One of state’s greenest buildings now in operation for the City of Minneapolis
The City of Minneapolis’ newest facility is raising the bar for government construction in Minnesota and across the country. The Hiawatha Public Works Facility, which has begun operation, meets key guidelines for energy savings, efficiency and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions, making it one of the greenest buildings in the state and the greenest garage facility in the country.
The $9.5 million Hiawatha Maintenance Facility consolidates many Public Works functions that were previously housed throughout Minneapolis, improving the flow and function of how the department does its work. It was constructed on a site that used to house 18 Public Works buildings, some dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The main building, which originally served as an infirmary for sick fire department horses, was stripped down to its brick-and-mortar shell and renovated to make the facility. Demolition of smaller buildings on the site took place last year, and nearly all of the demolition materials were sorted and reused in the reconstruction.
The Hiawatha Maintenance Facility, now home to several Public Works divisions, follows Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs in areas including energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts. The Hiawatha building was initially designed to achieve the LEED gold standard, but because of the efficiency realized in the construction, it may ultimately be one of just five sites in the state to receive the top LEED platinum ranking.
Some interesting features of the facility include:
- More than 90 percent of the material from the demolition of previous buildings was recycled and used in construction of the new facility. This includes 100 percent of the demolition rubble (concrete, brick and asphalt).
- The new building’s footprint is 43 percent smaller than the total footprints of the previous buildings.
- Around 90 percent of the space inside the facility is lit by daylight, reducing the amount of electricity needed during the day.
- Rain gardens, pervious pavers and an underground water infiltration basin keep rainwater on the property. As a result, the landscape requires no watering, and virtually no stormwater runs off into the storm sewers.
- The building’s heating and cooling uses geothermal energy, in-floor heating and cooling for shops, and strategies to recover and use heating and cooling that would otherwise be lost.
- The fence surrounding the building was made from steel deck sections from the old Lowry Avenue Bridge. Hennepin County donated the deck for the project.
The Hiawatha Maintenance facility was designed by RSP Architects and built by Knutson Construction Services.
Published Aug. 16, 2010