Located only a few short blocks from the mighty Mississippi River,
Marquette Plaza anchors “main street” – Nicollet Mall – in downtown
Minneapolis. Its unique “catenary” arch design makes it an architectural
landmark. Its sustainability marks the building’s transformation and
leadership in the greening of downtown. In fact, in 2011 Marquette
Plaza became the first building in Minneapolis to receive LEED®-EB: O&M
Platinum designation (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for
Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance) from the U.S. Green Building
Council. An NRG Energy Center Minneapolis steam and chilled-water
customer for more than a decade, the building also has an ENERGY STAR®
rating of 99, which puts it in the top 1 percent of buildings nationwide.
But the half-million-sq-ft building hasn’t always been a shining star.
Constructed in 1972 as the headquarters for the Federal Reserve Bank of
Minneapolis, the building was sold when the bank moved in 1997. The new
owners took a leap of faith when they acquired the building and began its
$60 million renovation and expansion in 2000.
“Marquette Plaza is an example of what can be achieved when
it comes to building restoration,” says Gene Rerat, president of Base
Management, which manages the building and headed up the sustainability
effort. “We were committed to bringing the building back to its original
glory plus making it sustainable. We addressed environmental issues related
to mold, mildew, asbestos, poor air quality and more.”
Located on 2. 5 acres of prime downtown real estate, the 13-story
Marquette Plaza has 22 tenants and is connected to the downtown skyway
system. During the summer, tenants are drawn to the outdoors by the
building’s renovated plaza. In 2002, the impervious granite that originally
covered the building’s underground parking was replaced with a 1.5-acre
park that became the largest green roof in the central business district.
Base Management LLC partnered with LEED consultant Sustology to
complete the LEED application process. The building received its Platinum
certification in 2011. Highlights from this project include:
building’s $1 million annual energy use.
and toilets and implementing other water-use practices.
Waste management and sustainable purchasing
recycling and donates used furniture.
Courtesy Base Management.
An NRG Minneapolis customer, Marquette Plaza is column-free and features a groundbreaking support system consisting of 16 catenary cables
strung between two towers. The cables work like those on a suspension
bridge and give the building’s facade its signature U shape.
Indoor air quality and green cleaning
contaminants than conventional systems.
use) and uses all-green cleaning supplies.
NRG Minneapolis also played a role when it came to LEED. “NRG’s
operating efficiencies helped Base Management achieve our goal of LEED-EB Platinum certification,” says Rerat.
Heat exchangers transfer energy from NRG’s steam to the building’s
hot water that is then circulated to booster coils in the variable-air-volume
boxes, unit heaters and select air handlers. Chilled water is piped to the
building’s air handlers for air conditioning and also to the data center
cooling units. It also is used to cool the facility’s two standby generators.
Marquette Plaza’s efficiency and environmentally responsible features
make it a perfect fit in the “City by Nature,” as Minneapolis is now
identified in its new tagline.
For more information, contact Mike Dwyer at NRG Energy Center
To view other Customer Closeup profiles, visit District Energy
magazine online at www.districtenergy-digital.org/districtenergy/