Edmonton Oilers Score Canada’s First LEED-Certified NHL Facility With its Sustainable Design

April 26, 2018

The Edmonton Oilers are one of several NHL teams prioritizing sustainability in their stadiums using these green sports stadium strategies.

Rogers Place, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers, recently became the first NHL facility in Canada built to achieve LEED Silver. Now that its certification is official, the arena joins a handful of green sports stadiums that have embraced LEED certification as part of the NHL’s league-wide Greener Rinks Initiative focusing on sustainability.

The rink is the centerpiece of Edmonton’s new ICE District, a 25-acre development intended to revitalize downtown and attract tourists. Rogers Place, which replaces the Oilers’ longtime home Rexall Place, was required to strive for Silver as part of a sustainable design mandate in Edmonton – and it delivered.

The construction team diverted 94.8% of waste from the landfill while building the arena and opted for low-flow plumbing fixtures that will minimize the water usage at Rogers Place by about 35% compared to arenas with conventional plumbing.

Rogers Place also uses condensing boilers, high efficiency domestic water heaters, air-to-air heat recovery and variable speed chillers, and has a back-of-house recycling program with two compactors.

An average Oilers game at Rogers Place yields a waste haul that’s more than 70% biodegradable organics and more than 20% recyclable paper, plastic and glass. Only about 8% goes to the landfill, according to arena management.

Nearly all NHL arenas are adopting sustainable management strategies under the Greener Rinks Initiative, but only a few have earned green building certifications. The unique challenges of serving thousands of patrons at once make certification a tall order for athletic venues, but innovative systems and a focus on best practices are winning strategies for green sports stadiums. Here’s how the NHL’s other green sports stadiums achieved sustainability success.

Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, MN: Appropriately for the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the Minnesota Wild’s home arena has embraced water conservation. The “This Is Our Ice” campaign during the 2017-2018 season encouraged fans to bring water from local ponds and streams or ice shavings from their local rinks to make the ice at the Xcel Energy Center.

The arena is triple-certified to LEED, Green Globes and APEX/ASTM standards and has lowered its carbon footprint by 88% from its 2007-2008 levels. Recycling rates have reached 61%. Hockey fans with electric vehicles can plug in at charging stations outside.

Bell Centre, Montreal: The home of the Montreal Canadiens has constantly invested in sustainability upgrades since it first obtained LEED for Existing Buildings Silver certification in 2009.

The environmental lifecycle impact of each product informs purchasing decisions. Using LED lighting (including game lights) throughout the arena lowered Bell Centre’s energy consumption by 65%. The arena also repurposes melted ice in the snow pit to resurface the ice, avoiding the use of 208,000 liters of fresh water annually, even though it’s in a water-rich area where water costs are low.

Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY: Like Rogers Place, Barclays Center was built to LEED Silver. Since earning its certification, it has continually invested in upgrades, including LED lighting, an aerobic digester for food scraps and a distinctive green roof that lowers heating and cooling costs. The arena also conducts real-time energy benchmarking and is enrolled in multiple demand response programs.

PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh: The Pittsburgh Penguins play in the NHL’s first LEED-certified arena and the first of only two LEED Gold NHL facilities in North America. Its sustainable design met stringent water and energy efficiency targets. Since earning certification, PPG Paints Arena has continually honed its operational efficiency by using green cleaning products, adding variable frequency drives to the fan motors (saving 216,000 kWh per year), and participating in the local utility’s demand response program.

T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas: Home to the NHL’s newest team, the Vegas Golden Knights, T-Mobile Arena joins PPG Paints Arena as the league’s other LEED Gold certified space. All equipment incorporates variable frequency drives, and LED lighting is used throughout the facility. A connection with City Center, a downtown commercial campus, enables T-Mobile Arena to significantly its lower energy consumption. Waste heat from the campus’s co-generation plant is used for hot water and City Center’s larger, more efficient chillers deliver the arena’s chilled water.

About the Author

Janelle Penny | Editor-in-Chief at BUILDINGS

Janelle Penny has been with BUILDINGS since 2010. She is a two-time FOLIO: Eddie award winner who aims to deliver practical, actionable content for building owners and facilities professionals.

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