The hockey season hasn’t even started yet and the Pittsburgh Penguins already have something to celebrate: a brand spankin’ new hockey arena with LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification, the first of its kind in the NHL. Among other green things, the new arena sports green building elements from aluminum giant Alcoa, including a curved glass curtain wall that takes advantage of daylighting and a few other neat-o aluminum based energy saving tricks.
Sports and Sustainability
Hockey’s entry into the sustainability fray comes on the heels of a veritable green stampede by professional sports, including individual teams and entire leagues. In baseball the Minnesota Twins have installed a huge water conserving rainwater harvester in their stadium, in golf the upscale St. Andrews Country Club is irrigating with reclaimed wastewater, and the owner of NASCAR’s famous “Tricky Triangle” has installed enough solar panels to power Pocono Raceway and then some.
Alcoa and Pittsburgh’s New Green Arena
Alcoa has been working with the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory on low cost solar panels, so it’s no surprise that the company made some major contributions toward the 42 points that are needed to achieve LEED Gold. Alcoa’s subsidiary Kawneer manufactured the daylighting glass curtain wall and other energy efficient building elements including shades to reduce heat gain. The new arena also scored LEED points for water conservation, use of recycled and local materials, and reducing demolition and construction waste.
Err…About that Green Arena…
Ironically, naming rights to the arena belong to CONSOL Energy, a coal and gas company that seems to rack up quite a few violations according to a recent article in Business Week. In fact, just yesterday legendary coal industry blogger Ken Ward Jr. reported that a CONSOL subsidiary reached a proposed settlement to clean up pollution at one of its strip mines in West Virginia. The penalties are only $135,000 but the company has also agreed to put up $1.2 million for a law clinic designed to provide West Virginia University and the community with legal resources for improved environmental protection.
Image: Penguin by quinn.anya on flickr.com.
Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.