SBD/November 19, 2013/Facilities

49ers Pushing Energy Efficiency Of Levi's Stadium, But Skeptics Remain

Levi's Stadium will have 1,162 solar panels atop its western roof
While the 49ers are touting Levi's Stadium as "a model of ecological efficiency," how much of that is "eco-hype" depends on how you look at it, according to Paul Rogers of the SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS. Levi's Stadium Project Exec Jack Hill said, "It's not window dressing. This is real." He added that more than 75% of construction materials "are being recycled." Rogers noted the stadium is "located near light rail and other transit," and the team is "aiming to serve mostly locally produced food and plans to put sustainable bamboo woodwork in the luxury suites." The field's sprinklers will "spray recycled water when the stadium, now 70 percent complete, opens in August." But Deborah Bress, a spokesperson for Santa Clara Plays Fair, a group that opposed the project when voters approved it in '10, said, "The whole green thing is kind of a publicity campaign." Rogers noted while the 49ers are "installing LED bulbs" in 40% of the stadium lighting, team officials "canceled plans to put the high-efficiency bulbs in the huge field lights because of concerns from broadcasters that the technology might alter the color of the players' uniforms on TV." Also, the 1,162 solar panels installed on the western roof of the stadium "won't provide anywhere near enough electricity to satisfy the stadium's needs on game days," and the "vast majority of electricity will come from a utility." The team "hasn't said yet whether it will buy 'green power' generated by wind and solar energy." But 49ers officials "emphasize that their stadium will be a 'net zero' energy user." Team CEO Jed York has said that he "wants the building to be the first NFL stadium to achieve gold status from the U.S. Green Building Council" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/18).

: In Baltimore, Ryan Sharrow cited a source as saying that M&T Bank Stadium has "received a LEED Gold rating from the U.S. Green Building Council," making it the "first NFL stadium to earn the recognition." The announcement will be made today by Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and Ravens President Dick Cass. Gold is the "second-highest rating a building can earn, after platinum." Lincoln Financial Field "recently earned LEED Silver status" (, 11/18).
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