MIAMI The Marlins’ new ballpark was designed not only to sustain the franchise under a retractable roof in Little Havana but the environment as well.
Those efforts paid off in Marlins Park being recognized as the world’s “greenest” stadium with a retractable roof, as well as the most environmentally sustainable park in Major League Baseball. It is the first in each case to receive LEED gold certification under the rating system for new construction.
“Achieving LEED Gold is an extraordinary accomplishment,” said Rick Fedrizzi, president of the U.S. Green Cuilding Council, who presented the certificate Friday. “This is not a trophy. I like to think of this as the organization has earned its PhD.”
Notably, the ballpark achieved a 22.4-percent reduction in energy use when compared to similar projects, and will reduce water use by 52 percent.
The white exterior and extensive use of glass, combined with an efficient air-conditioning system, help keep energy costs down, said Claude Delorme, Marlins head of ballpark development.
But numerous subtle factors went into producing the 40 credit points needed for gold certification.
For instance, more than 49 percent of building materials were from recycled content, including rubberized flooring in the dugouts and clubhouses from recycled Nike shoes. Bamboo, considered a rapidly renewable material, was used for paneling in the suites.
In addition, the 249 urinals will save about 6 million gallons of water per year.
“When we first started the project we had a goal in mind of LEED silver,” Delorme said. “The numer one reason we attained gold is we started early. Most of the other [ballpark] projects, when we compared to our peers, LEED was almost an afterthought.”
The Orlando Magic’s Amway Center was the first NBA arena to gain LEED gold certification. The Miami Heat’s AmericanAirlines Arena earned basic LEED certification for existing buildings in 2009.