This year, there are eight homes on the Twin Cities Parade of Homes Fall Showcase that have been certified by the new Minnesota Greenstar program. The regional Greenstar program specifies green building standards and certifies adherence to them through inspections during construction.
During the past year, more than 300 builders have been trained to build or remodel houses to qualify for Greenstar certification. The certification helps builders and consumers achieve a common understanding of the features necessary to call a home green. Once a home is certified, consumers can be assured they are getting a truly green home.
The program has three levels: bronze, silver and gold. The rating is determined by how many features in the five core principles of green have been incorporated into the home. Those core principles are energy efficiency, resource efficiency, water conservation, site and community impact, and indoor environmental quality. A detailed checklist is used by Greenstar staff members to assign points for green attributes. The green attributes are then verified by independent inspectors.
Touring the Greenstar homes offers a chance to gather the information about how green features reduce home operating costs. Not all green attributes need to be built into the home when it’s constructed, however. If some of the features appeal to you, you can install them at your own home to reduce your home’s impact on the environment, reduce your home’s operating costs, and possibly even increase your property values.
To read more about some of the Greenstar homes on the Parade, read this StarTribune article. To find a Minnesota GreenStar home on the Twin Cities Parade of Homes, look for the green star next to the entry information in the numbered listings section of the guidebook. There is also a separate search for MN GreenStar homes at www.paradeofhomes.org. For more information on the program, visit: www.mngreenstar.org.
Presented by the Builders Association of the Twin Cities, there are 497 model homes in 105 communities throughout the Twin Cities metro area on this year’s Twin Cities Parade of Homes. The homes range from a $119,900 townhouse in Cambridge to a $3.5 million stately house in Wayzata. There will also be more than 100 free seminars offered on topics such as home staging, home buying and selling tips, eco-friendly landscaping and green building. These informational discussions will be held at homes on the parade. The 60th Parade of Homes will be held on weekends from September 6th through October 5th. The houses will be open from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, and from noon to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Free, with the exception of a $5 charitable donation to the two Dream Homes. Guidebooks are available at Twin Cities Holiday station stores and at www.paradeofhomes.org.