Last week I worked temporarily in an office within the Phillips Eco-Enterprise Center (pictured above) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its developer, The Green Institute, views their building as a “living experiment” that will serve as a regional model for green commercial construction. And though the building's educational earnestness can feel a little overwhelming at times, it does make a pleasant work environment.
A "green man" statue guards the lobby.
And just in case he may seem culturally unfamiliar, a poster explains.
In fact, everywhere you turn, there are an explanatory sign.
A sign on the bathroom door not only explains the fixtures, it also promotes bike commuting. Workers in the building told me that bike commuting would be more desirable if the roof didn't pour draining water onto the bike rack.
Much of the roof is a solar panel farm...
while some is a pleasant "meadow" atop a section of sod.
Even the exterior is signed: that's not a lot full of weeds, it is a "prairie restoration area."
It is easy to laugh at all this, but the building certainly has its successes. According to the Minnesota Sustainable Communities Network:
This post is dedicated to sf mike at Civic Center who routinely demonstrates how we bloggers can highlight our surroundings in pictures.