Friday, June 28, 2013

GreenEDU Visits the LEED Certified Minnesota Twins Stadium

LEED certified baseball stadium in Minnesota
Target Field
Recently, I traveled to Minneapolis for a friend's wedding and was able to take a tour of Target Field, home to the Minnesota Twins. The stadium replaced Metrodome as the home of the Twins in 2010 and was built almost entirely from materials from local vendors.  The only thing not from Minnesota is the grass -- which was imported from Colorado so that it could survive on the ballpark's sand. The Twins stadium was awarded LEED Silver certification for both its construction and the operations and maintenance of its facility.

One of the most interesting ways the Twins achieved LEED certification was through its rain water collection system. Its Rain Water Recycle System was provided by Pentair and allows any rainwater that falls onto the grass to trickle down and be collected and purified by the system. The stadium has recycled over 680,000 gallons of rainwater, and is mainly used to clean the seating area for now. The Twins hope that they can use this recycled water to water the playing field in the future.

Twins baseball stadium is LEED Certified
The Twins Stadium has also been praised for its recycling system, and has sent over 741.3 tons of trash to Hennepin Energy Recovery Center, which converts trash to usable energy. Some of this energy was even used to heat the stadium and provide hot water for the facility. They have recycled over 430.67 tons of waste and sent 152.41 tons of organic materials to be composted and plan to continue these efforts to divert waste from going to landfills. They also use green cleaning products to reduce chemical waste and to improve the health of their occupants.

One of the most admirable efforts by the stadium is their ongoing effort to reduce food waste and help the community by donating any unused food to local charities.  In one season, they donated over 7,500 tons of food, including hot dogs, hamburgers, and chicken breasts. All of the food was packaged but untouched and, of course, uneaten by baseball fans.

The ballpark earned its LEED certification from USGBC and was named "The Greenest Ball Park in America." In 2011 it became the first professional sports franchise to be awarded both LEED-Silver certification for New Construction as well as for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance.