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.
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.
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.
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
- 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
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.”
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.”
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
For more information about Interior Design at DCTC, contact:
- Katharine Huus
Interior Design Program Director and Instructor
- Anne Farniok
Interior Design Instructor