Silverwood Park Visitor Center
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Partnerships: Miller Dunwiddie Architecture
Accolades: 2009 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal in Real Estate Award, Recreation Division, AIA 2010 MN Merit Award. Renewable Energy Project.
The Three Rivers Park District's desire for the Silverwood Park Visitor Center was to showcase and promote sustainability and reduce their day-to-day operating costs. With that in mind, LKPB Engineers, an IMEG Company set its own project goal - reduce the building's overall impact on the environment while presenting a sustainable building to the community.
After a cost analysis comparing various types of heating and cooling systems, a geothermal heat pump system was selected. The analysis included soil bore testing from the construction site. Along with having low operating costs, a geothermal heat pump system would promote the park district's desire to incorporate sustainable practices into the design of the building.
The geothermal heat pump system (see photo) is a closed-loop type consisting of 52 vertical wells extending to a depth of nearly 200 feet below the parking lot that sits on top of it. The maintenance garage at the park has a separate geothermal system containing four wells. The design of the Visitor Center follows the State of Minnesota Sustainable Building Guidelines.