Guidelines and Ratings Systems

Sustainable guidelines and rating systems are an important tool for designers, developers, and builders in their pursuit of sustainable buildings. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of both national and regional guidelines across building types and market sectors. The Center for Sustainable Building Research (CSBR) is working to support these efforts through research, outreach, and education.

Projects funded by Minnesota Housing and by the State of Minnesota through bonding are subject to mandatory green building guidelines. Green Communities criteria with the Minnesota Overlay for multifamily and single family housing have been adopted by Minnesota Housing and their funding partners as part of their design requirements and must be adhered to on projects funded by the agency. The exception to this requirement is projects that are funded by state issued General Obligation Bonds (GO Bonds). Projects receiving GO Bond funds are required by statute to use the B3-Minnestoa Sustainable Building Guidelines. Green Communities criteria with the Minnesota Overlay are waived as a requirement for GO Bond funded projects.

In an effort to support these programs, CSBR has developed several resources to assist users. An online tool that links the Green Communities criteria with the Minnesota Overlay, directly to cited information and additional resources can be reached through the links below.

Several resources for projects required to use the B3-Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines are available. A tool that shows a dual compliance path and comparison of MN Green Communities and the B3 guidelines is also available to familiarize Green Communities users with B3 (dual compliance is not required by the Minnesota Housing).

In addition to Green Communities, the following programs are currently being used or are under development to support the design and construction of sustainable housing in Minnesota. These programs take a variety of approaches and can be used to guide the development of both affordable and market rate sustainable homes.