Building Green in Rochester MN

We present a series of Articles on Building Green in Our Neck of the Woods

Building Green means incorporating environmental considerations and resource efficiency into every step of the home building and land development process to minimize environmental impact. During the design, construction, and operation of a home, a number of efficiencies should be considered, including energy and water efficiency, lot development, resource efficient building design and materials, indoor environmental quality, and homeowner maintenance. Although we cannot entirely avoid affecting the environment when a house is built, green building can work toward minimizing the environmental impacts.

Today's green homes incorporate not only climatic considerations, but are safer for occupants, less expensive to maintain, and make more efficient use of energy and other resources. The articles found in this section will explore the different aspects of green building and help consumers better understand the process.


Many of the energy-efficient qualities of a green home are easy to spot. Appliances, windows, and water heating systems will likely have ENERGY STAR ® ratings. The home should also include efficient lighting fixtures and bulbs.


Fixtures and appliances such as low-flow showerheads, faucets, and toilets, and ENERGY STAR ® dishwashers and washing machines all conserve water. Programmed, low-volume irrigation systems, rainwater collection systems, wastewater treatment systems, and hot water recirculation systems also save water.


These decisions - from home size, to orientation on the lot, to floor plan layout - are made in the design of your home and development of the lot. The house orientation and design should take advantage of natural daylight to reduce lighting needs, and should use strategies to reduce heat gain in the summer and heat loss in the winter. The home should contain renewable materials, including rapidly-renewable wood species, and recycled-content materials in carpets, tiles, and concrete formulations.

Indoor Air Quality

The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) must be appropriately sized for an efficient and properly ventilated home. Inadequate ventilation can increase indoor pollutant levels by not bringing in enough outdoor air to dilute emissions from indoor sources and by not carrying indoor air pollutants out of the home.

Site Design

Resource-efficient site design and development practices help reduce the environmental impacts and improve the energy performance of new housing. Principles such as preserving trees and utilizing storm water retention/infiltration features are basic processes used in the design and construction of green homes.


As both local and national government seek to increase the practice of green building and its regulation, we will be publishing articles on regulatory concerns.


This section will be for the latest info on innovation in green building and products that are deemed to have "green attributes". Please note that no product is truly green because it will always have both positive and negative impacts on the environment. We will mention those products that are the most efficient use of natural resources while producing the least amount of negative impacts on the environment.

Why Build Green?

Building Green positively affects our environment, health, community, and the economy. There has never been a better time to build green. These articles are designed to help consumers as well as the building community and will serve as a resource for Green Building questions.

Copyright 2018 Rochester Area Builders, Inc. No part of these articles may be reproduced or printed without written permission from Rochester Area Builders, 108 Elton Hills Lane NW, Rochester, MN 55901. Phone (507) 282-7698.