Green Roof, Green Seats, Green Grass: Miller Park is Now One of Wisconsin’s Largest Green Buildings
Miller Park is awash in green—the roof, the seats and the field. The ballpark just got a little greener as it formally was designated “LEED Certified” last night in a pregame ceremony making Miller Park one of the largest “green” buildings in the state and just the third stadium in Major League Baseball to receive LEED certification in the category of Existing Building Operations and Maintenance.
To kick off Brewers “Green Week,” the official certification ceremony took place on the field before the game with members of the Brewers staff along with members of Johnson Controls, Inc. who helped in the process.
Miller Park is one of the most complicated buildings ever certified in the LEED Existing Building rating system, due to the nature of the facility, the sheer volume of people, materials, vendors, the operable roof, and overall complexity of the building operations. Only two other Major League Baseball stadiums have achieved LEED for Existing Buildings (AT&T Park in San Francisco and Target Field in Minneapolis), and both of them are open-air facilities. The retractable roof makes meeting energy and ventilation thresholds more challenging.
Obtaining LEED status is voluntary. It is a very rigorous process that involves the following:
- LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification to confirm that a building is operated using strategies aimed at achieving high performance in key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.
- LEED was developed by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC)
- LEED-certified buildings are designed to:
- Lower operating costs and increase asset value
- Reduce waste sent to landfills
- Conserve energy and water
- Be healthier and safer for occupants
- Reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions
Johnson Controls, Inc. managed the LEED process at Miller Park, helping the Brewers identify projects in many different categories to help them become more sustainable, as well as help draft policies to adhere to sustainability goals moving forward. This isn’t just a one-time photo opportunity for the Brewers and Johnson Controls, this is an on-going effort and commitment that the Brewers are making to the community and the environment.
The LEED certification process involved coordination with many additional stakeholders at Miller Park. In addition to the Brewers and JCI, key partners included Performance Clean LLC, Sportservice, Grumman/Butkus Associates, Waste Management and The Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District. Others involved included ImPark, Hunzinger Construction, Mortenson Contruction and Uihlein Wilson Architects.
Here are some “green” facts that resulted from the Brewers and Miller Park going green”
- The Milwaukee Brewers and the Southeast Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District implemented a Retro-commissioing (RCx) project, which analyzes and makes improvements to Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, equipment and controls, plumbing systems and electrical lighting and power systems. RCx projects provide energy savings through operating efficiency & equipment efficiency, improved indoor air quality and ventilation for the building occupants, improved equipment performance and reduced operating expenses
- Calculated energy savings for the implemented FIMs is 1,153 metric tons of CO2 emissions, annually; this is the equivalent to taking 220 cars off the road each year, the amount of CO2 captured by 29,558 tree seedlings grown for 10 years in an urban setting, the CO2 emissions from 2,681 barrels of oil; this is enough energy saved in one year to power 98 average WI homes
- Utility bills are entered monthly into the EPA’s Energy Star Portfolio Manager online tool, which tracks energy use data and allows us to see how the building is consuming energy in comparison to other years, or to other similar buildings.
- Water fixture retrofit was completed in Miller Park, which will save 5.2 million gallons of water annually
- For 2011 season and continuing for the 2012 season and beyond, Miller Park added over 40 large recycling containers in the parking lot areas, as well as 100 additional containers inside
- All waste and recycling is tracked; 35% of all waste has been diverted from landfills since the start of the 2010 season.
- On average, Miller Park recycles approximately 10 tons each game!
- The new Hi-Def scoreboard uses 49% less energy than its predecessor (this is fascinating because of the sheer size and complexity of the new board).
- Over 50% of all cleaning products (chemicals, paper products, trash can liners, etc.) meet sustainability criteria (i.e., they use ‘Green Cleaning’ products).
- Sportservice is purchasing recycled content products for their concessions materials, specifically the mixed-drink cups.
- The Brewers and Sportservice donated over 7,000 pounds of food to area food banks & shelters in last half of 2011 season through the “Rock It and Wrap It Up” program (1.3 pounds of food=1 meal; this has feed over 5,300 people thus far).
- Brewers and Waste Management are recycle shrink wrap, etc. in addition to conventional recycling.
- Green Week eCycling event gathered over 40,000 pounds of electronics waste to be recycled during Green Week in 2011 and the 2012 event is scheduled for Thursday at Miller Park.
- Plant a Tree program in conjunction with WDNR: On June 22, 2011 the Brewers distributed 7,500 spruce seedlings to fans; Planting 1 tree for every 20,000 tickets; The Brewers sold 3,071,373 regular season tickets and will be planting 154 trees; All trees will be planted along the Hank Aaron State trail and will be native Wisconsin species. The WDNR will again distribute spruce seedlings to fans before tomorrow’s game.
Now a lot of these facts/numbers/processes above can be a little overwhelming because Miller Park is indeed such a large structure. At the same time, they also can be inspiring to you in your life. Little things you can do and change about your lifestyle can make a difference in the environment and it doesn’t take much to help.
For more information on the Brewers “Brewing A Greener Game” initiative and tips on what you can do to go green at home, please visit brewers.com/brewinggreen.
Also, if you are at Miller Park any time this week, check out the Chef’s Table for some special Green Week items!