Minneapolis’ Commons Paves Permeable

AIA Priority Category:

  • Materials




Downtown Commons


Minneapolis, Minn.

Design Team:

Hargreaves Assoc.

Product Specs:

Product: Porous Pave XL
Material: Recycled Rubber

Originally Published:

Looking toward the environmental benefits for the entire city, downtown Minneapolis was looking toward permeable paving to reduce its stormwater runoff and potential pollution problems.


Completed in Aug. 2016, the Downtown Commons, Minneapolis, Minn., is a 4.2-acre public park and green space adjacent to U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Minnesota Vikings.


“The Commons is the centerpiece of the revitalization and redevelopment of the Downtown East neighborhood,” said Jacob Frey, Minneapolis City Council member whose Ward 3 includes the Commons. “The reduction in harmful stormwater runoff and water pollution is one of its many environmental benefits for the entire city.”


As is typical for highly urbanized areas, much of downtown Minneapolis is impervious. The Great Lawn, a large oval grass field, is a prominent element of the Commons, designed for deep infiltration of stormwater,” said Mary Lydecker, RLA, LEED AP BD+C, senior associate, Hargreaves Assocs., the landscape architecture firm that led the project.


The Commons includes seven areas of Porous Pave XL permeable pavement totaling 19,000 sq. ft. and 120 permeable tree surrounds created using 3000 sq. ft. of Porous Pave XLS.

An eco-friendly green building material made in the U.S., Porous Pave is a highly porous, durable and flexible pour-in-place paving material. Stormwater drains through its permeable surface at a tested rate of 5,800 to 6,300 gallons of stormwater per hour per square foot for on-site stormwater retention. The XL formulation is made from 50% recycled rubber chips and 50% chipped granite aggregate with a moisture-cured, liquid binder. XLS is 100% recycled rubber chips.

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