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Elaborate NFL Stadium Stormwater Control System Detailed

Environmental Leader
by 

2017.07.25-NewsFeed-Levis Stadium-IMAGE

Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, made environmental history when it first opened in 2014. In addition to using recycled and reclaimed materials for construction, sporting a 27,000-square-foot green roof, and generating solar power, the $1.2 billion stadium has an elaborate system for stormwater management. Details about this novel system were recently made public.

Since rainwater can turn a football field into a muddy swamp, it can easily turn a parking lot into a floodplain, stormwater collection and treatment system company Oldcastle Building Solutions points out in their new case study of Levi’s Stadium. The stadium in Santa Clara, designed by HNTB, is 1.85 million square feet, has a capacity of 68,500 (not including club seats and luxury suites), and approximately 30,000 parking spots. All those hard surfaces can generate enormous stormwater runoff.

Adding to the challenge, the San Tomas Aquino Creek flows right by the stadium and ultimately feeds the ecologically-sensitive Guadalupe Slough as well as San Francisco Bay. As Oldcastle Building Solutions points out, the stadium site sits on land that has a high water table with storm drain lines close to the surface.

To deal with stormwater in the parking lots, project engineers GHD installed a modular system of precast concrete biofiltration units. They have cells containing mulch, biofiltration media, and drainage rock. The biofiltration media drain 5 to 10 inches per hour to be in line with the county’s requirements. Above ground the system resembles normal landscaping, but it allows the water to flow downward, get treated, and then go into an underground pipe. Microbes break down the filtered pollutants while the water irrigates plants and trees nearby.

Altogether, the stadium has six biofiltration systems in parking lots and areas right next to the building. One of the main systems is 2.5 feet wide and slightly over 600 feet long. Oldcastle Building Solutions reported that the project team installed more than 2,500 lineal feet of bioretention cells for approximately 14,000 square feet of space onsite.

The biofiltration is self-sustaining for the most part, according to the company, and protects the surrounding areas from contaminated runoff. Officially opening on July 17, 2014, Levi’s Stadium was on schedule and on budget. It was the first stadium hosting an NFL team to receive LEED Gold certification.

NIBS Partners on Green Sports Alliance Summit

2017.04.18-NewsFeed-NIBS Summit-IMAGE

Staff to Moderate Session on Making Stadiums Sustainable

Learn how to make stadiums and arenas high-performing at the upcoming Green Sports Alliance Summit, to be held June 27-29 in Sacramento, California, at the Golden 1 Center, home of the Sacramento Kings. With the theme “PLAY GREENER™: Engaging Fans, Athletes & Communities,” the Summit will focus on bringing about positive environmental and social impact across the fan base and surrounding communities. Sessions will prepare green sports stakeholders to leverage their influence by collaborating with athletes and engaging fans and communities inside and outside of sports venues to create measurable and lasting change. The National Institute of Building Sciences is a community partner for the event.

Earlier this year, the Institute and the Green Sports Alliance released a report that looks at ways the nation’s sports venues can make an impact by reducing their energy and water use. The report, Taking the Field: Advancing Energy and Water Efficiency in Sports Venues, considers the potential water and energy reductions the U.S. sports sector could make, and highlights the financial savings some leagues and teams are already seeing from putting such efficiency initiatives into place. The Institute’s Presidential Advisor and Director of its Consultative Council, Ryan M. Colker, JD, will moderate a session that builds on those findings entitled “Make it Last: Sustainable Solutions for Existing Venues.”

While new, innovative stadiums and arenas open each year, many sports venues tend to be older, less modern structures that require consistent upkeep and maintenance. Through the lens of sustainability, sports venue operators are developing strategies that enable them to “tune up” their stadium or arena in ways that encourage innovation, promote efficiency and preserve traditions.

During the Thursday, June 29 session, attendees will learn how existing venues ranging from more than one hundred years old to less than a decade are finding sustainable solutions to modernize venue operations. Speakers will highlight the obstacles they overcame, ranging from limited capital to challenging infrastructure, and the strategies used to achieve greater sustainability success. Join operators and partners from Wrigley Field, KeyArena, American Airlines Arena and Citi Field to learn more.

Speakers include:

  • Andrew Pigozzi, AIA, LEED AP, Associate, Stantec Architecture
  • Michael Dohnert, Senior Director, Ballpark Operations, New York Mets, Citi Field
  • Ned Dunn, Assistant Director, Redevelopment/Capital Budget, Seattle Center
  • Dan Munn, Senior Principal / Energy + Engineering Global Sector Leader, DLR Group

See the full story here.

NHL Taking Water Conservation to Higher Level

by Jon Lane @JonLaneNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

2017.03.27-NewsFeed-NHL Water-IMAGE

Excitement was in the air on June 1, 2011, when the NHL and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF) unveiled the NHL Water Restoration Project through NHL Green, the League’s sustainability initiative committed to improving hockey’s environmental impact. The partnership between the League and BEF, a nonprofit provider of market-based solutions designed to help businesses and organizations balance their carbon and water footprints, made the 2011 Stanley Cup Final the first water-neutral series in its history.

Since then, the League and BEF have helped restore more 70 million gallons of water to freshwater sources in North America through the Gallons for Goals program, the League’s commitment to match 1,000 gallons of water to a critically dewatered river for every goal scored. Ambitions were high, but BEF CEO Todd Reeve admitted it wasn’t to this degree. He initially didn’t recognize how influential a platform the NHL can be. But seeing League representatives such as Omar Mitchell, vice president of corporate and social responsibility for NHL Green, resonate with others while speaking about the initiative, struck a chord.

“They’ve taken this to a higher level,” Reeve said. “I don’t know if that was all built in with the launch of NHL Green or that’s been an evolution of the thinking, but with our partnership with the NHL I feel like both sides have evolved and the NHL’s ability to articulate the value propositions and need of opportunity around water has been really, really strong — far beyond what I imagined it might be.

“I think the NHL has done a better job than almost any company I’ve seen talk about it, of really making that value proposition. In that sense I think it’s evolved into much more of a sophisticated messaging platform than we ever anticipated when we first started working together in a very small way.”

Read the full story here.

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