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At Twins’ Ballpark, More Than Grass Is Green

by Susan DeFreitas, December 20th, 2011

As if being named the “Greenest Ballpark in America” (as per the U.S. Green Building Council) and earning LEED Silver certification for New Construction weren’t enough green cred, the Minnesota Twins and Target Field in Minneapolis-St. Paul has gone one better by earning LEED Silver certification in the Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance (EB: O&M) category, making it the first professional sports franchise to do so.

LEED EB: O&M was developed to help building owners measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. The program has seen widespread success since it was first introduced in 2008, with green retrofits of existing buildings now outpacing certifications for new construction in terms of both numbers of projects and square footage certified for the first time in 2011.

Minnesota Twins Target Fieldimage via Minnesota Twins

The ballpark took its EB: O&M honors with a number of new green features, including a rainwater harvesting system installed by Minneapolis-based Pentair, which this year captured, purified and reused more than 686,360 gallons of rainwater. (The majority of the water captured went to wash down seating areas after games, but the plan is to use the recycled water to water and maintain the playing field in the future.) The ballpark also makes use of a unique waste-to-energy facility located adjacent to the field, which last year recycled 430.67 tons of waste from Target Field.

The ballpark uses 23 percent less electricity than a conventionally designed staduyn of similar size, and last year cut its energy consumption by just over 12 percent, despite having added a new videoboard. The Twins’ ballpark makes use of a comprehensive green cleaning program, reducing its use of chemical-based cleaning products by over 66 percent in 2011. The stadium and its concession partner, Delaware North Companies Sportservice, also donated more than 7,500 pounds of food to local charities during the 2011 season.

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