This is a special guest post by Christine Kilbride on behalf of BAMCO.
In recent years, developers’ and architects’ eyes are green – but not with envy. Green building is a driving force in much of the world’s modern day construction and architectural design.
According to a survey and report by Dodge Data & Analytics, the percentage of firms that plan to have a majority of their projects certified green is expected to double by 2018 – from the current 18% to 37%.
From conserving rainwater to utilizing solar power and recyclable material, many aspects of green building can be applied to commercial or institutional projects.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) – renowned for their certification of green building projects around the world – continues to raise the bar for environmentally-friendly building best practices.
The LEED rating system currently includes four classifications: certified, silver, gold and platinum.
When it comes to going green, you’re probably envisioning expansive corporate headquarters like the Hearst Building in New York City or the Google campus in Mountain View, CA.
Let’s take a look at some exceptional LEED certified projects from an industry you may have never expected: Professional sports.
The only Platinum-rated stadium on this list belongs to college sports, and the Texas A&M Aggies. The 31,000 seat stadium was designed with sustainable solutions in mind, from the building process to current fixtures.
During construction, 75% of waste was diverted from a landfill, and almost 70% of construction materials were either local or recyclable materials. In terms of energy, wind turbines were installed as an alternative energy source that eliminates about 300 metric tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere annually.
Home of the Miami Heat, AmericanAirlines Arena has recently received a LEED Gold recertification. Some notable sustainability efforts include a reflective roof to reduce the “heat island” effect of the stadium footprint, diversion of over 330,000 pounds of waste from landfills and installation of plumbing that reduces water usage by over 4 million gallons.
After initially receiving an accolade as the first stadium to open with a LEED Gold certification in 2014, Levi’s Stadium has recently earned a second LEED Gold for an existing building.
Keeping long term sustainability in mind, materials were carefully chosen throughout the building process. All equipment purchased was 100% Energy Star qualified, almost 86% of cleaning materials are considered sustainable and an Indoor Air Quality management program was installed.
- Consol Energy Center
There seems to be no better place for energy efficiency than the Pittsburgh Penguin’s Consol Energy Center. The LEED Gold certified arena earned its rating through utilizing local building materials, maximizing green space and purchasing renewable energy.
But one of the most unique aspects is Consol Energy’s “Rock and Wrap it Up!” program that donates leftover food at concession stands to local food banks on game nights. Sustainable and charitable!
- Marlins Park
For baseball, we return to Florida, but this time to Marlins Park. Due to Florida’s heavy humidity and heat, a retractable roof was required to make fans more comfortable. But trying to find an environmentally-friendly design posed an initial challenge. Ultimately, the design team was able to reduce energy use by 22.4%, well over the 14% certification requirement.
Other unique features include flooring made from recycled Nike sneakers, plumbing fixtures that save over six million gallons of water per year, and the installation of over 300 bike racks to promote alternate forms of transportation.
These teams and many more across the country are working hard not only for LEED certification, but to sustain our planet as well. Each day – and each partnership with the Green Building Council – we’re moving closer to a healthier planet.