Rethos believes reusing and rehabbing old buildings is a sustainable, environmentally conscious practice. We work to reduce energy use in old homes, encourage salvage and material reuse wherever possible, and promote reuse-friendly policies, aligning with our unique grassroots approach to reimagining places.  

Our Initiatives

  • We provide resources and classes that help people maintain & rehab old buildings, reducing our reliance on new, replacement materials. 

  • Through Rethos Policy Institute, we promote the best practices in public policy around historic preservation and building reuse.

  • We are proponents of deconstruction and building material reuse, and we are leaders in education on the process.

  • We build strong partnerships with sustainability organizations around the state.

  • Rethos is an organizational member of ReUSE MN and Build Reuse.

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What is Deconstruction?

Every year in the U.S., about 1 billion square feet of buildings are demolished and replaced with new construction. (Greenest Building Report)

In a typical demolition project in the Twin Cities, about 85% of those materials could be reused or recycled. (Hennepin County)

Rethos promotes deconstruction as a demolition alternative because high quality materials from old buildings don’t belong in the trash.  

Find Out More

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Grants Received

Rethos encourages homeowners to increase energy efficiency


GreenStep Cities

Rethos is a partner with Minnesota GreenStep Cities, a voluntary challenge, assistance, and recognition program to help cities achieve their sustainability and quality-of-life goals.


Public Resources

Resources to help you with your

next project.



What's new in sustainability.


Rethos: Places Reimagined requires all attendees to wear face masks and maintain social distancing for the duration of all in-person events.
  • Old Home Certified Designation Course - 12 CE Credits
    Feb 02, 8:00 AM CST – Feb 03, 4:00 PM CST
    Zoom Webinar
  • Keeping the Weather Out: Homeowner How-Tos
    Sat, Nov 06
    Peter Fandel Home
    Nov 06, 2021, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM CDT
    Peter Fandel Home, 416 9th Ave S, St Cloud, MN 56301, USA
  • Repairing and Restoring Old Windows
    Oct 28, 2021, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM CDT
    Minneapolis, 4439 Hiawatha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55406, USA

Sustainability Stories


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The Rethos education program is funded in part by the State of Minnesota from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society.

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