Pinnacle Bank Arena to be among the most sustainable in the country
In 2010 Lincoln voted overwhelmingly to support the building of a new 16,000 seat civic arena in the Haymarket district, and to create alongside a new redevelopment out of rail yards and unused industrial “brownfields.” The arena, a “Railyard” full of clubs, restaurants, and retail, the new hotels and garages, and a new Amtrak station were all to be designed, built and operated according to some very high environmental and sustainability standards. The new arena and the redevelopment would be not only a powerful engine of economic development, but also a cost-effective example of sustainable design and operations.
Following this direction, the Pinnacle Bank Arena, to open in the fall of 2013, wil be among the most sustainable arenas in the country. Lead architects at DLR Group were asked to design features into the arena to meet increasingly efficient sustainability building standards. DLR Group and its partners accomplished this goal in dozens
of different ways, including through a construction waste management plan, highly efficient water systems, dedicated space for collection and storage of recyclables, natural landscaping, and the use of recycled building materials.
The lead construction firm for the arena, a team of Mortenson Construction and Hampton Construction, were also hired in part due to their experience in building sustainable arenas and meeting these high design and performance standards, such as Target Field in Minneapolis and the YUM Arena in Louisville.
The City of Lincoln also joined the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program as an official Energy Star Partner as part of its construction of the Pinnacle Bank Arena. This partnership represents a fundamental commitment to a high level of energy efficiency and savings measures incorporated into the construction and the daily operations of the new Pinnacle Bank Arena. Buildings certified by the Energy Star program use on average about 35 percent less energy than comparable buildings. Energy efficient features of the Pinnacle Bank Arena include high efficiency lighting, motors and pumps, efficient air circulation, and heating/cooling systems provided by the local
District Energy Corporation.
As an Energy Star partner, the City of Lincoln will also create a strategic energy management program for the new Arena using these features, and be part of a small group of major new arenas helping Energy Star establish national benchmarks for arenas and stadiums.
These energy savings efforts both bode well for the arena’s financial health and help to preserve our local environment for future generations. Plus, given the City of Lincoln’s goal to realize at least 20 percent in energy savings for our civic buildings, the Pinnacle Bank Arena serves as a core example of our commitment to energy efficiency, saving Lincoln taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs per year.
The Nebraska Environmental Trust also made a grant of $150,250 to the City of Lincoln towards the establishment of a state-of-the art recycling program in the Pinnacle Bank Arena. The goal is to divert up to 75 percent of arena waste from the city landfill. The funding will be used for basic equipment, including combined waste collection stations/receptacles and compactors, and recycling education at the arena. Students from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Environmental Studies Department presented the City of Lincoln with a set of recommendations for operating the arena recycling program, including examples from other Big Ten schools, vendor contracts for recyclable and compostable materials, and best practices. SMG/SAVOR, the arena management firmhired to run the Pinnacle Bank Arena, is now committing to meet this goal through sustainability and waste management plans and food and beverage policies. For example, all large events at the Pinnacle Bank Arena will require food and drink vendors to use recycled and/or compostable food and beverage containers, utensils and dishes to the extent available and practicable.
Everyone in the City of Lincoln, including the thousands of people using the new Pinnacle Bank Arena, will directly benefit from this commitment to cost-effective environmental sensitivity for decades to come.
By Milo Mumgaard