MN GreenStar & National Green Building Standards Comparison

Lead Author: Alison Lindburg

Publish date: 04.17.2009


Green building standards play a key role in the “green” movement. Green building programs provide helpful tools and information about how to build green, offer insight to the environmental impacts of green building construction, and allow for growth and understanding in the building industry. Green building standards also create achievable benchmarks that mark excellence and offer incentives for future improvement. A quality green building standard that has the highest potential for reducing negative environmental impact will follow an upstream approach, attempting to address issues before they become problems and will not compromise integrity for ease of use to the builder. There are many different green building programs currently available in Minnesota, and each program has its own challenges and advantages.


The purpose and scope of this report is to provide a comparison the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) National Green Building Standard (NGBS) and the Minnesota GreenStar New Homes and Remodeling standard, both of which are available in Minnesota. This report compares and contrasts the programs’ basic processes, general usability, and the environmental benchmarks that each program’s standard embodies. This report is based on the Minnesota GreenStar checklist and manual versions available as of January 1, 2009, and the National Green Building Standard Second Public Draft version.