Feature Article - September 2009
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Green Up

Trends in Eco-Friendly Facility Design

By Jessica Royer Ocken

Inspiring Example:
Dakotah! Ice Center, Prior Lake, Minn.

Minnesotans love their hockey, so the 214,000-square-foot Dakotah! Sport and Fitness facility had been well-used and well-loved since it opened in 1994. In fact, in 2008, another 63,223-square-foot ice arena was added to the complex and the Center became home to the Prior Lake High School boys' and girls' hockey teams, as well as the Prior Lake Hockey Association. This new center was constructed with an eco-friendly mindset, and to top things off (literally) it's crowned with a 32,648-square-foot green roof. Made of pumice, ground coconut husks and pine bark, the roof is planted with sedum, which will grow six to eight inches tall and shield the roof from the sun, extending its life. The roof includes a viewing area where the public can have a first-hand look at how the growing is coming along, and 16 solar panels collect sunlight to heat the water used to resurface the ice.

This large-scale green roof project will be studied carefully in the coming years by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, which owns and operates the center, and the information they gather will be shared with the public and with others considering green roofs. Visit www.dakotahsport.com to learn more.