New Public Works facility wins two 2010 awards

The City of Minneapolis Hiawatha Public Works Facility won two "project of the year" awards for 2010: Exceptional New Building for 2010 from the Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter of the International Facility Management Association, and 2010 Project of the Year from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association.

The $11 million Hiawatha facility consolidates many Public Works construction and maintenance functions that were previously housed throughout Minneapolis, improving the flow and function of how the department does its work. Public Works divisions now housed here include Street Maintenance, Paving Construction, Bridge Maintenance, Sewer Maintenance & Construction, Sidewalk Inspections and the Engineering Lab.

The award-winning facility was constructed on a site that used to house a complex of 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 as office space.

The site was designed, constructed and commissioned under the guidance of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standard of quality. 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 designed from the start to achieve the LEED gold standard including certification for performance, but it may ultimately be one of just five sites in the state to receive the top LEED platinum ranking (pending final certification).

The City's goal is to manage its facilities in an environmentally responsible manner. One goal for this building in particular is to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by reducing waste in its construction and by reducing the environmental impact of its operation. Some money-saving and efficiency features of the facility include:

The Hiawatha Maintenance facility was designed by RSP Architects and built by Knutson Construction Services.

Published Feb. 4, 2011