When the Amway Center opened in Orlando in 2011, it became the first LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold– certified professional basketball arena in the country. It took 10 years for Orlando Magic’s management to develop a plan for the new state-of- the- art sports and entertainment center. The community received not only an entertainment center but an environmentally sustain-able building to showcase in its revitalized downtown location. “ We wanted to make sure we brought the most sustainable measures to the construction, so in operation we can be a good partner to our com-munity and our environment,” states CEO Alex Martins. The new 875,000- square foot facility— almost triple the size of the Amway Arena it replaced— is now the benchmark for other sports facilities. Here are a few of the elements in the Amway Center project that helped earn the LEED certification: . The roof of the building is designed to minimize daytime heat gain by using reflective and insulated materials. . Rainwater and air- conditioning condensation are captured and used for irrigation. . There is 40% less water usage than in similar arenas ( saving 800,000 gallons per year), mostly through use of high- efficiency restrooms, including low- flow, dual- flush toilets. . There is 20% energy savings ( about $ 750,000 per year) with the use of high- efficiency heating and cooling systems.
. The center used environmentally friendly building materials and recycled 83% of the wood, steel, and concrete construction waste that would have ended up in a landfill. . There is preferred parking for hybrids and other energy- efficient cars. . The center is maintained using green- friendly cleaning products. LEED certification means five environmental measures and one design measure must be met when a facility is graded by the U. S. Green Building Council, which is a nationally accepted benchmark program. The categories are sustainability of site, water efficiency, energy, materials/ resources, indoor environmental quality, and design innovation. Other Amway Center design features include efficient receiv-ing docks, food storage layouts, and venue change- over systems. Massive LED electronic signage controlled from a central control
room also contributes to lower operating costs. From an operations management perspective, combining these savings with the sig-nificant ongoing savings from reduced water and energy usage will yield a major reduction in annual operating expenses. “ We think the LEED certification is not only great for the environment but good business overall,” says Martins.
Find a LEED- certified building in your area and compare its fea-tures to those of the Amway Center.
What does a facility need to do to earn the gold LEED rating? What other ratings exist?
Why did the Orlando magic decide to”go green” in it’s new building?