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Atlanta Falcons Claim ‘Most Sustainable Sports Venue in the World’

The Atlanta Falcons football team is playing in a stadium that uses 47% less water than the baseline standard, is lit by LED lights that use 60% less energy than standard lights, and generates its own renewable energy through 4,000 solar PV panels – all of which have helped the Falcons’ home to be the first professional sports stadium in the world to achieve LEED Platinum certification. The stadium is calling itself “the most sustainable sports venue in the world.”

Mercedes-Benz Stadium was designed with LEED Platinum certification in mind, using environmentally responsible solutions for water, lighting and energy conservation. It is the first sports stadium to receive all LEED water category credits, due in large part to a highly-advanced storm water management system, the organization says. And the stadium saves 29% in energy usage compared to a typical stadium design.

Other elements leading the stadium to LEED certification include EV charging stations with capacity to charge up to 48 electric cars simultaneously, new pedestrian-friendly walking paths allowing for more connectivity between communities, and valet parking for bikes on event days.

The stadium was brought to life by lead architect HOK, solar provider Georgia Power, and sustainability consultant Ecoworks Studio.


Straining toward Sustainability

Sports venues have increasingly been touting their environmentally responsible initiatives:

  • Levi’s Stadium, home of the San Francisco 49ers, made environmental history when it first opened in 2014. In addition to using recycled and reclaimed materials for construction, sporting a 27,000-square-foot green roof, and generating solar power, the $1.2 billion stadium has an elaborate system for stormwater management which was detailed in an Environmental Leader article last summer.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles installed a food waste digester and data analytics platform at the team’s Lincoln Financial Field. The team first installed a waste digester at its practice facility in September, 2016, and since then it has decomposed – and thus diverted from landfill – more than 9 tons of food waste. The Eagles partnered with Waste Masters Solutions, which worked with BioHiTech Global on developing, installing and deploying the digester and data analytics platform.
  • Audi Field, 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.


Getting It Done: Vendors Mentioned Above

  • HOK
  • Georgia Power
  • Ecoworks Studio
  • Waste Masters Solutions
  • BioHiTech Global
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