2018 Project Build Minnesota Completes Inaugural Year With Strong Accomplishments

2018 Project Build Minnesota Completes Inaugural Year With Strong Accomplishments

The goal of the collaborative effort is to showcase construction careers and attract hard-working Minnesota youth to the industry’s tremendous opportunities. The fledgling effort was formed by Housing First Minnesota, Minnesota Builders Exchange, Associated Builders and Contractors, and The Builders Group. Several additional construction organizations and private construction companies have joined the effort, expanding its growing reach.

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Green Path Building Conference

Green Path Building Conference

Area Leaders Talk About Going Green in the Neighborhood

City Sustainability and Green Initiatives

Several city leaders gave insight into how they feel the building community can work together with city leaders to achieve green initiatives at the Minnesota Green Path Building Conference in Nov. 2018. Overall the consensus was collaboration and innovation.

Here’s what the panelists had to say.

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Minnesota Builders and Remodelers Show Slated For Feb. 13


The Builders and Remodelers Show (BRS), an annual trade show for licensed builders, remodelers and registered contractors in Minnesota, will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Feb. 13.

The show, put on by BATC-Housing First Minnesota, features new products and services from hundreds of exhibitors in the residential construction industry. Exhibitors range from countertop to lighting to warranty service providers, among others. The breadth of exhibitors is one of the reasons builders and remodelers are drawn to the show, according to Nicole Coon, show manager for BRS.

“There’s so much for builders and remodelers to explore at the show,” said Coon. “We hear time and time again how beneficial it is to have so many vendors under one roof.”

The relaxed, interactive atmosphere of BRS makes it easy for builders and remodelers to visit with vendors in a low-pressure environment.


“It’s always fun to connect with those you work with and maybe find new opportunities,” said Kelly Davert, 2018 show exhibitor and general manager for Mingle, a kitchen and bathroom design showroom in Plymouth. “It’s all here, sort of a one-stop-shop if you will.”

Getting a first-hand look at the latest products and services is another enticing draw, with 98 percent of attendees saying it is one of the main reasons they attend, according to Coon. Exhibitors who register their new product or service are marked with a special booth flag and listed on an interactive floorplan.

Robert McNearney, owner of McNearney Custom Homes Inc., has been attending the show for the past five years and uses it as an opportunity to both meet new vendors and strengthen his company’s relationships with their current vendors.

“Be open-minded,” said Mc-Neary. “There are many opportunities to meet new people and to see new building products. This is a great chance to grow your business.”

Lennar Completes Transitional Housing to Support Homeless Veteran Women

Lennar Completes Transitional Housing to Support Homeless Veteran Women

After months of work, the BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation/HomeAid Twin Cities and Lennar completed a brand-new home in Maplewood, Minn. for the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans (MACV). This five-bedroom home will provide transitional housing services to homeless women veterans, a population of the community that is in growing need of services.

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Housing Gives to the Max

This past Nov., supporters of the BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation rallied together for Give to the Max Day. Donations totaled $7,000 and will help make a major impact on the lives of individuals in Minnesota experiencing homelessness as well as veterans in need.

Several donors gave over $1,000.

These donations will help the foundation complete projects in 2019.

Every donation made during Give to the Max Day went twice as far thanks to the Lennar Foundation. They generously matched donations for the BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation and the Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans, up to $15,000.

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Home Building Industry Heads Back to School

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As the labor shortage grows, members of the homebuilding industry are hoping a little earlier education can help make a difference in getting young people interested in the trades. Housing First Minnesota’s Education and Workforce Development Committee working with Project Build Minnesota’s Outreach Committee are heading to the classroom to educate students on the great careers in construction.

“Students these days are not getting the exposure needed to see construction as a career option,” said Pat Hegseth of Scherer Bros Lumber Co. “The earlier we can get the information out to young students the better the chance we can get them excited about a job in the trades.”

Hegseth was one of the first participants in the newly created speaker’s bureau that travels to Minnesota high schools.

“It was great to get out there and share my own personal experience and why I love this industry,” said Hegseth. “It might only be one small group of students at a time, but that’s 20 more students that now know more about the construction industry than before.”

The speaker’s bureau is set to talk to more than 25 classrooms in the next year. While they might not see instant results, they know this is an important step in solving the industry’s labor shortage.

