One Mean, Green Stadium For North Texas

With a name like ‘Apogee Stadium,’ there should be no doubt that the University of North Texas (UNT) was aiming for the utmost in green building with its new football stadium, and now the U.S. Green Building Council has recognized those efforts with LEED Platinum certification, making Apogee the first newly constructed collegiate football stadium in the  nation to achieve this honor.

The push to build this 31,000-seat stadium to LEED standards was spearheaded by Lee Jackson, chancellor of the UNT System, who led an initiative to construct all future UNT buildings to meet or exceed the latest efficiency and environmental standards. The university currently boasts three LEED Gold certified buildings over three campuses – the flagship campus in Denton, UNT Dallas and the Health Science Center in Fort Worth. Two more UNT System buildings are LEED registered and currently awaiting certification.

Apogee Stadium

image via University of North Texas

Green features of the stadium include landscaping with native plants, preservation of open space, permeable pavers and stormwater runoff reduction measures, as well as renewable energy supplied via three wind turbines that will provide approximately half a million kilowatt-hours per year for the UNT Eagle Point power grid, effectively eliminating 323 metric tons of CO2. The stadium’s efficient design reduces energy consumption by 25 percent as compared to a conventionally built structure of simlar size and function, while low-flow plumbing fixtures reduce water consumption by more than 52 percent.

In terms of the stadium’s construction, 20 percent of all materials used were made with recycled content and more than 47 percent were manufactured locally; higher percentages of fly ash were substituted for cement to reduce CO2 emissions; and low volatile organic compound emitting materials (adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and flooring) were used to improve the indoor air quality.

The UNT System led the construction of the stadium, which was designed by HKS Sports & Entertainment Group and built by Manhattan Construction Company.

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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