Architectural Technology

Target Field Scores a Green Bull’s-Eye

Arch Tech and Interior Design Students Visit LEED Silver Sports Facility

Accompanied by faculty members, Beverly Claybrook and Anne Farniok, students from the Architectural Technology and Interior Design programs at Dakota County Technical College took a three-hour Environment and Sustainability Tour of Target Field Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012. The students, who also belong to the college’s U.S. Green Building Council student chapter, were interested in learning more about why Target Field is one of the most environmentally sophisticated facilities in the Twin Cities.

Target Field Tour

DCTC students and faculty at Target Field

Baseball and sustainability are on the same team at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins and, at one time, the greenest ballpark in Major League Baseball. Target Field’s LEED Silver Certification for New Construction ranks second in greenness in a league with 30 stadiums. Only Miami’s Marlins Park, which earned LEED Gold in 2012, ekes out a narrow lead. The Twins and Target Field went on to become the first professional sports franchise to also attain LEED Silver Certification for Green Operations and Maintenance.

Puckett Atrium at Target Field

Puckett Atrium at Target Field

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the flagship program of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), an international nonprofit “committed to a prosperous and sustainable future for our nation through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings.” LEED rating systems provide a framework, both practical and measurable, for the design, construction and operation of green buildings, homes, neighborhoods and even botanical gardens.

The third-party verification process works on a points system. For example, Target Field earned LEED Silver with 36 points while Marlins Park earned Gold with 40. The latter certification took place under a newly revised rating system. With sustainability concepts becoming more and more embedded in public awareness, LEED-certified buildings are emerging as the rule and not the exception, especially for high-profile projects such as Target Field.

Target Field Tour

Kristin Anderson | Target Field Maven and Augsburg College Art History Professor

Kristin Anderson is an Augsburg College art history professor who also works for the Twins organization. A baseball buff and sustainability aficionada, she gave a LEED presentation as a prelude to the tour. Anderson is a go-to expert on the architecture of the Twin Cities. She did her doctoral dissertation on the H. H. H. Metrodome.

“LEED certifications set the standard for sustainable design, and in the sports industry it is now common—even expected—that new buildings will participate in the certification program,” Anderson said. “The process serves as both a guide to good practice as well as a reward and recognition program for buildings that achieve a high level of sustainability.”

During her presentation, Anderson noted how Target Field’s owners were committed to achieving LEED certification from the outset. Selecting the most practical LEED points to pursue was left to the architects. Many factors surrounding the immense project (construction costs were $581 million in 2012 dollars) were evaluated and given the green light for their feasibility and relevance to LEED, including:

  • Energy use reduction: Achieved through high efficiency field lighting, interior lighting and heating/cooling and ventilation equipment
  • Target Field TourWater 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
(Information courtesy of Mortenson Construction)

Anderson pointed out that Target Field has led the way in achieving green milestones for high-visibility projects. “Not only is it a beautiful ballpark and a great place to watch baseball,” she said. “Target Field is a national model of sustainability design and operations in sports facilities.”

Target Field Tour

Twins Representative Nick “Scoop” Walsh leading DCTC group through Herb Carneal Press Box on Target Field tour

Twins Representative Nick “Scoop” Walsh gave a comprehensive tour of the facility that included visits to the Metropolitan Club, the visiting team locker room, the Thomson Reuters Champions Club, the Herb Carneal Press Box, the Delta SKY360° Legends Club, which features the Puckett, Carew and 573 atria, the latter named for Harmon Killebrew’s career homer stat, and the ball field itself, which was covered by a protective tarp.

Architectural Technology Instructor Beverly Claybrook serves as faculty advisor for the college’s USGBC student chapter, which is open to students in any of DCTC’s 50+ academic programs. Claybrook is a LEED Accredited Professional with the specialty Building Design + Construction, or LEED AP BD+C. She recognizes the importance of green best practices not only in the design, construction and technology fields, but also in modern society across the board.

“Clients and employers in the architecture and interior design industries are looking for graduates who have more than just a passing acquaintance with sustainability,” Claybrook said. “They are expecting our graduates to have a solid understanding of green building materials and techniques. We emphasize green in our program, which is why many of our students are earning their LEED Green Associate credential before they graduate.”

Thomson Reuters Champions Club

Thomson Reuters Champions Club

Anne Farniok, an Interior Design Instructor, is also LEED AP (as is the program’s director, Katharine Huus). Farniok regards the Target Field tour as a great opportunity for students to encounter firsthand a beautifully designed space where highly effective green processes are at work in the real world.

“I am impressed by the meticulous way Target Field approaches sustainability,” Farniok said. “Green runs deep in the facility with every aspect of design and operations thought out in exceptional detail.”

Farniok added that one of her key jobs as an instructor and designer is to increase public understanding regarding how green design and practices can mesh seamlessly with everyday life. Her students are on the same path.

