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Member Highlight: Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR)

Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors

Photo Credit: Golden State Warriors

Located in the Mission Bay neighborhood of San Francisco, the Golden State Warriors and Uber have joined forces to create an innovative and sustainable campus.  Across the campus, the project team is pursuing a total of five LEED Gold certifications, capitalizing on the energy efficiency of architectural, mechanical and electrical systems, as well as, the water efficiency of the plumbing design.  From the beginning, SSR has been at the forefront of systems’ development in collaboration with the project team, envisioning a variety of approaches to sustainable design throughout the complex.

Through a combination of unique energy efficient features, Chase Center’s design projects a reduction in total annual energy consumption and fittingly operational costs, too.  The arena is served by Indirect-Direct Evaporative Cooling (IDEC) air handling units which make use of the climate in the Bay Area to reduce the need for mechanical cooling.  Furthermore, the design integrates highly efficient lighting with lighting controls throughout the project, including in suites, lounges and office spaces to generate the desired user experience.

The Golden State Warriors’ campus is remarkable when it comes to the various methods of on-site water collection and re-use.  While high-efficiency flush and flow fixtures are often standard design today, implementing additional potable water reduction strategies may still be considered innovative.  The Warriors’ Chase Center and Uber’s office towers are designed to recover graywater from each building’s lavatories and showers, along with harvesting stormwater from the arena and office tower roofs, and even collecting condensate from the IDEC rooftop units.  This water will then travel through an on-site water treatment system and ultimately be pumped back into each building for use in restroom flush fixtures.  Additionally, the site irrigation design is ready to accommodate recycled water from the City of San Francisco, once available.  The goal of the design is to maximize the use of recycled water, in turn minimizing the use of potable water in a city often subject to droughts.

Photo Credit: SSR

Photo Credit: SSR

During operation, Chase Center and Entertainment Complex expects to maintain its model of sustainability through the use of waste management best practices, carbon emissions reducing transportation options, operational policies such as green housekeeping, and educational signage.  Initial and on-going sustainable measures implemented on-site will be communicated and visible to the users.

Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. (SSR) specializes in engineering, commissioning, technology and sustainability consulting services.  SSR’s engineers are dedicated to sports facility design, and understand the range of challenges and opportunities sports project teams face.  SSR utilizes high performance building analysis and energy modeling as a matter of principled design for its projects, to assist the project team in informed and holistic decision making.

Video Release: Vestas 11th Hour Racing Leading Sustainability On and Off the Water

Vestas 11th Hour Racing

When Vestas 11th Hour Racing set off to race around the world, they also set off on a mission to be the most sustainable team to ever compete in the Volvo Ocean Race, backed by the support of their two co-title partners Vestas and 11th Hour Racing. ‘Leading Sustainability,’ the team’s summary video of their efforts to accomplish this goal, reveals what it takes to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of a professional sports team, how this shared mission brought the team together, and how they addressed sustainability in the face of adversity.

Some key sustainability accomplishments of Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race:

  • The team calculated and offset their carbon footprint of 1218 tonnes of CO2 emitted. The offset will be carried out through Seagrass Grow, a program of the Ocean Foundation. It is estimated that seagrass is up to 35x more effective than Amazonian rainforests in their carbon uptake and storage abilities. Vestas 11th Hour Racing is the first Volvo Ocean Race team to track and offset their carbon footprint.
  • Through their legacy project with 11th Hour Racing, the team awarded $120,000 in grant funding to local environmental organizations ($10,000 at each stopover) to support and raise awareness to the incredible efforts happening worldwide to restore ocean health. (See Route Map below with names of organizations.)
  • By adopting Meatless Mondays, the team reduced their carbon footprint by 2.72 tonnes and prevented the use of 671,000 liters of water. These actions not only helped the team reduce their water usage and carbon footprint, but it helped them raise awareness of this global movement. In fact, if you eat just one less burger per week, over the course of a year, it’s the same as driving 320 miles less in your car.
  • 92% of the team’s accommodations were within walking, biking, or public transport distance from the race villages. This careful planning enabled the team to reduce their reliance on cars and taxis as well as their overall carbon footprint.
  • 99,300 people visited the public Exploration Zone in the team base, learning about renewable energy, ocean science, the circular economy, and microplastic pollution. Additionally, over 550,000 people viewed the team’s sustainability-focused videos on social media
  • The team was able to achieve a 74% diversion rate (62% recycling 13% composting) meaning that only 26% of their waste went to the landfill. By comparison, according to the World Economic Forum, Germany has the highest recycling rate in the world at 56%.
  • The team removed 212 kilos of trash from beaches. Combined with the 2.1 tons of abandoned fishing gear that will be removed from the ocean by 11th Hour Racing’s grantee Healthy Seas, the team will compensate for the waste they sent to landfill, and for the rig and sails lost overboard during their dismasting in the Southern Ocean.

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Opinion: MLBs most energy, environment, and climate conscious players

By Matt Chester
This article was published by the Chester Energy and Policy blog on July 9, 2018.

Matt Chester assembles an All-Star Team with MLB players who have proven themselves to be the most conscious of issues surrounding energy, the environment, and climate change.

Sports can be the ultimate awareness raiser for climate issues

Baseball’s Midsummer Classic is just around the corner, where fans, players, and coaches all vote on which players will play in the All-Star Game based on their performance during the first half of the season.

This year’s game is hosted in Washington, D.C, both home of the first Major League Baseball (MLB) stadium ever to be certified as LEED Silver and also epicentre of U.S. politicians debating the green issues of the day.

As such, I thought it appropriate to assemble an All-Star Team with MLB players who have proven themselves to be the most conscious of issues surrounding energy, the environment, and climate change– the Green All-Star Game, if you will.

Why do this?
Lew Blaustein of the GreenSportsBlog does a great job explaining that bringing awareness to green issues is the most critical action athletes, teams, and leagues can do with their platform.

Athletes especially can educate the public and make environmental issues relevant to new audiences. The world of sports already takes pride in charitable work, including such high-profile partnerships as the NFL integrating pink into its colour schemes for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Among MLB players, the most commonly supported charities include children’s hospitals, fighting poverty, cancer research, and more.

Obviously, these charities are more than deserving causes, but surely there is also room for athletes focusing on climate change and the clean energy transition.

Baseball players are especially great for these endeavours because they are exceedingly marketable given their faces are not obscured by helmets like football or hockey players, they have long-lasting careers, and baseball forever has a place in the social sphere as America’s Game.

Not only that, but baseball players have many reasons to advocate for the environment and fight against climate change.

For one, the effects of climate change are most immediate and dangerous to islands and nations in the Caribbean, and MLB rosters feature a significant number of players from vulnerable communities— notably the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and more.

And if not for altruistic reason, baseball players might even seek to support green causes so climate change doesn’t alter the number of home runs or the hit-by-pitch count in baseball (note– I know there’s no real evidence of these effects, this is said tongue-in-cheek– put away the pitchforks).

Who makes the cut?
With all that said, the search begins for MLB players who have publicly championed green causes– whether that means renewable energy technologies, environmental causes, or fighting climate change.

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