Mini-Conference in Warren Provides Green Building Tips for Homeowners


October 7, 2008 (Mpls, MN) - Homeowners, business-owners, students, and building contractors from northwestern Minnesota gathered at the Bremer Bank in Warren on September 20th to attend a Green Building and Energy Mini-conference. The conference, sponsored by Marvin Windows and Bremer Bank, was hosted by the non-profit organization Dovetail Partners and the Warren Economic Development Authority (WEDA). The event was part of an effort to bring green building resources to rural Minnesota and enhance local economic development.



Attendees at the conference learned about sustainable building techniques and shared personal experiences with trying to be green.


“It all makes sense when you think about it,” says LeRoy Vonasek, a Warren resident with a geothermal heating and cooling system. “I took a lot of notes today and now I have a few more things I can do to my own home to be more ‘green'.”



One educational session included an on-site energy assessment of a local resident's home by the Tri-Valley Opportunity Council (TVOC). “There is a high demand for energy assessments right now,” says Jason Carlson of TVOC. “Our main focus is to help people, so it was great to be involved in this educational program and demonstrate what an energy assessment actually looks like.”



“Getting your home tested for energy-efficiency seems like a really important starting point to saving money,” says John Golden, a Warren homeowner. “I had no idea this service existed, and that the cost was so reasonable. It's a no-brainer.”



The conference also hit on some key points regarding the use of local materials as being both environmentally friendly and good for the local economy. Warren-area green projects and green business initiatives were also highlighted.


“Minnesota has many different local building products, but it can be difficult to know where to start,” states Alison Lindburg, director of Dovetail Partners' Eco-Affordable Housing program. “This project will help pave the way for future builders to use local materials and answer questions related to green building.”

Dovetail is planning on building a Minnesota-Made Home in Warren that will be energy-efficient, focus on local materials, and be affordable to someone in the community to purchase. The home will also be used as a demonstration tool for other residents and contractors to learn from.




WEDA has hopes to put together another green conference this winter, and Dovetail is planning additional green conferences for other rural communities as well.