Earth Day Diamondbacks Style

It’s interesting; for the first 8 years of their existence the Diamondbacks were focused on being green along with purple and copper. After the 2006 season they changed direction going away from their green heritage and instead basking in the glow of Sedona Red, Sonoran Sand, and Black. During that same period of time they chose to focus efforts on making their organization greener. So basically the message was that they wanted the company to be green just not the team. I think that pretty much sums it up, I think. Yesterday the Arizona Diamondbacks announced that they had hired a green consulting firm (no word on whether said firm is also into purple consulting but I’m checking). The goal is to make Chase Field LEED certified by the end of next year. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a certification program and set of standards that determines a structure is environmentally sustainable in its construction. There are several classifications for LEED that cover new construction as well as existing buildings.

The Washington Nationals new ballpark, Nationals Ballpark, became the first Major League Baseball stadium to receive LEED certification for new construction. Currently there are no existing stadiums that have passed certification. The Diamondbacks along with their facility partners will assess the sustainability of Chase Field and make the necessary adjustments to meet the criteria for LEED. The LEED process is a points based system that covers several areas of environmental sustainability. Through a series of evaluations the building is rewarded points or credits in each area. The total of these points will determine whether a structure meets LEED standards. There are four classifications. Certified means the structure received 26-32 points; Silver means the structure received 33-38 points; Gold means the structure received 39-51 points; and the highest rating Platinum means the structure received 52-69 points.

The press release issued by the Arizona Diamondbacks describes wanting to be LEED Certified so it is probably safe to assume they are shooting for the 26-32 point assessment which is a noble goal in such a short period of time. The LEED points are distributed as follows:

  • Sustainable Sites (14 points possible)
  • Water Efficiency (5 points possible)
  • Energy and Atmosphere (17 points possible)
  • Materials and Resources (13 points possible)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (15 points possible)
  • Innovation and Design Process (5 points possible)

Given the nature and various usage of Chase Field it will be interesting to see how successful the Arizona Diamondbacks are to reaching their goal. If Chase Field does become LEED-EB certified by 2011 it will mark the first time in Major League Baseball history that the All-Star game will be completely green certified. Besides the stadium other All-Star activities will be housed in the new Phoenix Civic Center that recently was renovated and achieved LEED Silver Certification. This is not just a marketing ploy though. Studies have shown that LEED certified structures can be up to 63 percent more efficient which would save a tremendous amount of resources. I applaud the forward thinking nature of the Diamondbacks and wish them the best of luck with their goal of becoming greener. Hey maybe they’ll start selling green jerseys and hats at the environmentally friendly Team Shop. I need an excuse for a new jersey.

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