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Building Standards

Minnesota Housing establishes minimum design standards to assist in our commitment to meeting Minnesotans' needs for decent, safe and sustainable affordable housing. These standards also provide assistance to architects and contractors in understanding their role within Minnesota Housing's development process and associated requirements with their services.
2015 Rental Housing Design/Construction Standards (RHD/CS) Applicable to all Multifamily projects. Multifamily Projects may include single family homes, duplexes, townhomes and multi-storied buildings with elevators in which the occupants are renters and do not own the property. The standards cover the following items:
                Chapter 1: Overview
                Chapter 2: General Occupancy New Construction Minimum Standards
                Chapter 3: General Occupancy Rehabilitation Minimum Standards
                Chapter 4: Supportive Housing Minimum Design and Construction Standards
                Chapter 5: 2013 Tax Credit Design Standards and Review Process
                Chapter 6: Accessibility Standards
                Chapter 7: Visitablity Requirements
                Chapter 8: Sustainable Housing
                Chapter 9: Design and Construction Standards Supplement for Federally Funded Projects

Architect's Guide - Information and best practices for architects

Contractor's Guide - Information and best practices for contractors

Environmental Standards - Information and policy requirements for both new construction and rehabilitation projects

Physical Needs Assessment Template (Multifamily Buildings)

Physical Needs Assessment Template (Single Family Homes)

Capital Needs Assessment 20 Year Expenditure Template

Capital Needs Assessment 20 Year Expenditure Template Instructions

Limited Scope Project Documents

To be used with non-RFP funded projects only with Minnesota Housing approval.

Limited Scope Project Sustainability Requirement

Limited Scope Project Abbreviated Design Standards

Reference Links


2015 MN Overlay & Guide to the 2011 Green Communities Criteria

Previous Years MN Overlay & Guide to Green Communities Criteria - For previously selected developments

Enterprise Green Communities Criteria (EGCC) Certification Workbook

Enterprise Green 2011 Waiver Request Form

EGCC Criteria 5.1 Alternative Compliance Pathway Documents

Energy and Atmosphere Prerequisite 1

Enterprise and LEED for Homes 5.1b Alternative Path

LEED for Homes MF Mid Rise Thermal Enclosure Inspection Checklist

Enterprise Energy Performance Report Form

Useful Design and Construction Information

Building Design Standards FAQs

Design Tips and Opportunities

Building Energy Performance Requirements Quick Reference Guide

Energy Saving Tips and Brochures

Design and Construction eNews Archive

April 2015

September 2014

April 2014


Minnesota Housing Staff Architects

Minnesota Housing and Equal Opportunity Housing Logos