LEED Home Run For Marlins’ Ballpark

Why settle for good when you can go for great? That seems to be the thinking behind the new Marlins Park in Miami, as the project began back in 2008 with the initial goal of achieving LEED Silver certification for New Construction, but has since been challenged by Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria to go for gold. That challenge was accepted, and now, Gold certification it is.

Another mark of distinction for the home of this Major League Baseball team: Marlins Park is the first retractable roof facility in the world to earn this distinction from the U.S. Green Building Council, and beat the minimum score for Gold certification by 10 points — four more than Target Field in Minnesota –making it the most sustainable stadium in the league.

florida marlins parks, green

image via Florida Marlins

Part of how the park’s designers achieved this was by choosing to build on previously developed land — the site of the old Orange Bowl — a decision that also provided the facility multiple transportation options and “community connectivity,” both of which the LEED rating system is fond of.

Other green features of Marlins Park includes low-flow plumbing fixtures (waterless urinals among them) designed to reduce its water usage by 52 percent compared to similar stadiums; native, drought-resistant landscaping; locally sourced materials (58 percent of all materials used to erect Marlins Park came from within a 500-mile radius); synthetic flooring materials made from recycled Nike shoes (yes); low-VOC paints, adhesives and finishes; and natural daylighting throughout. During construction, 97 percent of the debris produced was recycled.

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.