Minneapolis' $11 million Hiawatha Public Works Facility is the second public works building in the nation to receive the U.S. Green Building Council's highest LEED certification. Construction was funded by net-debt bonds. Photo: RSP Architects

Opened in August 2010, Minneapolis' Hiawatha Public Works Facility is one of the first LEED Platinum — the highest possible certification — public works buildings in the country and the greenest government building in Minnesota. (The only other Platinum public works building resides in Seminole, Fla., according to the U.S. Green Building Council.)

Prior to construction of the new facility, public works facilities were located at various sites in Minneapolis and many were built in the early 1900s. Designer RSP Architects removed all but two of the 18 existing buildings, salvaging key components for reuse in the new design. The historical adaptive reuse of the site factored heavily into the LEED Platinum certification. Other sustainable design highlights include:

  • A 43% smaller footprint than that of previous buildings
  • Estimated 60% lower energy costs than a facility built to code
  • Onsite stormwater filtration, rain gardens, pervious pavers, and bioswales.