Show off your Green! State Fair seeking applicants for 2012 Green Homes – Real Estate Matters
Green Building

Show off your Green! State Fair seeking applicants for 2012 Green Homes

Green Building - Eco Experience - MN State Fair

The State Fair, Eco Experience, is currently seeking applicants (extended deadline of February 17) of qualified organizations and businesses “to conceptualize, design, produce and deconstruct” Green Homes at the 2012 Eco Experience exhibit.  The State Fair’s Eco Experience venue (a partnership between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (PCA) Green Building Program and the Minnesota State Fair) has drawn hundreds of government, businesses, green building professionals, non-profits, and thousands of Minnesotans since its first year in 2006.

“The exciting part of the Eco Experience is how different it can be every year. In 2012 we are hoping to create a green building exhibit that inspires action and leads people to resources that make their home improvements a reality. It’s a fun project that brings together creative professionals to work together in new ways.”  Britt Gangeness with Eco Experience at the PCA tells UST.  Further enticing to potential exhibitors, Gangeness  notes,  “you’ll be be at the Fair every day can eat fair food 12 days in a row!”

NDSU students designed and constructed a "passive house" at last year's Eco Experience

This year’s display, design and building participants will showcase “greening” existing homes.  The showcased examples should offer sound investment strategies for consumers while offering family and community benefits. Through participating with Eco Experience, “partners have the opportunity to reach hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans with their message and brand.”  Details and the Request for Information (RFI) can be found on the PCA’s website, here.  To facilitate networking and partnering for applicant teams, MPCA has also created a Google Group; you can collaborate with the group here.

High tech strategies house, Rehkamp Larson Architects

Last year’s Eco Experience theme was “Green Crossings”, a street intersection that included two homes designed by Rehkamp Larson Architects, the “Common Cottage” and the “Tech Tower”.  The Green Crossings exhibit also featured a passive house designed by architecture students at NDSU and a “Community Corner” featuring alternative transportation ideas and a community garden.

Low tech strategies house, Rehkamp Larson architects

For 2012, the primary message for the Green Homes exhibit should communicate several key concepts  to its audience, including:

From the PCA’s RFI:

  • Greening your home is a process, not a product. Whether building a new home, or remodeling, renovating or maintaining an existing one, there are many opportunities to make your home greener.
  • Existing homes offer many opportunities to utilize cost-effective green building strategies. Even newer homes may need upgrades, because materials, methods, standards and techniques have improved in recent years.
  • Home improvements should: Reduce energy use and other environmental impacts, Reduce operational/maintenance expenses, Increase durability of systems and materials, Result in greater comfort for inhabitants.
  • The way you live in your home affects its performance. Economical operation of buildings requires input/action by the occupants.
  • Green certification programs promoted by the MN Certified Homes Coalition can help give homeowners peace-of-mind about green claims.
  • Emerging technologies, materials and standards will have increasing effects on building design and operating.

For more information on Building Green, check out the PCA’s web resources which includes cases studies, costs of building green, waste minimization strategies, financial incentives/programs, professional resources and more.

If you are interested in being involved in the 2012 Eco Experience but perhaps not on a professional level, you can also always volunteer. Email the PCA at

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