Commemorative Case Study: Target Center Green Roof

Sourced from the Living Architecture Monitor

As part of the 20th Anniversary of publishing the Living Architecture Monitor, we are revisiting iconic green roof projects to see how they are faring and to see what lessons can be learned as they evolve.

The award of excellence winning Target Center green roof was installed in 2009 above a multi-use arena located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Home of the NBA Timberwolves basketball franchise, the project is 2.5 acres (113,000 sf) of extensive green roof, featuring pre-grown sedum mats planted with 22 species of native plants and supplemented with 16 species of native plugs.

Designed by Kestrel Design Group and Leo A. Daly, the design intention was to manage approximately one million gallons of stormwater annually and enhance plant diversity and ecological resilience to reflect the mix of flora found on the dolomite bluffs overlooking the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. The use of Lupines on the roof, for example, is designed to support the endangered Karner Blue Butterfly.

The Target Center green roof growing media consists of a 2.75 inch deep growing zone in the center of the main arena roof structure and a deeper 3.5 inch growing zone around the perimeter where the structural capacity is greater. The roof itself is 180' off the ground and inaccessible to visitors to the stadium. Although the roof is not open to the general public, several hundred municipal staff/policy individuals, green roof professionals from North America and Europe have been up on and toured the green roof over the years. Nearby hotels advertise rooms that overlook this green roof.

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