An Evaluation of Green Housing Rehabilitation in Minnesota

Project Funders: Blue Cross/Blue Shield Foundation of Minnesota, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and Enterprise Community Partners

Project Partners: NCHH's partners in the project include Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership, the University of Minnesota's Center for Sustainable Building Research, Minnesota Green Communities, the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, the Family Housing Fund, Enterprise Community Partners, and Enterprise Social Investment Corporation.

Project Contact: Jill Breysse, jbreysse@nchh.org, 443.539.4155

Project Description: This project is a longitudinal evaluation of how building green and healthy affects the health status of adults and children who reside in homes that have recently been renovated to green and healthy standards. Evaluation measures include a combination of air quality measures, interviews, and visual assessments. Health status measures include residents' self-reports of health and well-being, asthma and other respiratory effects, injuries, allergies, neurological effects (e.g., headaches), mental health, and overall perception of health status. The project includes substantial rehabilitation of 60 apartment units in the rural community of Worthington, MN to meet the Enterprise Green Communities Criteria. The green features include:

  • Installation of a high-efficiency geothermal heating and cooling system;
  • Enhanced insulation of the building envelope;
  • Energy Star appliances;
  • Energy-efficient lighting and occupancy sensor controls;
  • Water-conserving appliances and fixtures;
  • Improved ventilation, including continuous ventilation of bathrooms and fresh air;
  • Low-VOC paints, sealants, and adhesives;
  • Interior finish materials using recycled content; and 
  • On-site recycling of demolition and construction materials.

Viking Terrace Renovation