The Pittsburgh Penguins usually generate most of their excitement when it comes to what happens on the ice, but their new building is creating some buzz by itself. Their soon-to-open Consol Energy Center became the first NHL arena to earn LEED gold certification, the environmental equivalent to a first star.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), established by the U.S. Green Building Council, is the nationally-accepted standard for the design, construction and operation of green buildings. LEED ratings are based on a points system organized by categories such as energy and atmosphere, building materials and resources, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality and innovation and design.
The CONSOL Energy Center project achieved 42 points under this system, as verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). A minimum of 39 points is required for LEED Gold certification. The official designation is LEED-NC Version 2.2.
Of its 42 points, CONSOL Energy Center received nine points for sustainable sites, nine for indoor environmental quality, eight for energy and atmosphere, seven for materials and resources, five for innovation in design and four for water efficiency. The project received high marks for water use reduction, recycled materials, regional materials, demolition and construction waste diversion, certified wood and energy efficiency.
When you think of new arenas, it’s hard not to picture trees being cut down and the environment suffering. While there might be an element of that in any building process, it’s great to hear that officials and the Penguins organization are looking to be “green” and not just make green going forward.