Nothing quite says spring like baseball and the ballparks’ grass is not the only thing that is green these days. With the opening of Target Field in Minneapolis, there is another LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) baseball stadium. Last year the Washington Nationals’ stadium received LEED certification. These two stadiums are the only major league ballparks to achieve LEED status, but not the only ones with “green” features. The Colorado Rockies’ Coors Field has a photovoltaic array that provides energy for the scoreboard.
The Twins’ and the Nationals’ stadiums opened in the past two seasons. Target Field earned 36 points toward LEED certification, 2 more points than the Nationals stadium. When the bond for Target Field was initially passed, “Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-Minneapolis) made sure LEED certification was a requirement in the 2006 law to fund the ballpark.” At the time, LEED certification was not well known to many in the Twins organization and concerns about the cost abounded. However, “[t]he overall cost of the LEED certification was less than 0.5 percent of the ballpark’s $545 million cost.”
As with many other LEED projects, “The process includ[ed] removing and treating contaminated soil and returning some of it to the ground; having more than 70 percent of construction waste diverted or recycled; and having more than 30 percent of all installed materials made from recycled content, including the foul poles and roof canopy. Precautions were taken to control soil erosion, waterway sedimentation and airborne dust, and local materials were used to the greatest extent possible to reduce energy costs associated with shipping. For example, 60 percent of the building’s exterior is regionally sourced limestone” from nearby Mankato. Furthermore, “The Twins encourage fans to use public transportation or pedal power when attending games. Both the Hiawatha and Northstar rail lines stop near the left-field corner, a Metro Transit bus hub is less than a block away and 827 bicycle storage locations are within 200 yards of the ballpark.”
Prior to Target Field, the Twins had played indoors at the Metrodome, a site they shared with the Vikings. While a multipurpose stadium represents a great use of space, cooling and heating a space of that size consumes an inordinate amount of energy. While Target Field, which is outdoors, will require lighting for night games, a high-efficiency light installation will help reduce costs and save energy.
Check in on Friday for a special baseball edition of Five Friday Facts related to the Twins’ Target Field LEED certification.
- Eric Wilson