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2010 Project of the Year Award - Hiawatha Public Works Facility

The City of Minneapolis’ newest facility has won the 2010 Project of the Year award from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Public Works Association (AWPA). As one of the greenest buildings in the state and the greenest garage facility in the country, the Hiawatha Public Works Facility is raising the bar for all government construction.





The Hiawatha building was initially designed to achieve the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) gold standard, but because of the efficiency realized in the construction, it may ultimately be one of just five sites in the state to receive the top LEED ranking: platinum. LEED is an internationally recognized certification system that measures how well a building or community performs in areas including energy savings, water efficiency, carbon dioxide emissions reduction, improved indoor environmental quality, and stewardship of resources and sensitivity to their impacts.

The $11 million Hiawatha Maintenance Facility consolidates many Public Works functions that were previously housed throughout Minneapolis, improving the flow and function of how the department does its work. It was constructed on a site that used to house a complex of 18 Public Works buildings, some dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The main building, which originally served as an infirmary for sick fire department horses, was stripped down to its brick-and-mortar shell and renovated to make the facility.

Some money-saving and efficiency features include:

  • More than 90 percent of the material from the demolition of previous buildings was recycled and used in construction of the new facility. This includes 100 percent of the demolition rubble (concrete, brick and asphalt).
  • The new building’s footprint is 43 percent smaller than the total footprints of the previous buildings.
  • Around 90 percent of the space inside the facility is lit by daylight, reducing the amount of electricity needed during the day.
  • Rain gardens, pervious pavers and an underground water infiltration basin keep rainwater on the property. This waters the landscaping for free while preventing stormwater from running off into the storm sewers, where it would have to be managed.
  • The building’s heating and cooling uses geothermal energy, in-floor heating and cooling for shops, and strategies to recover and use heating and cooling that would otherwise be lost.
  • The fence surrounding the building was made from steel deck sections from the old Lowry Avenue Bridge. Hennepin County donated the deck for the project.

Click here for more information about the Hiawatha Maintenance Facility.

The AWPA Public Works Project of the Year Award was established to promote excellence in the management and administration of public works projects. Click here for more information.