Hiawatha facility could be first in Minneapolis to adopt sustainability standards

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Minneapolis’ ancient Hiawatha maintenance facility could be the first city-owned building to be remodeled under new national environmental sustainability standards, if a City Council committee vote is ratified Friday.

The Health, Energy and Environment Committee last week voted to adopt the national Leadership in Energy and Environmental (LEED) standards to guide its future building construction and renovation. The standards mandate environmentally friendly building in the six areas: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design process.

Seventh Ward Council Member Lisa Goodman suggested that the new standards be implemented at the Hiawatha facility, which has been awaiting renovation for several years. “Our employees deserve to work in a healthy building,” she said.

The $650,000 renovation project will be a prudent investment, Goodman added. “We’re not doing this to pat ourselves on the back,” she said. “This will come back to us ten-fold.”

The full council will take up the measure on Friday.

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