The exciting atmosphere of professional sporting arenas are increasingly becoming high profile demonstrations of how environmentally sustainable design and practices can be integrated into an electrifying fan experience. The NBA’s Sacramento Kings have announced that the Green Building Council has certified their new home arena, Golden 1 Center, as a LEED Platinum building.
The Golden 1 Center made a slam-dunk on its sustainability requirements, becoming the first major sports venue of its size to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The arena will be entirely powered by solar energy by a 1.2-megawatt rooftop solar array and an 11-megawatt solar farm managed by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District.
“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,” said Kings Owner and Chairman Vivek Ranadivé. “Businesses, including large sports franchises, have a core responsibility to help facilitate the world’s clean energy transition so that we can better protect the health and environment of future generations. The 1.2 million people who will pass through our doors each year will see first hand how adopting the best sustainability practices can improve the fan experience.”
The Sacramento Kings are not the only professional sports franchise to invest heavily into designing facilities with clean energy and sustainability in mind. Ahead of what it called the “Solar Super Bowl” between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) conducted an analysis of major sports venues across the US and found that 25 stadiums, arenas and raceways in 12 states have gone solar. For instance, the San Fransisco 49ers’ Levi Stadium, which opened in 2015, received LEED Gold status for incorporating 1,150 solar panels into a terrace and 3 bridges as well as constructing living roofs throughout the stadium.
The Golden 1 Center, designed by architectural firm AECOM, takes advantage of local climate and geographical features specific to the Sacramento area. It uses the local phenomenon of The Delta Breeze to employ a displacement ventilation system to control the building’s climate efficiently. Additionally, a farm-to-court plan was put into place to acquire 90 percent of food and beverage concessions from farms and local business within a 150-mile radius.
After an exhaustive 13 month study the Kings and AECOM found that by placing Golden 1 Center at a downtown location, it would decrease the amount of travel per attendee by 20 percent. Given that the arena will host 200 events annually, the downtown location will save the environment an estimated 2,000 tons of greenhouse gasses (equal to 4 million vehicle miles).
“Our architects, sports designers, sustainability experts, engineers, urban planners and landscape architects worked together from the beginning to shape an indoor-outdoor arena that is revitalizing downtown Sacramento and setting a new global standard for sustainability,” said AECOM’s Bill Hanway.Tweet