Orlando Magic Arena Gets LEED Gold

This just in, sports fans: the Orlando Magic have taken the LEED by 39 points–LEED Gold certification, that is (as scored by the U.S. Green Building Council) for Orlando’s Amway Center Arena, which hosts the city’s NBA team as well as the Orlando Predators (the area’s Arena Football League team), concerts and other events throughout the year.

A key component of the Amway Center’s certification was its location. By the U.S. Green Building Council’s rubric of LEED scoring, developers are helping to combat urban sprawl by choosing to redevelop an existing area, rather than clearing new land and building new roads/infrastructure on a greenfield site further from the city center. Located in what has been characterized as a “sleepy corner” of downtown Orlando on Church Street, the venue was designed to encourage pedestrian traffic and access, while benefiting the surrounding neighborhood.

Amway Center Orlando

image via National Basketball Association

Sustainable features of the new arena include low-flow water fixtures, high-efficiency air-conditioning (using chilled water provided by the Orlando Utility Commission), 20% percent recycled materials, 30% locally sourced materials, and rainwater harvesting/irrigation. During construction, more than 8,000 tons of construction debris was diverted from the landfill.

It appears that the arena has proven an economic boon as well as environmental one, as–according to the NBA–12 new businesses have opened the surrounding area since the Amway Center opened last October. It also joins the Portland Trail Blazers’ Rose Garden as one of the only LEED certified arenas in the country.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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