“We have to get through to these students and show them there are great paying jobs that do not require a four-year degree,” said Dennis Medo of Project Build Minnesota. “We hope to expand on how we can reach these students in 2019.”

If you would like more information on how you can participate in the speaker’s bureau or get involved, contact Dennis Medo at Dennis@ProjectBuildMN.org

Renovating the House of Hope

A small 800-square-foot home sits on the northwest corner of the Emmaus Lutheran Church property located in Bloomington, Minn. Built 50 years ago as a parsonage, the home, called the House of Hope, may seem small in stature to some, but as a home to a refugee family for the past 13 years, this home has made a big impact.

After so many years of service, the home is in need of some help itself. The BATC-Housing First Minnesota Foundation and Homes by Tradition have partnered with Emmaus Lutheran Church to restore hope into the three-bedroom residence.

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Lennar and Michels Homes Named the 2018 Builder and Remodeler of the Year

Nearly 900 homebuilding industry members attended the Building Industry Gala on Oct. 25, 2018 at the new Mystic Lake Center.


In all, 189 awards were handed out including 16 ROMAs, 22 Reggies and 137 Trillium Awards. Lennar went home as the 2018 Builder of the Year, Michels Homes won the 2018 Remodeler of the Year and In-Focus Systems went home as the 2018 Associate of the Year. The winning companies were selected based on evaluations of association engagement, trust, communications, loyalty and ethics by the firms with which they do business, and in the case of Builder and Remodeler of the Year, also by their customers.

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Housing First Minnesota honored Rep. Pat Garofalo as the 2018 Legislator of the Year. As chair of the Job Growth and Energy Affordability Policy and Finance Committee, Rep. Garofalo prioritized housing affordability discussions, shining light on the compound impact of regulations on affordability, and elevating the housing debate to new heights.

Other top awards presented included the Robert L. Hanson Lifetime Achievement Award for industry service that went to Betty Hardle and Richard Berg, the Bennie Award for best neighborhood design went to Spirit of Brandtjen Farms, Tradition Development Corp., and the Minnesota Green Path Leadership Award for innovation in energy efficient home building or remodeling that went to Brandl Anderson Homes, Inc.

What Do Men and Women Agree on in a New Home?

While men and women may disagree on a number of things when it comes to purchasing a new home there one thing they agree on. According to a national survey by Meyers Research in an answer to an open-ended question on what “home” means, the top answer for both men and women was “comfortable.”

Both also agree that they want a home that is easy to maintain and has fitness amenities. However, that’s about all that they agree on according to the survey.

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Men prioritized outside entertainment space, while women cared more for inside entertaining space. Another open-ended question by Meyers Research asked: what does “community” mean in one word? “Friendly” was women’s top answer and “safe” was men’s top answer.

How do you address the differences in preferences women want compared to what men want in a new home purchase?

Keep in mind, Meyers Research indicates that women are the major influence in 92 percent of all home purchases and the woman, and her wants, will weigh heavily on the decision in the new home purchase.

State's Largest Green Building Program Tests 15,000th Home

Minnesota’s Green Path, the state’s largest energy efficient new construction program, tested its 15,000th home in 2018. The data from Minnesota’s Green Path mirrors what the national RESNET organization shows: Minnesota’s homes are some of the most efficient in the U.S.

“Green Path has given us an unparalleled view to the energy efficiency and performance of homes in Minnesota,” said David Siegel, executive director of Housing First Minnesota.

When a new home is tested, Minnesota’s Green Path issues a Home Performance Report (HPR), which shows the HERS rating and air exchanges-per-hour results from the energy rater and tester. Housing First Minnesota, the Green Path program provider, compiled data on energy efficiency during the lifetime of the program.

During the past eight years, homes have become more energy efficient, both as the energy code became more stringent and as home builders and building officials incorporated efficiency techniques.

With an average HERS rating of 51 and with an average air exchanges per hour of 1.69, the homes built in Minnesota this year are far more efficient than code prescribes.

Builders have pointed out that this increase in efficiency is not without cost. When Housing First Minnesota last surveyed members, they reported that the increase in efficiency since 2015 is costing new home buyers roughly $7,000 per home.

According to RESNET, Minnesota had the fourth-lowest HERS score in 2017 at 51. The three states with lower scores, however, tested far fewer homes, making Minnesota the most energy-efficient of all high-growth states.