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04/08/10 11:03 AM ET

Twins' Target Field gets highest LEED rating of any ballpark in America

Ballpark's environmental design approved by USGBC

The U.S. Green Building Council today awarded Target Field LEED® Silver Certification, making it the second Major League ballpark in the United States to achieve that status. Having collected the most certification points ever awarded to a ballpark, Target Field is the greenest ballpark in America.

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a rating system that was designed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to guide and distinguish high performance buildings that have less of an impact on the environment, are healthier for those who use the building and are more profitable than their conventional counterparts.

"The Minnesota Twins organization would like to thank the USGBC for this wonderful recognition of Target Field," Twins Owner and CEO Jim Pohlad said. "Gaining LEED certification has been a longstanding goal for the Twins, Hennepin County and the Minnesota Ballpark Authority as we have collectively shared the responsibility to ensure strong environmental stewardship. It's our sincere hope that the sustainability aspects of Target Field will provide inspiration to other local, regional and national projects of this magnitude."

The USGBC originally created the LEED Certification process to promote environmentally responsible design in such buildings as offices, schools and hospitals. Only recently has the sporting world realized the impact LEED Certification could have on its building types. Design firm Populous managed the LEED Certification process for Target Field and has been a pioneer in the greening of sports facilities. This is the firm's fourth sports facility to achieve LEED Certification.

"Target Field is baseball's most urban ballpark, and the site constraints we faced were actually paramount to achieving LEED Certification," said Earl Santee, Populous Senior Principal. "With the addition of new, immediate access to public transportation at the ballpark, we've helped to bridge the site to its urban surroundings as a model for positive growth. That's at the heart of why this recognition is so important."

The 2006 ballpark legislation made LEED certification a goal of the project, if grant funds were available to assist in the effort. With the ballpark's aggressive design and construction schedule, the project team could not wait on the outcome of outside grant requests. To address this issue and ensure LEED certification efforts continued, the Minnesota Twins provided $1.5 million, and the Minnesota Ballpark Authority provided $1 million in additional resources, in December of 2007.

"We are absolutely thrilled about the LEED Silver certification for the ballpark," said Steve Cramer, Chair of the Minnesota Ballpark Authority. "The Authority is pleased that our investment will pay dividends for years to come as fans learn more about the importance of sustainable design when they visit Target Field."

Set in the historic Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis, Target Field's site dictated much of the approach to LEED Certification. The ballpark rests on soil that once was contaminated. That soil was treated and replaced. Also, a massive cistern system buried under the warning track will contain storm water that will be specially filtered and reused to wash down the seating bowl and for irrigation.

Target Field is also the hub for a variety of public transportation options, including rail, bike and bus routes.

"Earning LEED Certification was a priority for Hennepin County from the time we undertook the ballpark project four years ago. On top of everything else that has made Target Field a successful and gratifying partnership, I'm proud of this recognition for our environmental stewardship," said Hennepin County Board Chair Mike Opat. "The Board is appreciative of all the good that was done to earn this Silver Certification."

Target Field received 36 points toward LEED Certification - 2 more than Nationals Park received, thus becoming the most sustainable outdoor baseball facility in the country. Many of Target Field's LEED points were based on innovative design, construction and operations measures, some never before implemented into ballpark design.

Some of the green design elements included:

  • Energy use reduction - achieved through high efficiency field lighting, interior lighting and heating/cooling and ventilation equipment.
  • Water use reduction - achieved through water-saving fixtures such as low-flow urinals and dual-flush toilets as well as a specially designed rain water filter system used to capture runoff, filter it and use it both to wash down the seating bowl and for irrigation.
  • Game Day Recycling - Recyclable collection points stationed conveniently around Target Field will keep an estimated 400 cubic yards of material over the course of a three-game home stand from going to landfills.
  • Public transportation access - Target Field was built to include a public transportation hub where commuter and light rail lines terminate, adjacent to a major bus hub as well as access by bike riders and pedestrians.
  • Recycled Materials - More than 30 percent of all installed materials are made up of recycled content including the canopy structure, masonry blocks, carpet and the foul poles.
  • Local Materials - Locally sourced materials were used to limit energy costs related to shipping and also stimulated the local economy.
  • Construction Waste - In an effort to reduce the impact on local landfills, more than 70 percent of the waste generated through the construction of Target Field was recycled or reused. This included all concrete, wood, cardboard, metals and paper.
  • Reduced Pollution - Early precautions were taken prior to performing construction activities to control soil erosion, waterway sedimentation and airborne dust.

About Populous
Since inception in 1983, Populous has grown into the world's leading design firm dedicated exclusively to creating environments that draw people and communities together for unforgettable experiences. The firm has completed more than 1,000 projects around the globe with construction value exceeding $20 billion. Populous has worked with 24 Major League Baseball franchises, 30 NFL franchises, 80 professional and civic arena clients, 40 global soccer and rugby teams, 120 universities, 40 convention center clients, 29 equestrian clients and has planned more than 30 major worldwide events.

Our portfolio includes such icons as Yankee Stadium in New York; the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games main stadium; Nanjing Sports Park in China; ANZ Stadium in Australia; Phoenix Convention Center in Arizona; the new University of Minnesota football stadium and event planning for the Super Bowl and Major League Baseball All Star Game. We have received nearly 200 design awards for our work, including three national American Institute of Architect awards and countless global design awards. In addition, in 2009 and in 2010, Populous was named one of Fast Company magazine's most innovative companies in sports and was also named the American Institute of Architects - Kansas City Chapter Firm of the Year. As Populous, we enthusiastically embrace the expertise we uniquely claim - drawing people together around teams, athletes, events, places, commerce, industry and ideas they wholeheartedly embrace and adore. www.populous.com

About Mortenson Construction
Founded in 1954, Mortenson Construction is a Minneapolis-based, family-owned construction company. As one of the nation's top builders, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build, and turn-key development. Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Seattle with international operations in Canada and China. Mortenson has built many of the Twin Cities landmarks such as MacPhail Center for Music, Minnesota Public Radio Expansion, Minnesota Zoo's Russia's Grizzly Coast Exhibit, Minneapolis Central Library, Walker Art Center Expansion, University of Minnesota McNamara Alumni Center, Wells Fargo Tower, and the Minneapolis Convention Center and Expansion.

As one of the leading commercial contractors in the U.S., Mortenson began building sports facilities more than 20 years ago and is currently ranked as the third largest builder of sports facilities in the nation. The company has built nearly 100 sports and entertainment venues in the United States to date, including the TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis; Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul; Target Center, Minneapolis; FedExForum, Memphis; Coors Field, Denver; Pepsi Center, Denver; and Sprint Center, Kansas City. The company is also providing program management services on two new sports facilities in China: the Shanghai World Expo Performing Arts Center and the Guangzhou International Sports and Entertainment Center.

About Target Field
Target Field, one of America's most urban ballparks, is located in the historic Warehouse district of downtown Minneapolis. Designed by Populous with Mortenson Construction serving as construction manager, the 39,504 seat ballpark was completed prior to Opening Day 2010 at a construction cost of $440 million. The Twins and Target Corporation announced a historic 25-year naming agreement for Target Field and Target Plaza on September 15, 2008. For more information on Target Field visit www.twinsbaseball.com/targetfield.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.