Penny Schilling, president of the USGBC student chapter at the college, thought the Target Field trip was a fantastic learning experience. “I really like what Kristin Anderson said about how sports brings people together from all walks of life,” said Schilling, an Interior Design student scheduled to graduate in May 2013. “What better way to showcase green ideas in practice than at a premier sports facility like Target Field?”

Schilling has chosen to focus on sustainability in her career as an interior designer. She is already on target to earn her LEED Green Associate credential. Trips like the one her USGBC chapter took to Target Field are a highlight of her educational journey.

“All of us can learn something about green just by visiting the ballpark,” she said. “and then take home what we learned and apply it in our own lives.”

For more information about Architectural Technology and the USGBC Student Chapter at DCTC, contact:
  • Beverly Claybrook Architectural Technology Instructor USGBC Student Chapter Advisor 651-423-8306
For more information about Interior Design at DCTC, contact:
  • Katharine Huus Interior Design Program Director and Instructor 651-423-8456
  • Anne Farniok Interior Design Instructor 651-423-8414

More Student Projects

The final projects are rolling in and the students should feel very proud of what they have accomplished in one semester.

Here are two very different interior views from the student-designed houses. In his, Chris Engleby has given us a fun glimpse of his man cave. On the other hand,Yuan Carmichael has highlighted her sophisticated setting for a dinner party. Very nice work, Chris and Yuan!

Chris Engelby

Yuan Carmichael

Student Projects

The semester is winding down and the first-year students are wrapping up their first semester in the program.  I’m dying to show off their work, so as their final projects come in, I will post samples.  It is really fun to see how far the students have come in just one semester and the different styles they have already developed.

Here are two really cool 3d models; a cut-away model by Michael (Micah) Garrity and a dream-like interior by Gabriel (Gabe) Hartog  Way to go, Micah and Gabe!

Michael (Micah) Garrity

Gabriel (Gabe) Hartog


The Expanding Job Bank

Two years ago, the AIA Minnesota Job Bank was virtually empty.  Today, new jobs are being posted daily.  Keep up with the growing profession at AIA Minnesota.  And check out the live job bank here:

Future High-Speed Rail Between Rochester and Minneapolis

Zip Rail


Zip Rail


Each quarter, the American Institute of Architects published the ABI or Architectural Billing Index which tracks the amount of work that architects around the country are billing out.  Historically, the ABI has served as a great economic indicator for the building industry, and the entire economy.  Since the architect is the beginning of any building project, the changes in the ABI can show us where the building industry will be in 6-18 months.

In 2007, the ABI started to plummet sharply, one year before the building industry started to fall and the Great Recession began.  From then, until last August, the ABI has remained low.  Now, the ABI is as strong as it’s been in nearly three years.

An even more promising discovery in the last quarter was the significant number of firms looking to hire, but unable to find qualified applicants.  With the rapidly evolving technologies like Building Integrated Management, Archviz, rapid prototyping, and parametric modeling, the field of available employees with these skillsets is very small.

At DCTC, this is our pedagogical focus, creating qualified applicants with a broad ranges of skills in all the most relevant and emerging technologies that are in the highest demand in the architectural profession.

Read more about the strong, current growth in the architecture profession here.

Learn more about the ABI as an economic indicator here.



One of the many technological revolutions in architecture today is the capacity for rapid prototyping through a seamless integration of design software and manufacturing.  In year two, we explore the capabilities and possibilities of Rhino, a parametric modeller that produces files which can be digitally sent to 3d printers, laser cutters, CNC routers, and other digital fabrication devices.

To learn more about digital fabrication and the impact it’s having on the professions of architecture and industrial design, check out the wikipedia page



In the second year of your architectural technology experience at DCTC, you will unleash the power of Vray, an incredibly realistic rendering engine.  Architectural visualization, or archviz, is a rapidly emerging industry.  Photographers, graphic artists, architects and even painters have delved deep into its possibilities with extraordinary results.  What used to take a team of people and a room of computers can now be quickly and effectively accomplished by one person.

Archviz is rapidly becoming a valuable and desired skillset in the architectural community with a great range of professional possibilities beyond it.  To see some of the world’s best, check out Peter Guthrie, Bertrand Benoit, and the blog of Ronen Bekerman.

USGBC Student Chapter


Is It Really Green?

Is it Green?

Starbucks’ LEED certified drive-through coffee shop in Colorado makes one wonder if it is truly “green”.  On the surface it would appear to be a good example of sustainable building since it is built from reclaimed materials sourced from within a 500-mile radius of the building’s location. But it is in a location that encourages the use of cars which seems to contradict the intention to be green.

“The green building boom has evolved to the point where questioning whether or not to retrofit the ideas behind these buildings rather than simply the structures themselves has come into play.

Green building is about much more than energy efficiency or renewable energy. It is about promoting a an ideology and lifestyle process, and that is not something that can simply be squeezed into the mold of every traditional mainstream construct.”

By Emily D’Alterio