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Take Me Out to the LEED Certified Park

Opening day for baseball has finally arrived and MLB officially has its third LEED certified ball park. Miller Park in Milwaukee joins AT&T Park (San Francisco) and Target Field (Minneapolis) in an all-star lineup of energy conscious Major League facilities. However, Miller Park is the first LEED certified ball park that also has a retractable roof. Johnson Controls, the facility manager for the stadium, was able to meet special ventilation and energy challenges presented by the operable dome.

The LEED rating system, introduced by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in 1999, is a voluntary certification process. To become LEED certified an independent third-party must verify that a facility is operating at the highest levels of sustainability and efficiency. The goal is to optimize facilities with energy efficiency improvements and to ultimately reduce their impact on the environment.

To land the LEED certification Miller Park:

– Added a high-definition scoreboard, which will use 49% less energy

– Upgraded HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical lighting and power systems, expected to reduce 1,152 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually

– Replaced old water fixtures, which will save an estimated 5.2 million gallons of water annually

– Added 140 new recycling containers, which should yield about 10 tons of waste per game

– Moved smoking areas 25 feet from doors, windows and ventilation systems to protect indoor air quality

– Added “green cleaning” products

“LEED certification is a significant achievement for any building, but to gain certification for a building as complex as Miller Park is impressive,” said Kim Hosken, director of Green Building Service, Building Efficiency, Johnson Controls. “We had to consider intricacies such as the nature of the facility, the sheer volume of people, materials and vendors, the operable roof and overall complexity of the building operations.”

I don’t root for Brewers, but I do applaud their off-season, energy-efficient acquisitions. Who knows? With the right twist of fortune, my Colorado Rockies and I may pay a post-season visit to Miller Park and bask in all its LEED certification glory.