Orchestra Hall Awarded LEED® Silver Certification

Minneapolis venue is nation’s first performing arts center to be awarded LEED® O+M v4 Silver for sustainable operations and maintenance.

Betsy Hall Photography

The Minnesota Orchestral Association (MOA) and HGA are proud to announce that Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis is the first performing arts center in the United States to be awarded LEED® O+M v4 Silver Certification, establishing new sustainable benchmarks for operations and maintenance that enhance audience and musician comfort and optimize energy efficiency.

Orchestra Hall is one of the largest performance destinations in the Twin Cities, home to the world-renowned Minnesota Orchestra.

After completing a comprehensive renovation in 2014 to expand and reshape Orchestra Hall’s lobby spaces, better connect the venue to the city, and upgrade infrastructure, the MOA established new goals to improve building energy and resource performance.

“The renovation was transformative in how it enabled us to better engage with audiences in our lobby spaces and fundamentally change their concert-going experience,” said Michelle Miller Burns, President and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestral Association. “Similarly, the LEED certification is a game-changer in terms of optimizing Orchestra Hall’s energy use and its environmental impact. The impetus for this project came from a committee of staff, musicians and board members, and we are proud that their dedication is leading us to a greener building for audiences, musicians and staff. We are deeply thankful to HGA for their expertise and commitment in guiding the MOA through this multi-year process.”


To track current building systems in coordination with stakeholders and MOA leadership, HGA completed a comprehensive retro-commissioning, energy consumption, and mechanical engineering study that benchmarked core categories within LEED® O+M guidelines, including:

  • Effective air filtration
  • Stormwater management system
  • Light pollution reduction lighting design
  • Low impact landscaping
  • Environmentally preferred de-icer use
  • Efficient plumbing fixtures
  • Energy efficiency
  • Organics recycling
  • Custodial effectiveness
  • Green cleaning chemicals
Sustainable Highlights

The study recommended implementation strategies, resulting in a projected 35 percent annual energy reduction.

Sustainable highlights include more effective air filtration for improved indoor air quality, a stormwater retention tank, native landscaping, low-flow plumbing fixtures, retro-commissioning optimized mechanical systems, LED lamp upgrades, a 58 percent waste diversion rate, 100 percent of durable goods recycled, advanced thermal controls and green cleaning chemicals.

Overall, Orchestra Hall performs 34 percent better than comparable Twin Cities performance venues.

“We are excited to have partnered with the Minnesota Orchestral Association to support a culture of environmental sustainability,” said Peter Dahl, PhD, LEED AP, Principal of Sustainable Operations at HGA. “Achieving LEED O+M Silver Certification is a rigorous third-party endorsement that communicates the Orchestra’s commitment to sustainable operations and community wellbeing.”

About LEED®

Administered by the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is an internationally recognized green building and urban design rating system that quantifies metrics on a four-tier scale, from Certification, to Silver, Gold, and Platinum.