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When the city of Minneapolis decided to replace a group of 18 aging public works maintenance buildings with one facility, it had a goal of achieving LEED gold certification.
As it turns out, the city did itself one better, earning LEED platinum from the U.S. Green Building Council.
“We achieved LEED platinum certification without an increase in the budget – from a design, construction and planning standpoint, that was our biggest challenge,” said Paul Miller, project manager for the city’s Department of Public Works.
The facility, at East 26th Street and Hiawatha Avenue South, brought under one roof many functions and equipment of the department. More than 200 people work at the site. When the project was completed, only one shop from the past remained, and it has been repurposed into an office.
Despite a massive salvage job, many materials from the buildings were saved or repurposed. Crushed bricks and concrete became aggregate base, and some bricks were reused in the office structure, Miller said.
A roof composed of Douglas fir went to Wood from the Hood, a Minneapolis company that fashioned it into wainscoting for the office’s walls. Decking from the Lowry Avenue Bridge, now being replaced, found a new home as fencing at the maintenance facility.
The 60,000 square foot building is heated and cooled by a geothermal system. That’s part of the reason the facility will save 60 percent on energy costs over time compared with a conventionally built structure of the same size, Miller said.
The new facility houses the city’s equipment and materials for street and bridge maintenance and for paving and sewer construction. The grounds also include 250,000 square feet of yard space.
“We were able to complete the project on schedule and on budget, and we achieved higher than our goal,” he said. “It’s a good example of what government can do and be responsible with taxpayer dollars.”
By Frank Jossi, Finance & Commerce
Reprinted with permission of Finance and Commerce Inc.