Green Building Materials: Made in Minnesota

Lead Author: Alison Lindburg

Publish date: 05.29.2008


There are now more than 40 green building standards in the United States. Some green building programs operate at a national scale while others are regional or state specific. Within nearly every green building program, there is at least one common theme – a preference for local materials.


There is widespread recognition that the use of local materials helps to reduce negative environmental impacts by minimizing the transportation of raw materials and finished products. The use of local resources can also support the regional economy and avoid externalizing environmental impacts to other parts of the world. In most instances, using local is the most environmentally, socially and economically responsible choice.

This report explores the opportunities for achieving modern day green building goals by focusing on the opportunity to use local materials and locally manufactured products. Using the resources of Minnesota as an example, this report outlines what it might take to build homes without looking much further than one state's borders.