Minneapolis Central Library
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Minneapolis Central Library in mid July, 2006; All Photos Courtesy The Kestrel Design GroupProject Name: Minneapolis Central Library
Year: 2005
Owner: City of Minneapolis
Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Building Type: Municipal/Government
Type: Extensive
System: Single Source Provider
Size: 19300 sq.ft.
Slope: 1%
Access: Inaccessible, Private
Submitted by: Peter MacDonagh, Kestrel Design Group

Designers/Manufacturers of Record:
Peter MacDonagh, The Kestrel Design Group
Landscape Architect (RLA): Nathalie Hallyn, The Kestrel Design Group
Architect: Loren Abraham, AIA, Abraham and Associates
Plant Supplier: Green Roof Plants/Emory Knoll Farms
Plant Installation: Aloha Landscaping
Greenroof System: Henry Company
Architect: Pelli Clark Pelli
Roofing Consultant: Ambe, Ltd.
Construction Manager: Mortensen/Thor
Green Roof Contractor: Rosenquist Construction
Roofing Contractor: Berwald Roofing
Fifth Floor View of the Minneapolis Library Greenroof, 2005Project overview showing 2 of the 3 greenroofs, mid August, 2006. Image by Rick Grabovsky from AMBE, via Kestrel Design Group.Flowering herbaceous perennials in mid September, 2005
The Minneapolis Central Library was completed on August 30, 2005 and has three greenroofs. This green roof was designed and installed to meet the principal goal of managing stormwater runoff on-site. Visitors to the library can view one of the green roofs from windows on 2nd floor, and all roofs are visible from surrounding buildings.

The green roof planting design concept emphasizes the influence of the Mississippi River on Minneapolis' street grid and building design, and the positive impact of the building's green roof on the Mississippi River. The flow of the Mississippi River is emulated by waves created across plant palettes of varying, undulating heights, and bloom times.
The Growing Medium Installation; All Photos Courtesy The Kestrel Design GroupSpire View, 2005
Eighteen sedum species, which are traditionally used on European green roofs, were combined with 41 grasses and forbs that are native to Minnesota's bluff prairies - a habitat template similar, in many ways, to conditions found on extensive green roofs

The design concept, described above, was successfully implemented with careful species selection and placement. Excess stormwater runoff from the roof deck is collected and stored in cisterns on-site, and used to irrigate the three green roof gardens.

Additional thumbnail photos:

Early April, 2006Grasses and sedums, mid September, 2005Second Floor View, 2005Fall Color, 2005Close Up of a Prickly Pear, 2005; ; All Photos Courtesy The Kestrel Design Group
The Minneapolis Central Library is located at 300 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55401; visit the Minneapolis Central Library website. See the case studies from Kestrel Design Group and Henry Company.

Read the May 25, 2011
Green-Roofed Minneapolis Central Library is a Civic Lesson on Eco Design by Andrew Michler in Inhabitat.com; and the April 5, 2006 Green Roofs Top Off The Public Library in The Chief Engineer.

Learn about Emory Knoll Farms/Green Roof Plants in The Greenroof & Greenwall Directory.
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