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DC Stadium to Boast Significant Stormwater Storage Plus Solar Array, Will Save $125K on Utility Bills

A new stadium in Washington, DC, will provide storage for more than 55,000 cubic feet of stormwater onsite through green roofs, bioretention areas, and infiltration basins. Audi Field, which broke ground earlier this year, will be home to Major League Soccer team DC United. In addition to the stormwater retention system, the stadium will include an 884-kilowatt solar array installed on the stadium’s canopy and throughout the site along with a variety of smaller energy and water efficient technologies.

The measures are being funded through the DC PACE program’s green financing solution, which operates through a public-private partnership, allowing local lenders to fund environmentally beneficial projects at no cost to taxpayers. This $25 million deal, done through a relationship with locally-based EagleBank, is the nation’s largest single PACE note issued to date, according to DC United. PACE’s funding will also include money for high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, LED field lighting, additional building insulation, and low-flow water fixtures. These measures will result in a 25% reduction in energy use and will reduce emissions by 820 metric tons of CO2 annually, DC PACE says. They will save an estimated $125,000 annually on utility bills.

While stadiums are not always a good choice for cities, Audi Field may point the way toward a better, more sustainable way to finance such projects. In addition to PACE’s clean energy deal, the project also includes a $95 million loan from Goldman Sachs, according to Curbed.

DC Mayor Bowser says the stadium will boost local economic development and create good green jobs for District workers, “all without costing DC government a cent.”

In April, the Milwaukee Bucks announced that its new Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center is being built with an eye to reducing the arena’s footprint, ensuring energy efficiency, and furthering sustainability. The Bucks have contracted with Johnson Controls to create the arena as a “smart building” that the organization says will be “the gold standard for a sports and entertainment facility.”

And earlier this year, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the Atlanta Falcon’s new home, announced that it is seeking LEED Platinum certification — and is “on target” to achieve this highest level of the green building rating from the US Green Building Council.

Once construction is completed this summer, the stadium is is expected to be the first NFL and MLS stadium to achieve LEED Platinum. It will also be the first sports facility to achieve all water credits available for LEED.

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