Dovetail Partners Releases Green Building Comparison Report

Review of the Minnesota GreenStar Program and National Green Building Standard


(Mpls, MN) Dovetail Partners has released a new report that evaluates theMinnesota GreenStar Program and the National Green Building Standarddeveloped by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).


“The National Green Building Standard and MN GreenStar both have potential for successful projects in Minnesota. Both programs address important environmental standards and offer educational tools to help builders understand the process of certification and the importance of green building,” says Alison Lindburg, the report author and Director of the Eco-Affordable Housing Program for Dovetail Partners.  Lindburg is a LEED AP and serves on the Technical Committee for the Minnesota GreenStar Program.


Minnesota GreenStar commissioned the report in the interest of better understanding how the programs compare and what the major differences are between them.


“Minnesota GreenStar is a regionally specific program that has been tailored for our state, and we wanted to understand how our work contrasts with a national program,” says Michael Williams, Executive Director of MN GreenStar.


The report identifies leadings strengths and weakness for each program. Some strengths of the MN GreenStar program are that it follows the natural order of a building project, has a strong sense of how remodeling projects work, and provides credits that are specific to regional issues in Minnesota. The MN GreenStar program also provides free downloadable manuals to help support program participation. NAHB’s National Green Building Standard offers certification for multiple project types on a national level, has achieved ANSI certification and provides an online scoring tool for new construction projects.


“It is helpful to the building community to have both a strong, regional program and one that offers guidance for green remodeling – a segment of the green building market that has much to contribute,” says Lindburg.


Both programs also demonstrate opportunities for improvement. The NAHB currently charges a fee for accessing the manual, and the online scoring tool is not available for all types of projects, including some remodeling projects.  For MN GreenStar, the quality of information in the manuals is under development and MN GreenStar currently does not offer an online scoring method.


“MN GreenStar just released an updated version in April 2009, which further enhances the program and addresses some of the past gaps,” says Williams. “Our next version will include an online scoring option as well.”


The full report is available by clicking here.