PRESS RELEASE: MSR Design Selects Stahl for New Living Building Challenge Office Build-out

Minneapolis, MN; August 6, 2019 – MSR Design selected Stahl as their construction partner for their new office in downtown Minneapolis. Together, MSR Design and Stahl will transform the existing 14,000-square-foot white shell located in the 510 Marquette building into an innovative, highly sustainable, collaborative workplace housing 53 employees and eight office dogs.

The new skyway-connected office will feature modern finishes, custom millwork, and a 24-foot operable door. Together, MSR Design and Stahl utilized the Living Building Challenge (LBC) framework to direct the design scope.

The LBC program focuses on the overall impact-built environments have on the building’s occupants and entire surrounding community. Compliant projects consider the future sustainability of all building components, including material lifecycle, community integration, human health impact, and self-sufficiency.

MSR Design Principal Paul Mellblom said “We are very pleased about the design of the new home for our firm, MSR Design, in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Stahl has been a willing and able partner with us on this project. They quickly ramped up their knowledge base about Living Building Challenge (LBC,, which we are seeking for our new office space – the first such certification in the state of Minnesota. When we interviewed Stahl, they were not familiar with LBC but quickly committed to meet the challenge, as well as work with us to meet strict budgetary guidelines and a tight schedule. It has been a really good partnership with Stahl: we are all pleased.”

MSR Design and Stahl are working to achieve three distinct petal certifications, beauty, equity, and material selection, through the LBC program. To achieve the beauty petal, a space must contain a meaningful integration of public art that is intended solely for human delight and visible to the community. Equity petal certification means to create a true sense of community in the surrounding neighborhood. The new space should have equitable access for all people regardless of physical abilities, age, or socioeconomical status. Similarly, occupants of the space should have universal access to public transportation, nature, and places to shop, congregate, work, and learn. Lastly, creating a successful material economy that is non-toxic, transparent, and socially equitable will help to achieve the Materials petal certification.

The Stahl and MSR Design teams are responsible for eliminating all waste during the design, construction, and operation of the new space. The lifecycle goal of the project is to have no negative impact on human and ecosystem health and, instead, replenish and regenerate the overall community. Certification of each petal is based on the actual performance of the space, which can only be awarded after at least one year of occupancy.

“It has been incredible to work with MSR to design and now build space that evolves how their team will work and sets the bar for human health and wellness and environmental sustainability,” said Jessie Houlihan, President at Stahl. “The Living Building Challenge is the most stringent standard for regenerative design, and we are committed to creating resilient, durable, adaptable, equitable work, through our partnership with MSR Design and in the future.”

Construction started in June 2019 and is expected to be completed by November 2019.


About Stahl
Stahl provides professional consulting; development; general contracting, construction management, design / build, and IPD construction services. We focus on the process of evolving the built environment to create lasting good and ensure our partners find comprehensive success.

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Lisa Thiel
Director of Marketing & Corporate Development