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Edmonton hockey arena raises the bar for sports facilities


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June 22, 2017

Photo courtesy City of Edmonton

Rogers Place will soon have the honour of being the first NHL venue in Canada to be LEED Silver certified. The 93,000-m2 arena is part of a new 25-acre mixed-use development site in Edmonton, AB and officially opened in September 2016.

Mike McFaul, assistant general manager of facility operations at Rogers Place and a founding member of the Green Sports Alliance, has been planning some of the waste management, green cleaning and energy use initiatives that would contribute to the building’s LEED certification since before it even opened. He also acknowledges the advantages of working with a building that was designed for efficiency from day one.

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The arena has low-flow, efficient water fixtures, electric vehicle charging stations, LED lighting, and motion sensors. A LEED green cleaning program is already in place, and other programs, such as a sustainable procurement policy and lighting and HVAC scheduling to match occupancy, are in the works.

The facility also has a robust waste management strategy that started during construction. Almost 90 per cent of construction debris was recycled, and nearly 20 per cent of all construction materials came from recycled and/or local materials or contained recycled content. Now that the facility is up and running, its recycling and composting efforts have already enabled it to hit and exceed its 90 per cent landfill diversion target.

Its downtown location also helped in its bid for LEED certification, because it promotes the use of the city’s public transit system as well as active transport such as walking and cycling. A sustainability committee is being organized to develop and oversee future environmental initiatives to make sure that the building’s performance is maintained or improved over time.

Similar sports venues and municipally-owned or run ice/curling rinks can implement some of the features found at Rogers Place by retrofitting facilities with LED lighting, motion sensors and efficient water fixtures. Arenas can go further by energy benchmarking with ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to identify additional and ongoing energy saving opportunities. To enable these facilities to become even more energy efficient, NRCan will be launching a new score for ice and curling rinks in the fall of 2017.

With this launch, ice and curling rinks will become the seventh building type to be eligible for a Canadian ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager score. The score will help with energy management, which is critical for these facilities, given the high energy demands of creating and maintaining ice surfaces. With the new score, managers will have the opportunity to better understand their facility’s energy performance and find the tools to improve it.

Facility managers who are aiming for LEED certification and/or other environmental recognition or those planning new building construction should consider efficient building design and modelling and best practices for new buildings. Resources offered on the energy efficiency for new buildings page will also support new sustainable construction.

From NRCan Heads Up: Building Energy Efficiency – Volume 4, Issue 5


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