BIM, Green for Sports Venues

August 08, 2013

Two of the hottest trends in construction these days are green and BIM (building information modeling). Nearly every owner across every market segment is looking to embrace project delivery tools that adhere to both green and BIM, and some recent news related to sporting venues could up the bar in the area of green in particular.

The USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), www.usgbc.org, Washington, D.C., is now collaborating with the Green Sports Alliance, www.greensportsalliance.org, New York, N.Y., a nonprofit organization that supports the development and promotion of green building initiatives in professional and collegiate sports.

Under the collaboration the USGBC will support the Green Sports Alliance in order to help accelerate a move around construction of green sporting facilities. This will include exploring LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification of sports stadiums across the country. According to the USGBC, 25 professional sports venues are LEED-certified in the United States, including Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., American Airlines Arena in Miami, and Soldier Field in Chicago.

"Sports fans stepping into LEED-certified arenas, stadiums, ballparks, and more experience the benefits of green building firsthand with water conservation, energy efficiency, and responsible waste management," says Rhiannon Jacobsen, director of strategic accounts, USGBC. "It was a natural fit for USGBC to partner with the Green Sports Alliance, which is dedicated to making professional sports healthier and more sustainable"

Martin Tull, executive director, Green Sports Alliance, says the alliance consists of more than 180 professional and collegiate sports teams and venues, all of which are looking to enhance their operations and environmental performance. The hope, says Tull, is the partnership with the USGBC will provide these members with valuable resources and for using and promoting green building initiatives.

While the area of sports venues remains a hot topic, FMI, www.fminet.com, Raleigh, N.C., suggests it might be difficult for such projects to get funding in the near future. According to the organization’s second quarter construction outlook, amusement and recreation remains highly competitive and given tighter budgets across the country it will likely be much more difficult to get funding from taxes and municipalities to build new stadiums in the near future.

As a result, FMI dropped its forecast from the first quarter by 2% to just 1% growth, most of which will be for ongoing projects. FMI points to protests in Brazil over rising costs to average citizens for sporting events that benefit the rich possibly spilling over to other parts of the globe.