The United States Green Building Council has awarded the University of North Texas’ Apogee Stadium a LEED Platinum Certification, making it the first newly constructed collegiate football stadium in the  nation to achieve the highest level of LEED certification. 

“This is a great accomplishment for UNT and strongly underscores our commitment to sustainability,” said UNT President V. Lane Rawlins. “UNT is a leader in environmental research and sustainability, and the fact that we have the first LEED Platinum football stadium is an example of our commitment and our plans for the future.”

“As a university system, we are committed to building campuses that minimize the use of natural resources and don’t harm the environment,” said Lee Jackson, chancellor of the UNT System. “We want to provide all students, faculty and staff members on our campuses with buildings that are first class in every way, including reduced environmental impact.”

Currently there are three LEED Gold certified buildings on UNT System campuses -– the flagship campus in Denton, UNT Dallas and the Health Science Center in Fort Worth with two more awaiting certification.

Because UNT uses its buildings for 50-75 years, LEED certified buildings are practical, Rawlins said. “By building in this manner, the sustainable features of the buildings pay for themselves through their efficiencies within eight years. Plus, environmentally responsible buildings mean healthier buildings with better air quality,” Rawlins said.

“This tremendous accomplishment could not have been achieved without a highly dedicated and focused team effort by UNT System, UNT Office of Sustainability, North Texas Athletics, the students, HKS and Manhattan Construction Company,” said Raynard Kearbey, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, MSFM, associate vice chancellor for system facilities for the UNT System. 

Apogee Stadium will achieve another first in December with the completion of three wind turbines that will feed the electrical grid that powers the stadium. Using a $2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office, UNT currently is installing the wind turbines, making Apogee Stadium the first collegiate stadium designed to incorporate onsite renewable wind energy.

According to Greg Whittemore, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, project manager with the HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, the stadium was designed with sustainability at the forefront. “A football stadium is not the typical LEED Platinum candidate. It took creative thinking on the parts of the design and construction teams in conjunction with the UNT System and North Texas Athletics. Today, the Apogee Stadium’s LEED Platinum status is a testament to the team’s dedication to sustainability.”

“From the wind turbines to the native landscaped surroundings to the eco-friendly building materials, Apogee Stadium is a one-of-a-kind green venue,”said HKS’s Chris Mundell, AIA, CSI, CDT, LEED AP BD+C, who served as the project’s LEED consultant. “This high-performance building design will reduce energy costs by approximately 25 percent. The wind turbines will also substantially offset the external energy demand.” 

Sustainable Design Highlights:

Enhancing the Site and its Surroundings

Reducing Water and Energy Consumption

Promoting Sustainable and Recycled Materials

Improving Indoor Environmental Quality

The project team included: HKS Sports & Entertainment Group, Architect; HKS DesignGreen, LEED Consultant; Manhattan Construction Company, construction manager; HKS Commercial Interiors, interior design; Smith Seckman Reid, mechanical engineer; Aguirre Roden, electrical engineer; Jaster-Quintanilla, civil engineer; Rogers Moore Engineering/Walter P Moore, structural engineers; Caye Cook & Associates, landscape architect; and Henneman Engineering, commissioning agent. 

Source: DENTON (UNT), Texas – University of North Texas

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