LEED-Certified Venues Increase Savings, Decrease Operating Costs, Study Says

Amway Center

by | Feb 17, 2017

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Amway CenterThe Orlando Magic’s Amway Center saved almost $1 million a year, including about $700,000 in annual energy costs alone, because of LEED green building certification.

This, according to a US Green Building Council report about how LEED certification benefits venues’ triple bottom line.

The Amway Center — first NBA arena to earn LEED Gold certification using the LEED Building Design + Construction: New Construction rating system — is one of the facilities highlighted in LEED in Motion: Venues.

Venues that incorporate LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) into their buildings increase cost-savings, decrease annual operating costs and see a higher return on investment overall, the report says.

This echoes an earlier study, the 2015 Green Building Economic Impact Study, which estimated from 2015-2018 LEED-certified buildings in the US will have saved more than $2.1 billion in combined energy, water, maintenance and waste savings.

The Venues report highlights the green building strategies and financial savings of more than 30 LEED-certified venues across the globe.

In another example, the Old Globe’s 108,000 square foot complex in San Diego implemented sustainability strategies so as not to disrupt the buildings’ aesthetics and primary focus on performance. Low-flow fixtures and aerators reduced overall water usage by 32 percent, LED retrofits and timer installations resulted in savings of more than 14,000 kilowatt hours per year, and an increase of recycling bins and staff education created the potential for more waste diversion.

Additionally, the Shanghai 2010 Expo Center’s implementation of features such as a vegetable roof garden, rainwater recycling system, LED lighting, water source heat pumps, high-efficiency water-use fittings and irrigation, resulted in the project achieving 82.5 percent annual total water savings and a 93 percent reduction in storm water runoff volume.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the number of conventions and events is expected to expand by 44 percent from 2010 to 2020, far outpacing the average projected growth of other industries. Annually, the top 200 stadiums in the US alone draw roughly 181 million visitors, and roughly 60 million people worldwide attend a consumer or industry trade show.

Waste Management estimates that the NFL, MLB, NBA and NHL generate a combined 35,000 metric tons of CO2 each year from their fans’ waste. The convention and trade show industry, one of the largest global contributors to waste, produces an estimated 60,000 tons of garbage each year.

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