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Blog Archives

Kroger Field Awarded Prestigious LEED Silver Certification

Kentucky Football by Guy Ramsey

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Kroger Field, the home of the Kentucky football team, has been awarded LEED Silver certification for its environmental performance and sustainable design.

The LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), is the foremost program for buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance. Kroger Field is the first LEED-certified competition venue in the Southeastern Conference in any sport.

“In both the design and construction process, we were committed to transforming the long-time home of Kentucky football in a way that would be sustainable for years to come,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “We are proud Kroger Field has joined exclusive company in becoming LEED-certified for exactly that reason and thankful for the work of our partners in the renovation.”

The University of Kentucky embarked on the ambitious renovation and expansion of Kroger Field – then known as Commonwealth Stadium – in 2013. UK worked with RossTarrant Architects and associate architect HNTB to create a new design for the facility that would completely transform the fan experience on game day.

The stadium reopened in 2015 after the completion of the $126 million renovation. As a result, today’s Kentucky football fans enjoy widened concourses, new restrooms, and a stadium packed with premium amenities including suites, clubs, loge seating, and private lounges. What isn’t as obvious to the average visitor is just how environmentally sustainable the new Kroger Field was designed to be.

“We knew from the beginning that sustainability was critical to the success of this project,” said Kevin Locke of RossTarrant Architects. “Achieving LEED Silver is a real testament to the university’s commitment to the environment. Knowing how well this stadium performs makes the experience they have created for Wildcat fans even more special.”

Kroger Field achieved LEED certification for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Sixty-seven percent of the old stadium was reused to create the new Kroger Field, minimizing construction waste and the need for the manufacturing and transportation of new materials. Low-flow water fixtures are saving approximately 204,000 gallons of water annually. Meanwhile, the stadium uses a third less energy than the typical stadium. The result is a savings of 694 metric tons less of greenhouse gasses every year—equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 75 homes.

“Kroger Field’s LEED Silver certification demonstrates tremendous green building leadership,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC. “LEED was created to make the world a better place and revolutionize the built environment by providing everyone with a healthy, green and high performing buildings. Kroger Field serves as a prime example of how the work of innovative building projects can use local solutions to make a global impact on the environment.”

Read the full story here.

U’s Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Basketball Facility is LEED Gold Certified

Utah Business Press Release

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Salt Lake City—The University of Utah announces its first Athletics building to be LEED Gold certified. The Jon M. and Karen Huntsman Basketball Facility, home to both men’s and women’s basketball, is officially a leader in sustainable design and energy efficiency. This is the eighth building on campus to be certified Gold or higher, and represents a commitment to a sustainable future through design.

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a building rating system created by the United States Green Building Council to evaluate quality and achievement based on: sustainable design; green practices during construction; and environmental performance over a year after construction is complete.

“We are thrilled that Athletics shares our vision to create a more sustainable campus,” said Deputy Chief Sustainability Officer Myron Willson. “They understand that our environments not only impact the ecosystems around us, but also the health and wellness of the student athletes and staff that occupy the facility every day.”

Sustainable building materials

The 102,000-square-foot facility was manufactured using over 23 percent of recycled materials and resources strategically selected from the Utah region to support local businesses and to reduce the environmental impacts associated with transportation. Over 12.5 percent of the total building materials include products that were manufactured and extracted within 500 miles of the site. During construction, the project diverted nearly 85 percent of the on-site generated construction waste away from landfills.

Eco-friendly Site Design

The design implements a stormwater management plan that results in a 25 percent decrease in the volume of stormwater runoff from intense rain events. In addition, the hardscape and roof surfaces, including a rooftop terrace and garden, which offers a 360-degree view of the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mountains, the university campus, downtown Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake, were designed to mitigate urban heat island — heat buildup around the facility — with lighter materials to in order to minimize the impacts of the reflected sun on surrounding wildlife habitats. The training facility is near U shuttle stops and UTA bus and TRAX routes. It also features on-site bicycle storage conveniently located near the campus bicycle masterplan’s desired routes.

Read the full release 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.

Subscribe to SportsBusiness Journal for the full story.

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