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Volume 20 No. 42
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Amway Center the LEED Gold standard among NBA arenas

Amway Center stands alone as the first newly constructed NBA arena to earn LEED certification, the result of a promise made by the Orlando Magic and local government officials to develop one of the most sustainable facilities in the major leagues.

The $480 million arena opened in October 2010. Six months later, the U.S. Green Building Council, the nonprofit administering LEED, announced that Amway Center made LEED Gold, two levels above basic certification.

The initial goal was to reach LEED Silver, one level above basic certification, before officials decided to push the project toward Gold status by putting a focus on sustainable construction as well as green design, said Magic CEO Alex Martins.

Populous, the arena’s architect, construction manager Hunt Construction and program manager Turner Construction were charged with making that happen on the front end of development. Together, they ensured the arena was built with more than 20 percent recycled materials and 30 percent regionally sourced materials, saving costs tied to producing and transporting those items.

The arena scored a total of 42 LEED points, including multiple points tied to its water systems, including the installation of low-flow toilets and faucets that saves 1.3 million gallons of water annually.

In addition, gathering rainwater from the arena’s roof and condensation from the facility’s chiller equipment is used

Features include a reflective roof to assist with cooling costs, and a system for gathering rainwater from the roof.
Photo by: Rancom
for site irrigation.

Like other sustainable buildings, Amway Center’s office spaces have lighting systems with motion detectors that automatically turn lights off when there is nobody working in those areas, Martins said.

The green design extends to the Geico Garage across the street with charging stations for vehicles and bike racks to reduce the facility’s carbon footprint.

The construction site itself scored LEED points by redeveloping an existing portion of downtown Orlando without having to clear land and build new roads and other infrastructure.

Unlike other sports facilities, Amway Center decided against installing solar panels after the development team determined it would be cost prohibitive, adding 10 percent to the cost of a project mostly paid for by the city, Martins said.

“The city still gets a savings on energy usage, whether it’s the water systems or the power systems,” he said.