworthy projects.

Analysis & Recommendations

Case Studies

CSBR is looking for projects to highlight successful energy and water retrofits as part of our case study database. If you have a project that you would like to share please contact us here. Include a brief description and contact information in your email.

Technical Assistance


The Center for Sustainable Building Research is available to provide charrette, facilitation and technical assistance for housing developers and municipal agencies working to create sustainable affordable housing across the region. CSBR brings knowledge and research capacity along with a deep experience with Green Communities Criteria and Minnesota's B3 and SB 2030 programs and more recently the Living Building Challenge. We are an Enterprise Green Communities Technical Assistance Provider Network member chosen due to a demonstrated expertise and experience with integrated design; data analysis and portfolio benchmarking.

Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR)

CSBR's Upstream program is inspired by the fact that as design work progresses, opportunities to improve performance decrease, while the costs of achieving set performance goals increase. It is estimated that early design decisions affect up to 80% of a project's impacts to the environment and operational costs. Upstream is tied to the Green Communities Criteria with the Minnesota Overlay and is intended to assist teams to quickly assess options in order to maximize positive outcomes for projects in a variety of areas including energy and water efficiency, stormwater management, transportation, and resident health.

For more information on the Upstream project or to download early planning tools visit the Upstream introduction page.

News & Project Highlights



GREAT Study Publication
The findings of the Green Rehabilitation of Elder Apartment Treatments: The GREAT Study have been published in the Journal of Public Health. The paper, Self-Reported Health Outcomes Associated With Green-Renovated Public Housing Among Primarily Elderly Residents, follows the study which assessed the impact of sustainable building renovations on residents. The study found that green renovation has a positive impact on mental health of residents when compared to a similar population.