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Now a Certified Green Path Builder

May 8, 2019

Minnesota’s Green PathSM is an energy and green building program for the residential construction industry. Launched by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) in late 2011, MN Green Path provides builders with a realistic approach to building energy-efficient and sustainable homes.

The program offers two green certification levels (advanced and master), plus a base energy tested level which is on the way to becoming an industry standard.

One of the reasons for Green Path’s popularity is its exclusive Home Performance Report (HPR). The HPR is at the heart of MN Green Path, providing home buyers with test results from third- party, independent RESNET energy raters in an easy-to- understand and compare format, like a new vehicle’s MPG window sticker.

Minnesota’s Green Path, The Right Path for Minnesota Home Buyers…All of You.

Which one are you?

• It’s the environment, stupid. Building a new home for you will mean recycled materials, super-energy construction, built-in recycling bins, maybe even a gray water reservoir and definitely solar a panels.

• It’s all about the money. When you build you’ll be looking at the bottom line, today and into the future. Yes, there will be energy-saving construction to keep your future bills low, and you’ll calculate the return on investment for every single choice you make.

In all reality, most of us fall somewhere in between those two extremes. And that’s OK. The beauty of Minnesota’s Green Path is that it is for everyone, from passionate environmentalist to bean-counter extraordinaire. Green Path boasts “radical transparency,” so no matter what route you choose through the program, you’ll receive an easily-understood Home Performance Report (HPR) with details about the efforts you’ve made. And, we’re confident this will make your home even more valuable in years to come.

Meeting More Home Buyer’s Needs

It’s very clear from study after study that today’s home buyers want some level of improved energy efficiency, but still don’t want to pay too much for green features. Buyers today are also information starved. They want to know everything they can about a product before they buy it. MN’s Green Path succeeds in bringing these two realities together beautifully with a green-build program anchored on choice and on providing the missing data to help you make home buying decisions that are right for you.

When you buy a new home, you’ll spend a lot of time balancing your choices. You can compare prices between neighborhoods, home styles, size and number of rooms. Do you want a big neighborhood or a more intimate setting? Do you want the value of a two-story or the convenience of a rambler? Will you exchange extra square footage for more luxurious finishings?

But understanding the mechanical side of a new home isn’t quite so simple. Just how do you measure a home’s energy performance factors, its indoor environmental quality or its durability?

How a home performs is a combination of many factors, from construction materials and techniques, to equipment choices and R-values (the unit thermal resistance, generally in walls and ceilings). And that’s where Green Path’s Home Performance Report (HPR) and energy testing comes in. It removes the mystery of how well all of those variables work together, with a test score that can be compared with others.

Just like the MPG window sticker on a new car, the HPR helps you make better choices about your own family’s needs and wants. You and your builder choose the level of energy efficiency and green features appropriate to your needs and budget, and Minnesota’s Green Path ensures complete transparency — documenting the home’s HERS score and green features for all to see on the Green Path HPR.

The Three Levels of Minnesota’s Green Path

For those buyers who want more efficiency and environmental sensitivity in the construction of their new home, MN’s Green Path offers two green certification options. These levels require a higher level of energy and green choices.

Certification requirements include:

Advanced Certified: A new home with a HERS score of no more than 55 (the average Minnesota code-built home currently scores 80). The home must also earn 5 total points in Energy Efficiency, 5 points in Indoor Environmental Quality, 5 points in one of Water Conservation, Resource Management or Site/Development disciplines, and 5 points from any elective checklist.

Master Certified: A new home with a HERS score of no more than 50 (the average Minnesota code-built home currently scores 80). The home must also earn 10 total points in each of the five areas of green construction: Energy Efficiency, Indoor Environmental Quality, Water Conservation, Resource Management and Site/ Development.

Advanced and Certified points are offered for use of green construction materials, techniques and products per the Green Path checklist, which you can find online at GP_consumer_brochure_2018-1.pdf

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