Monthly Archives: August 2017

A Slam Dunk for Sustainability

By Dan Munn, DLR Group

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To close June on a sustainable note, I attended the Green Sports Alliance Summit 2017 in Sacramento, California, and joined the Make It Last: Sustainable Solutions for Existing Venues panel with leaders representing Key Arena, New York Mets’ Citi Field, and Wrigley Field. These sporting venues implemented sustainable, innovative solutions to modernize their iconic facilities. During our panel we shared challenges encountered during the design processes and how we overcame these barriers, ranging from budgeting to infrastructure. The final result of these American landmarks are energy efficient upgrades that reflect sustainable champions.

Solar Energy Brings the Heat
I spoke about DLR Group’s recent canopy design for NRG Energy at the Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena, which created a sustainable, marketable space to replace a formerly low-traffic area. Our design centers on a vibrant skylight canopy that generates environmentally-friendly solar energy. The canopy is composed of 14 solar skylights producing approximately 34,000 kW/hour of energy per year and powers flexible hospitality stations, LED screens, advertising, and WiFi connections. A color changing LED system creates an energetic atmosphere, drawing people to this space. This upgrade maximizes the triple bottom line of fan engagement, sustainable operations, and increased revenue.

Smart Business
There have been many questions as to whether solar energy is a cost effective energy solution. Aside from an industry compound annual growth rate of over 60 percent in solar energy, the cost to install solar has dropped by more than 70 percent over the last 10 years.

Read the full story here.


It’s Overtime for Climate Change and Everyone Needs to Score

SportsBusiness Journal
By Vivek Ranadivé

As the heart of civic life, sports teams have a unique opportunity to be a leader in the environmental change movement. The greatest civilizations in the world have centered around large gathering places where people come together to talk, interact, enjoy sports and entertainment, and even engage in political debate. Today, sports venues are no different — they serve as the 21st century communal fireplace.

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When we set out to build the new Sacramento Kings arena in downtown Sacramento, we asked more than 20,000 Sacramentans what they wanted to achieve in their new arena, Golden 1 Center. Across the board the answer was: “To become a model of sustainability.”

And that is what we built. Our new arena achieves the highest sustainability standards, becoming the world’s only 100 percent solar-powered and LEED platinum-certified arena — putting it in the top 3 percent of all buildings scored by the organization.

By moving our arena downtown, we are reducing average miles traveled per attendee by 20 percent, cutting overall air emissions by 24 percent, and by 2020, will have reduced travel-related greenhouse gas emissions per attendee by 36 percent.

As the first-ever indoor/outdoor arena in the world, we’re able to take advantage of the region’s natural cooling phenomenon — The Delta Breeze — to control the building’s climate efficiently.

We built seven green outdoor walls totaling 4,800 square feet — covering two-thirds of the arena — as a living symbol of sustainability, installed low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the arena, which can save over 40 percent of a typical arena’s water consumption, and ensured 99 percent of our demolition materials from the construction of the arena — over 101,000 tons — were recycled and diverted from landfills.

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Mary V. Harvey Looks at What it Means to be Green in the Sports World

gb&d magazine
By Mike Thomas

Former World Cup champion and Gold Medal–winning soccer goalie Mary V. Harvey has been an active part of the American and international sports scenes on and off the field for nearly three decades. She has been environmentally conscious for even longer. Upon returning to the U.S. in 2008 after a five-year stint with FIFA overseas, she became chief operating officer for Women’s Professional Soccer and began looking for her “next opportunity to give back.” After a chat with Green Sports Alliance Executive Director Martin Tull, her search was over; several months later she was on its board. The position enables Harvey, who now serves as principal of Ripple Effect Consulting, to combine her lifelong passions to great effect.

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gb&d: You went from high-profile player to high-profile advocate. How did you become involved in environmental issues?

Harvey: It’s an interesting progression, I suppose. I grew up in Northern California, and two things happened during my early teenage years. One is that that first drought of ’76, ’77. I remember water rationing. I remember putting bricks in the toilet and everybody’s lawns were dying and we were using the laundry water to water plants. I remember my mom painting, with fingernail polish, what 13 gallons looked like on the bathtub. And to this day, I take two-minute showers. You go through something like that, it makes an impression. The other thing that happened growing up is that the family next door, their oldest son became a really early advocate for recycling. So at an early age, I had an awareness of the importance of reusing. 

gb&d: What does it mean to be green in the sports world?   

Harvey: The origins of the green sports movement are a bunch of stadium operators in the Pacific Northwest who are in this environmentally conscious community—Seattle, Portland—and they’re trying to match up the values of the community with how the stadium operates and conducts itself. Because people in these communities come into these stadiums and they don’t see things that they’re used to seeing and they’re like, “What’s going on here?” So there’s an expectation [from] fans and communities, when they go to professional sports [events], that the professional sports organizations are going to mirror the values they have.

gb&d: What is the Green Sports Alliance doing to educate the sports world about the importance of going green? 

Harvey: First of all, we’re a convener. So every year, we convene people who are actors in this space, [from] people who run stadiums and arenas to people who work in front offices at teams or leagues to vendors who participate in compostable food projects [and] sustainably made textiles. So we convene the industry, and that in and of itself provides value to people who are active in this area. Beyond that, we work individually with members and share case studies and make them available. Pretty much soup to nuts what you can do to address any one of a variety of areas. On top of that, there are webinars every month that do a deeper dive into each one of these areas and provide educational material.

Read the full story.

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