Fiserv Forum: Achieving LEED O+M with Arc
Over the past two decades, USGBC and LEED have been transforming the marketplace with rating systems designed to ensure certified buildings demonstrate efficiency, save money, lower carbon emissions and create healthier places for people.
High performance for high performers
The Arc platform was developed by USGBC as a tracking tool to monitor and report this data. The green building industry is becoming more performance-based to ensure that buildings are performing the way they were designed to. Arc was designed to help building owners and operators visualize performance data and impacts to drive targeted performance focusing on energy, water, waste, human experience and air quality. The platform also allows for comparison across a real estate portfolio, which can be particularly useful in assessing improvement opportunities.
Fiserv Forum, the Milwaukee Bucks arena, and the team’s training center, located in the Froedtert and The Medical College of Wisconsin Sports Science Center building, achieved LEED for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) at the Silver level in 2019. The owner and facilities director are committed to optimizing the performance of this world-class venue, and Arc was a perfect tool for this.
The Bucks engaged my firm, Greenwood Consulting Group, LLC (GCG) to manage its LEED v4.1 recertification under LEED for Operations and Maintenance (O+M), using the Arc performance tracking platform. GCG brought to this project over 17 years of experience managing projects that pursue green building certification to achieve the owner’s performance goals. Together with GCG, Fiserv Forum was awarded LEED Gold for its LEED O+M recertification, with a score of 75, and the Sports Science Center was awarded LEED Silver, with a score of 52, in October 2021.
“The Milwaukee Bucks seized an opportunity to guarantee Fiserv Forum ensures a more sustainable, energy-efficient and healthy environment to allow our visitors and employees a healthier quality of life in our building,” says Dennis Williams, senior vice president and general manager of Fiserv Forum. “We are very proud of our efforts and stewardship in the community while providing first-class entertainment and championship basketball at Fiserv Forum.”
The unique needs of a sports venue
As a sports arena, Fiserv Forum faced numerous challenges, including the intensive energy and water use for this building type. Maintaining healthy air quality was another concern that emerged with the onset of COVID-19. After gathering building data over the course of a year and completing air quality testing and occupant surveys, we were able to identify areas for improved performance.
Fiserv Forum has been diligent with its efforts to retrofit outdated energy efficiency systems, and they continue to retrofit plumbing fixtures to high-efficiency alternatives throughout the building. The project performed well in the energy and water categories of LEED, as GCG uncovered from our analysis. Energy Star Portfolio Manager was used to monitor this performance, as well.
Coordination with GBCI administrators was helpful in addressing unique COVID-19 circumstances when the facilities were not operating at normal capacity. Waste was identified as an area of opportunity through the Arc platform, so we worked with the owner to assess the different waste streams, operational logistics (back of house compared to front of house), food waste volume and local options for composting. GCG also reached out to a wide range of local waste resources to understand various ways in which the overall waste volume could be reduced.
Establishing a procurement policy was one way in which recycling was enhanced on this project, and the Bucks decided to partner with S.C. Johnson to transform single-use plastic cups into packaging for one of the company’s products. This one step diverted an entire waste stream at the facility into a usable byproduct. Another opportunity identified at the project site was food recovery, and the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy offered a great road map for the team to focus on: beginning with source reduction, then feeding the hungry population and continuing down the hierarchy, with landfill as the last possible option. The Bucks continue to work to find local opportunities to divert food waste from the landfill and find alternative solutions.
In the end, the buildings achieved great results with the air quality testing and gave the operations and ownership group peace of mind that they are providing occupants with the best air quality possible. Now more than ever, investing in high-performing, healthy buildings is critical to the community at large. Fiserv Forum has demonstrated a commitment to transparency when it comes to health and building operations, which is very commendable.
As the first professional sports venue to achieve LEED Gold certification under LEED v4.1 for O+M, Fiserv Forum is a testament to environmental leadership and a commitment to sustainability and carbon neutrality. Moving forward, Fiserv Forum and the Sports Science Center are equipped to continuing monitoring performance with Arc and making improvements.
Original article: https://www.usgbc.org/articles/fiserv-forum-achieving-leed-om-arc