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Blog Archives

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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Edmonton Hockey Arena Raises the Bar for Sports Facilities

Heating Plumbing Air Conditioning Magazine

2017.06.22-NewsFeed-Rogers Place-IMAGE

Photo courtesy City of Edmonton

Rogers Place will soon have the honour of being the first NHL venue in Canada to be LEED Silver certified. The 93,000-m2 arena is part of a new 25-acre mixed-use development site in Edmonton, AB and officially opened in September 2016.

Mike McFaul, assistant general manager of facility operations at Rogers Place and a founding member of the Green Sports Alliance, has been planning some of the waste management, green cleaning and energy use initiatives that would contribute to the building’s LEED certification since before it even opened. He also acknowledges the advantages of working with a building that was designed for efficiency from day one.

The arena has low-flow, efficient water fixtures, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting, and motion sensors. A LEED green cleaning program is already in place, and other programs, such as a sustainable procurement policy and lighting and HVAC scheduling to match occupancy, are in the works.

The facility also has a robust waste management strategy that started during construction. Almost 90 per cent of construction debris was recycled, and nearly 20 per cent of all construction materials came from recycled and/or local materials or contained recycled content. Now that the facility is up and running, its recycling and composting efforts have already enabled it to hit and exceed its 90 per cent landfill diversion target.

Its downtown location also helped in its bid for LEED certification, because it promotes the use of the city’s public transit system as well as active transport such as walking and cycling. A sustainability committee is being organized to develop and oversee future environmental initiatives to make sure that the building’s performance is maintained or improved over time.

Similar sports venues and municipally-owned or run ice/curling rinks can implement some of the features found at Rogers Place by retrofitting facilities with LED lighting, motion sensors and efficient water fixtures. Arenas can go further by energy benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to identify additional and ongoing energy saving opportunities. To enable these facilities to become even more energy efficient, NRCan will be launching a new score for ice and curling rinks in the fall of 2017.

With this launch, ice and curling rinks will become the seventh building type to be eligible for a Canadian ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager score. The score will help with energy management, which is critical for these facilities, given the high energy demands of creating and maintaining ice surfaces. With the new score, managers will have the opportunity to better understand their facility’s energy performance and find the tools to improve it.

Read the full story here.

Target Field Honored as one of the ‘Greenest Ballparks in America’

By Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune

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Saving those leftover brats, burgers and chicken breasts from Target Field has helped the Minnesota Twins hit gold.

The team learned Saturday that Target Field achieved gold LEED certification for building operations.

The seven-year-old Minneapolis ballpark already had silver certification through LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. LEED is the nation’s leading program in design, construction and high-performance green buildings.

Jase Miller, manager of ballpark operations for the Minnesota Twins, said fans should be proud of helping to make Target Field the greenest ballpark in America. “Together, we’ve kept thousands of tons of trash out of local landfills,” he said. “That’s a huge win not just for Target Field, but for the whole community.”

For the past five years, the Twins have donated unused food to local charities, including 213,622 cased meats, 34,488 hamburgers and 16,599 chicken breasts.

Beer cups, plates and nacho trays were part of 300 tons of trash converted to compost.

Target Field is the first to use Arc, a digital platform, to track sustainability, the team announced. With Arc, the Twins are able to track and increase alternative transportation, energy and water efficiency, waste diversion and recycling.

Through “aggressive recycling” and waste-to-energy programs, the Twins have kept more than 8,200 tons of waste out of local landfills since 2011, the team said. Some 3,213 tons have been recycled, while 2,755 have been sent to the nearby Hennepin Energy Recovery Center and 2,288 tons of organics have been composted, according to a news release.

The team hopes to improve those numbers this year with better equipment and training.

Team President Dave St. Peter said the team wants to honor “the power of sport to inspire, build the best fan experience and cause no unnecessary harm.”

Read the full story here.

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