Ryan is the first real estate developer in Minnesota to use the LEED Campus approach

An exterior view of The Collection, a six-level, mixed-use building featuring 230 apartments and more than 50,000 square feet of retail and grocery space that earned the LEED v4 BD+C Gold certification January 2024.
Saint Paul, Minn.
Feb 26, 2024

As the master developer of Highland Bridge,  we're proud to share that two buildings have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications, with an additional building currently being reviewed. These designations contribute to the City of Saint Paul’s vision of creating the most sustainable community in the region with the redevelopment of the former 122-acre Ford Motor Company manufacturing site. 

“The Highland Bridge development achieving LEED certifications is a significant accomplishment for our entire community,” said Saint Paul Mayor Melvin Carter. “I am grateful to be in partnership with Ryan Companies, whose dedication to environmental responsibility made this possible.”

Highland Bridge Medical Office, a 60,000-square-foot multi-tenant medical office building, was the first building at Highland Bridge to be LEED certified. It achieved the LEED v4 Building Design and Construction (BD+C) Silver certification November 2023. The Collection, a six-level, mixed-use building featuring 230 apartments and more than 50,000 square feet of retail and grocery space, earned the LEED v4 BD+C Gold certification January 2024. Marvella, an elegant senior living community with 300 apartments, is under its final LEED review and targeting LEED Gold. 

“The LEED certifications are a great way for the public to feel confident in the sustainable achievements happening at Highland Bridge,” said Lindsey Kieffaber, senior design project manager, Ryan A+E, Inc., the design studio of Ryan. “The people who live, work and visit Highland Bridge can feel reassured that the spaces are energy efficient, conserve water, use renewable energy, made with quality materials and promote a healthier lifestyle.”

We are the first commercial real estate developer in the state to use the LEED Campus approach. The approach was developed to simplify the process to obtain LEED certifications for multiple buildings on campuses while maintaining the technical integrity and rigor of LEED. While sites do not get LEED certified, the Campus approach also highlights the sustainability value they deliver. Some of the notable aspects of the Highland Bridge development that were recognized include:

  • Open space: LEED evaluates open space as the ability to provide opportunity for recreation, water infiltration, habitat creation and gardens. Highland Bridge exceeded the LEED requirement by 11%, achieving 41% total site area reserved as outdoor space through walking paths and parks that the broader community can use. 
  • Protect or restore habitat: Highland Bridge restored 30% of the total site area with native and adapted plants with a total of 653,400 square feet. 
  • Rainwater management: One of the most notable features of Highland Bridge is the central stormwater management system where rainwater is collected in one place rather than several. It appears as a natural pond but treats approximately 64 million gallons of stormwater annually from all 122 acres of the site.

“The LEED certifications demonstrate a commitment to green building standards, aligning with the Saint Paul Climate Action & Resilience Plan,” said City of Saint Paul Chief Resilience Officer Russ Stark. “The development at Highland Bridge reflects our city’s promise to prioritize sustainability in urban development. We are proud to collaborate with forward-thinking partners like Ryan Companies to make Saint Paul a leader in taking action on climate change.”

With the goal of making Saint Paul a leader in sustainable urban living, buildings at Highland Bridge must be designed and constructed to comply with the rigorous green building standards found in the Saint Paul Sustainable Building Ordinance.

Verdical Group provided project management, LEED commissioning and energy modeling to help Highland Bridge Medical Office achieve silver certification. This included an indoor water use reduction of 40% compared to the LEED baseline, a modeled energy cost savings of 11% and the diversion of 78% of construction and demolition waste away from a landfill. The project team prioritized the selection of environmentally preferable, low-emitting and healthy building materials. Enhanced commissioning was conducted onsite to ensure that the building’s systems were installed and functioning as expected. 

Sustainable Investment Group provided LEED consulting, commissioning and energy modeling to help The Collection achieve LEED Gold certification. This was accomplished in part by installing no/low chemical-emitting materials, accomplishing an energy cost savings of 43% and installing Highland Bridge’s first active solar array. Over the span of 10 years, the solar array and purchased renewable energy credits will provide 18,727 Megawatt Hours to the project, which is the equivalent to eliminating 8,101 metric tons of carbon dioxide or 911,578 gallons of gasoline.

We're committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2040 and is the first Minnesota-based commercial real estate services company to sign The Climate Pledge. Ryan A+E, Inc., Ryan’s design studio, showed its support by signing the Biden-Harris Administration’s recent release of a national definition of zero-emissions buildings by joining a coalition of architecture, engineering and construction firms to sign a collective support letter representing billions of dollars of real estate and spending annually.


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