From problem to opportunity

The Japanese garden “Seisui Tei” (Garden of Pure Water) at the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is one of the most renowned in North America. Much less common in the United States, Chinese gardens function more like parks to be discovered than gardens to be admired. Combining natural and built landscape features, and always including a path, a Chinese garden invites visitors to walk through, discover naturalistic beauty, and immerse themselves in its tranquility. The Arboretum has long envisioned adding a Chinese garden and set a bold vision to create one as a key element in its 2012 master plan….

The preferred site for the Hsiao-Ho Chinese Garden was along the Three Mile Drive, in part because it would provide convenient ADA access not only to the new garden, but also to existing collections of larch, willow, elm and hydrangea plants. Solution Blue Inc. and Damon Farber Associates undertook a pre-design study to determine the appropriate location and access for the garden on the Three Mile Drive…”

SCAPE (Winter, 2015)

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The two-year effort to bring rainwater harvesting to CHS Field

Owned by the City of Saint Paul and operated by the Saint Paul Saints, the 7,200-seat ballpark in the Lowertown neighborhood is situated on a 13-acre site, which was a brown field (now a green field). Since the. Since the beginning of the project, the City of Saint Paul, the Saint Paul Saints and the entire project team shared a vision: make CHS Field the “Greenest Ballpark in America” by incorporating various innovative and sustainable features. The ballpark was projected to host more than 500,000 visitors annually, so the facility had the potential to provide an exceptional opportunity to showcase sustainable development on a regular basis.

Solution Blue was the engineering firm responsible for the design of the stormwater management systems at the ballpark. The stormwater management practices that include tree trenches, rain gardens, bio- swales and underground filtration basins.”

SCAPE (Summer, 2016)

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Streetscapes: At the corner of 4th and Innovation

This 2-block stretch of 4th Street is vital to the growth and success of this Innovation District. The project’s first phase will include bike lanes, sidewalks, mountable curbs, modular wetlands, tree trenches, movable furniture, seating elements and a mixture of vegetation to enhance the environment, improve pedestrian/bike access and spur economic development.”

Minneapolis/St.Paul Business Journal (Sept. 16, 2015)

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Visit: Streetscapes: At the corner of 4th and Innovation

CHS Field is one of the greenest ballparks in America

Our Solution Blue team enjoyed providing the stormwater modeling, design, engineering and construction assistance services for this multi-functional network of sustainable stormwater features. The most noteworthy feature is the first commercial rainwater re-use system used for flushing toilets ever in the City of Saint Paul, which is estimated to save over 450,000 gallons of fresh water each year!”

Architect Magazine (Aug. 2015)

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Visit: Arhitect Magazine – CHS Field

Solution Blue helps make St. Paul Saints Ballpark a ‘green’ field

When the $62 million stadium opens in May, the home of the city’s minor league baseball team will take a major step forward as an environmentally friendly sports facility… features will include a storm water filtration system that will take drainage from the nearby Metro Transit maintenance facility roof and use it to irrigate the turf at CHS Field. Rain water also will be diverted to flush 10 percent of the toilets in the restrooms.”

Continue reading about Solution Blue’s lead role in reducing the water footprint at the new St. Paul Saints Ballpark.

MPR News (Nov, 19 2014)

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Green Infrastructure Makes Sen$e in the Twin Cities

Minnesota’s Twin Cities had green infrastructure long before it was called that…. The 53-mile Grand Rounds parkway system in Minneapolis contains numerous parks and parkways, 22 lakes within the city limits, streams, and creeks. The 6,400-acre park system is designed so that every home in Minneapolis is within 6 blocks of green space.Therefore, Twin Cities residents are accustomed to green space. Through a number of innovative projects, they are realizing how cost effective green infrastructure can be for protecting their environment and managing stormwater.”

Continue reading to find out how Solution Blue’s innovative stormwater designs are managing and reusing stormwater runoff in the Twin Cities.

Stormwater – The Journal for Stormwater Quality Professionals (Dec 2012)

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Shipping containers would frame proposed North Loop offices

An innovative trend of constructing buildings out of shipping containers is making its first foray in the Twin Cities with a new office building proposal unveiled on Friday.

Local marketing firm Akquracy is beginning plans to construct what founder Scott Petinga says would be the largest shipping container building in North America.”

Minnesota Star Tribune (March 2014)

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Office Building Planned Near Target Field

The Bickford, a small three-story office building, is planned for the North Loop area of Minneapolis. Solution Blue is working with the developer to design the building for a LEED certification.”

Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal (April 2013)

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Doing the right thing in Minneapolis: St. Mary’s takes charge of stormwater runoff

Today, St. Mary’s is stepping up to the plate – in a big way. Within 24 hours of the conclusion of the annual Taste of Greece Festival in September, giant backhoes and bulldozers took up residence on the property as the church commenced work on a major project designed to manage its stormwater runoff. Five large rain gardens are being installed, three along the Irving Avenue side and two at the north- and southwest corners of the property.”

Twin Cities Daily Planet (November 16, 2010)

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Cookas Works to Keep Water Where it Belongs

I’m working with clients and owners and collaborating with architects, schools, and watershed districts to keep water on site, close to where it falls, and disconnecting old storm systems. Decreasing the loads on old infrastructure is the main goal, as is promoting infiltration. – Mitchell Cookas”

Landscape Architecture Magazine (September 2010)

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