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MINNEAPOLIS-The TCF Bank Stadium, where the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers play, might be the first Big Ten stadium constructed since 1960. But that’s not all it is first for. The facility has just become the first football stadium in the country to receive LEED certification. The stadium, which was constructed by Hines, has reached the US Green Building Council’s Silver LEED certification for new construction.

“The LEED certification of this complex development signals to the real estate community that any type of project of any size can be executed in an environmentally and economically responsible way,” says Bill Chopp, SVP for Hines.

The 50,805-seat stadium came out of the ground on a brownfield site where a rail yard used to sit. The University of Minnesota wanted the building to exemplify the university’s commitment to the environment and sustainable ideals.

“TCF Bank Stadium is an historic project for the University of Minnesota and it was important to us to do it right,” says university president Robert Bruininks. “This designation, in particular, underscores the commitment of the Board of Regents and the leadership of the university to principles of sustainability, energy conservation and responsible stewardship of our environment and our resources.”

Working with Hines the project included a reflective roof to reduce heat island effect, a 50% reduction in the use of potable water for landscape irrigation, a 30% reduction of indoor potable water use as well as the use of low-emitting materials, adhesives, paints and sealants. According to a release, more than 98% of the construction waste was processed back into the manufacturing cycle.

The total project, which was launched in 2003 although construction did not begin until 2007, is reported to have cost $288.5 million, which includes area improvements. TCF Bank received 25-year naming rights for the building after committing $35 million to the project.

The Gophers opened the stadium with their first game on September 12 when they beat the Air Force Academy Falcons 20 to 13.

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