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The 2018 Super Bowl Stadium Offsets 100% Of Its Own Energy

Green Matters
By Brian Spaen

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Image Source: Green Matters, via Flickr

The home of the Minnesota Vikings will be this year’s host for Super Bowl LII. While the team and fan base have to be disappointed in coming up just one game short of being in the championship game, they should be proud of their new stadium. Why? It offsets 100 percent of its electricity with renewable energy credits and uses a number of energy-efficient technologies. In fact, it’s LEED-Gold Certified.

As a cool aesthetic touch, the stadium’s massive windows and ETFE roof (ethlyene-tetra-fluoro-ethylene) provides amazing views of Minneapolis and gives it the feel of still playing outside without the cold weather.

Not only is this the first time ETFE has been used on such a major scale, but a signature design is the Legacy Gate, which has five of the world’s largest glass doors that are from 75 to 95 feet tall. By allowing so much light into the stadium, and with the majority of NFL games played during the day, this cuts out the need for so much artificial lighting.

How is the US Bank Stadium actually offsetting its energy use? 40 percent of the roof that uses zinc cladding provides additional heat in the winter or cooling relief in the summer, and it’s durable enough to withstand harsh winters. Compared to the old Metrodome, US Bank Stadium uses 16 percent less energy and 26 percent less lighting. The latter was achieved by using LED lighting that can turn on and off quickly and can change color. This is handy during pregame or halftime entertainment, or when a different event is happening inside the stadium.

US Bank Stadium is partnering with the NFL during the Super Bowl to recover more than 90 percent of stadium waste that will be generated on Sunday. Called “Rush2Recycle,” this effort hopes to sort recyclables from standard trash, compost food service ware, and will encourage those at the stadium to recycle or compost their garbage.

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Padres Installing Baseball’s Biggest Solar Project

The San Diego Union Tribune

The $1 million solar project is expected to be finished by the Padres' home opener March 29. Photo Credit: San Diego Union Tribune.

The $1 million solar project is expected to be finished by the Padres’ home opener March 29. Photo Credit: Sullivan Solar Power.

Petco Park is about to become home to the largest solar power system in Major League Baseball.

  • Workers have begun to install a 336,520-watt project, with 716 solar modules that can produce more than 12 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in the next 25 years.
  • The project will be large — bigger than the solar systems installed by seven other teams combined.
  • The system will be installed on the stadium’s roof and is expected to be ready by the Padres’ season opener March 29.

The Padres go big on solar: Here’s the full story

There are no guarantees how the rebuilding Padres will do this coming season but on the energy front, the team is about to become baseball’s undisputed leader in the solar standings.

Construction of the largest solar power system in Major League Baseball has begun at Petco Park — a 336,520-watt project comprised of 716 high-efficiency, 470-watt solar modules expected to produce more than 12 million kilowatt-hours over the next 25 years.

Seven other teams in the majors have installed solar facilities in recent years but at a Wednesday news conference announcing the plans, officials said the Padres’ solar array will be larger than all the other teams’ facilities combined.

“This project really checked all the boxes for us,” said Erik Greupner, Padres chief operating officer. “It’s something that will generate energy savings for us over time and it’s consistent with the priorities to our fan base and to the city of San Diego.”

Workers from San Diego-based Sullivan Solar Power began installing the modules earlier this week and the Padres anticipate the project will be wrapped up in time for the team’s season opener March 29 against Milwaukee.

Green and LEED-Certified Stadium Design

Architectural Record

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Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Image Courtesy of AMB Group

Though it remains to be seen whether the Atlanta Falcons will meet expectations for the season, the National Football League team’s athletic facility has already earned the highest marks when it comes to being green. In mid-November 2017, the 2 million-square-foot Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta became the world’s first LEED Platinum–certified professional sports stadium.

Designed by HOK and home to the Falcons and the Atlanta United Major League Soccer (MLS) club, the stadium hosts 4,000 photo-voltaic (PV) panels, which should generate 1.6 million kilowatt hours per year—enough to power nine football games—and has enough electric vehicle connections to charge 48 cars at once. Among its many other green features, a 680,000-square-foot cistern can store 2 million gallons of rainwater, for both water-conservation and flood-control purposes. (The project sits at the top of the Proctor Creek watershed, just north of flood-prone downtown Atlanta.)

Video courtesy EarthCam

Worldwide, there are more than 30 LEED-certified sports venues, according to the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC), but with 88 LEED points of a possible 110—the most of any athletic facility to date, and notably earning all possible credits for water—the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the most impressive, and most recent, example of a growing trend. “Seven or eight years ago, we’d have to bring up the topic of sustainability with clients,” says architect Chris DeVolder, the sustainable design leader for HOK’s sports, recreation, and entertainment practice, who worked on the Atlanta stadium for almost four years. “Now we’re talking about it on every project.”

The Georgia venue completes a triumvirate of Platinum projects at different scales: in September 2016, the Sacramento King’s Golden 1 Center by AECOM became the first professional arena to earn Platinum, and five years before, in October 2011, the USGBC named Apogee Stadium by HKS, at the University of North Texas, the first Platinum collegiate football stadium in the nation.

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