Every time a house is built, CO2 emissions from construction contribute to warming our planet. A 2021 report from the National Home Builders Association reported that 78% of homebuyers said they were concerned with the impact home building had on the environment.
Initiatives like Minnesota’s Green Path program are helping builders and homeowners better understand the sometimes complex world of green building. First created by Housing First Minnesota in 2011, Minnesota’s Green Path is comprised of multiple areas like Home Performance Reports for consumers and a Designated Green Path Builder Program for homebuilders.
Home Performance Reports
Home Performance Reports (HPRs) are a third-party, independent program that explains the score the home received on RESNET’s Home Energy Rating System. Each home is tested against standard criteria and given an overall score between one and 150.
The score reflects factors like quality insulation, seals, and foundation; use of solar power or energy-efficient appliances; air quality and flow; and use of recycled materials.
Homes with lower scores are considered more energy efficient. Minneota’s average score is 50, which is the lowest state average for states that test over 1,000 homes.
Designated Green Path Builder Program
Another initiative within Minnesota’s Green Path is the Designated Green Path Builder program. These builders commit to energy testing at least 75% of their new single-family homes. They also attend an annual training course on green building.
Programs like Minnesota’s Green Path are equipping both builders and homeowners with the knowledge to pave the path to a more earth-friendly future one home at a time.