In a groundbreaking development for eco-conscious sports infrastructure, Washington state is on the verge of claiming the title of hosting the United States’ inaugural sports arena designed to meet the rigorous standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). Following the recent completion of a LEED-certified sports arena in Canada, the Showare Center, located in Kent, Washington, is poised to secure LEED–Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, marking a significant leap in sustainable arena architecture.
Key Achievements of Showare Center:
1. LEED Points Tally: The Showare Center has already secured an impressive 36 LEED points, positioning it a mere three points away from the esteemed Gold standard, as confirmed by Beth Sylves, the arena’s spokesperson. This accomplishment solidifies its status as a pioneering facility committed to environmental stewardship.
2. Sustainable Design Elements: Home to the Seattle Thunderbirds, a minor league hockey team, the $84.5 million Showare Center, crafted by Seattle-based LMN Architects, boasts a design focused on efficiency and conservation. With a seating capacity for up to 7,300 spectators, the arena is engineered to utilize 40 percent less water and 37 percent less energy compared to structures adhering only to national building codes.
3. Innovative Ice Management: Addressing the unique challenges posed by housing a hockey team, the architects implemented inventive solutions. Typically, ice is created at the beginning of the season and remains covered until its use concludes. Showare’s approach involves capturing the heat expelled during the ice-making process and channeling it through the concrete floor, thus efficiently heating and safeguarding the arena.
4. Waste Reduction Strategies: The commitment to sustainability extends beyond construction, with 90 percent of construction debris recycled. This emphasis on waste reduction showcases the arena’s holistic approach to minimizing its environmental footprint.
5. Eco-Friendly Transportation: Showare Center demonstrates a forward-thinking stance on transportation, with nearly 10 percent of on-site parking spaces reserved for carpools of four or more individuals and low-emission vehicle drivers. The inclusion of ample bike racks and showers further encourages environmentally conscious commuting practices among arena employees.
Environmental Impact and Future Outlook: The Showare Center’s imminent LEED–Silver certification underscores the potential for sports arenas to lead the way in sustainable design and operation. As a beacon of environmental responsibility, this development aligns with the broader movement towards eco-friendly and socially responsible infrastructure.
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