UNT's Apogee Stadium wins Dallas Business Journal's Green Project Deal of the Year
Premium content from Dallas Business Journal by Bill Hethcock, Staff Writer
Date: Friday, April 27, 2012, 5:00am CDT - Last Modified: Wednesday, April 25, 2012, 3:41pm CDT
No matter what the scoreboard says at Apogee Stadium in Denton, the Mean Green will always have the LEED.
The University of North Texas' $79 million facility is the first newly constructed collegiate football stadium in the country to attain a Platinum LEED rating, and the first stadium powered with wind turbines, university officials and other project team members say.
The project shows the University of North Texas' commitment to building green, said Raynard O. Kearbey, associate vice chancellor for system facilities.
"Sustainability and environmentally friendly buildings are a perfect fit for a campus environment," Kearbey said. "We build buildings that need to last for 50 to 75 years, and by building this way it produces a facility that over the life cycle meets the needs of the university and the system."
Three wind turbines next to the 30,810-seat stadium generate power for the stadium and for Mean Green Village, a campus area surrounding the stadium. UNT received a $2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office for the installation.
In addition to the turbines, other sustainable elements, including energy-efficient mechanical and lighting systems, also help reduce carbon emissions. The stadium has permeable paving and drought-tolerant native landscaping, and it was built with a high level of recycled construction materials and other ecologically friendly building materials, Kearbey said. The land was a brownfield site that had underground pipes that contained asbestos that had to be abated and removed, he said.
More than 80 percent of the construction waste generated by the project — or 6,568 of the 7,881 tons — was diverted from the landfill, meaning it was either recycled or reused, Kearbey said.
The university initially set a minimum goal of Silver certification by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, said Chris Mundell, vice president and sustainable design coordinator for Dallas-based HKS Inc., which was the project architect.
"We just kept gaining points for LEED, and we got to Gold," Mundell said. "When the wind turbines were finalized, that's what really pushed us over into Platinum. It was down to the wire at the end."
Mundell praised the university's dedication to sustainability.
"Some owners give LEED lip service, but they don't really do anything about it," he said. "UNT actually went out and followed through with everything they were going to do."
The stadium, which opened last summer, provides the university a facility that can accommodate Division I football, and it doesn't have a running track around it, so the visibility is better for fans, said Brian Bethea, senior associate athletic director. The previous stadium had a shortage of restrooms, concessions and lighting, and could not hold a 30,000-person crowd, he said.
"This gave us an opportunity to start from scratch and accommodate our fans in the best possible way, with additional restrooms and concession stands," said Bethea, who oversees facilities and event management.
University of North Texas System, HKS Inc., Manhattan Construction Co., Smith Seckman Reid Inc., Aguirre Roden Architecture, Jaster-Quintanilla, Rogers Moore Engineers LLC, Walter P Moore, Caye Cook & Associates, Henneman Engineering Inc.