Owned by Ramsey County Regional Railroad Authority (RCRRA), historic Union Depot earned LEED® Gold certification for the recently completed restoration.
Union Depot offers a unique mixture of history and the future of transportation. Restored to its peak 20th century elegance, the facility also incorporates the 21st century green building ideas. The RCRRA’s Board of Commissioners made sustainability a priority for Union Depot’s renovation, restoration and construction. Union Depot teams initially sought LEED Silver status but took extra steps to attain LEED Gold certification.
“We are proud of the hard work of so many people that led us to this moment. The LEED Gold designation is a challenge to attain in an older building, especially one on the historic register. High levels of creativity were required to maintain the historical integrity of the building while modernizing it to be relevant for the next century,” said Rafael Ortega, chair, Regional Railroad Authority. The internationally recognized LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program of the U.S. Green Building Council rates buildings, homes and neighborhoods according to environmental and sustainability best practices.
From the inception of the work, an integrated design process was put in place by the RCRRA team in partnership with Mortenson Construction (design-build contractor), HGA Architects and Engineers (architect and engineer on record) and URS Corporation (transportation design and engineering firm). Key elements of Union Depot’s LEED certification include:
- Building reuse
- Building material salvaging
- Asbestos abatement
- Construction waste management
- Connection to district heating and cooling
- Lighting controls systems
- Natural lighting optimization
- Storm water control
- Water efficient landscaping
- Bicycle station
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- Fuel-efficient vehicle parking
- Bike/pedestrian enhancements
- Public transportation access
- Waste management and recycling
Timothy Mayasich, director, Regional Railroad Authority, states “The LEEDGold status is a starting point for us. Our ongoing operations will reflect our commitment to the high standards of a LEEDGold building. In fact, we are currently exploring efficiency opportunities with building lighting in spaces for new tenants.”
Across the United States, many buildings similar in nature to Union Depot were typically demolished. Of those surviving structures, many were redeveloped as condominiums, hotels or malls. Union Depot is a unique structure in that it has been redeveloped as a multi-modal transportation facility while maintaining its original use as a train station.
Union Depot offers visitors a welcoming space whether they are connecting to transit opportunities, meeting friends or attending an event. With tours, an indoor waiting room, free wi-fi, engaging public art, comfortable chairs and tables, Christos restaurant and 24-hour security, Union Depot is an asset to the community as well as an important multi-modal transportation hub. In addition, Union Depot provides parking, electric vehicle charging stations, bike storage, and convenient pick-up and drop-off locations for taxis and passenger vehicles.