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Golden 1 Center the ‘greenest’ arena in U.S.

The Sacramento Bee
By Ryan Lillis

Photo from the The Sacramento Bee.

Photo from the The Sacramento Bee.

Golden 1 Center is officially the “greenest” arena in the country.

The Sacramento Kings announced Thursday that their new downtown arena had been certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council, “the highest level of global recognition for environmentally conscious buildings and organizations.” The team said Golden 1 will be the first indoor arena to achieve that status.

“Our hope in creating Golden 1 Center was to help drive meaningful change in our community – which includes working to curb climate change and promote renewable energy,” Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive said in a statement.

LEED Platinum is given to projects that meet strict standards in energy use, water efficiency, transportation impacts and the materials used in construction.

Golden 1 Center will be powered during the day by solar panels on the building’s roof. A new 11-megawatt solar farm built by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District on its Rancho Seco property in partnership with the Kings will generate the power to offset electricity used at the facility during evening events. Hangar doors above the arena’s main entrance can open, allowing cool Delta breezes to fill the building.

The LEED stamp of approval also takes into account how the arena was constructed. Nearly all of the construction materials from the former Downtown Plaza were recycled when the mall was demolished, and more than a third of the materials used to build the arena were from recycled sources.

The Kings also plan to source 90 percent of the food and drink concessions from businesses and farms within 150 miles of the arena.

The arena will also host next year’s Green Sports Alliance, a prestigious meeting of sports executives focused on environmental standards for sports facilities.

US Open Greener Than Ever in 2016

By McCarton Ackerman

Photo by: (Jennifer Pottheiser/USTA)

Photo by: (Jennifer Pottheiser/USTA)

The new Grandstand is highlighted by a blue court customary to the US Open, but the new 8,000-seat stadium is also going green.

It’s the first stadium at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center to be LEED certified. The accolade was awarded for its practical and measurable initiatives designed to save water, conserve energy and improve both its materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Fifteen percent less energy and 40 percent less water is used in the new Grandstand than in standard buildings, while also using a rainwater treatment system that removes contaminants from the water before it’s released into the environment. More than 10 percent of the materials used to build the Grandstand was made from recycled materials, while 90 percent of the generated waste was diverted from landfills. Low-fume emitting paints reduce the emission of pollutants, while the white roof reflects heat to keep the stadium cooler.

It’s just a small part of the US Open Green Initiative that’s been in place since 2008 and continues to expand each year. This year’s initiative will offset the carbon emissions from the 850 players and 9,000 employees on site during the US Open, in addition to the fuel used to run the tournament. By diverting more than 850 tons of waste from going into a landfill, more than 1,000 tons of greenhouse gases will be saved from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Other highlights include 12,000 gallons of food grease from US Open kitchens being converted into biodiesel fuel, using only recycled material for the 2.4 million napkins in the general concession area, and installing LED court lights that are 50 percent more efficient than standard stadium lighting. In addition, the US Open expects to donate 10 tons of food to local communities.

The greatest sporting event on earth is now doing more than ever to protect our earth.

See the full story here.

LEED Silver Nationals Park is a Model for Green Sports

Written by Heather Benjamin

Photo courtesy of USGBC

Photo courtesy of USGBC

Since 2008, when the LEED silver Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., opened and brought major-league baseball back to the district, fans of the Washington Nationals have packed the stands.  Located in Southeast near the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers, the 41,546-seat stadium was the first professional sports venue in the nation to gain LEED certification, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

Susan Klumpp Williams, LEED AP, BD+C, a principal at HOK, was the project manager for the joint venture HOK (now Populous)/Devrouax & Purnell that designed the stadium. Anica Landreneau, also LEED AP, BD+C, also worked on the project with Susan—both as the LEED administrators. They faced some unique challenges with the first sports facility built to LEED standards, but made choices that have raised the bar for stadiums of the 21st century.

Working with a new format

LEED does not have a specific subcategory for sports stadiums, so certain credits needed to be adapted from what they might look like for an office building into what they would mean for a large sports park, according to the designers, the USGBC said.

One difficulty the team overcame was that Major League Baseball does not allow irrigation of a field with nonpotable water, so even though a great deal of stormwater is collected by the park, it cannot not be reused for that purpose. Instead, the water is rigorously filtered, cleaned and released into the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers.

Light pollution reduction was another credit that offered a challenge, because a sports stadium requires bright field lighting for night games. Using lower-mounted fixtures and high-efficiency field lighting with baffles and shields helped mitigate the effect. There are also overhangs and external shading in the design of the park.

Another requirement that had them momentarily stumped was the need for bicycle racks. “The reviewers said you have to provide for 5 percent of peak demand, so that would have been about 2,000 bike storage spaces,” Landreneau said. “So we turned that around in a credit interpretation that was granted that said that bike storage is a product of service, not consumption,” given the way that stadiums are used and occupied. As a result, they created the popular “bike valet” service—where cyclists can check their bikes as if they were coats, and pick them up at the end of the game. The feature is even being expanded this year, due to popular demand.

Read the full story here.