Portland Trail Blazers arena receives highest green building certification

Portland Trail Blazers arena receives highest green building certification

Strategies around waste, water, energy, food and transport help the Moda Center become the first sports arena to achieve LEED Platinum for operations and maintenance

Moda Center, home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers, has become the first sports arena to receive LEED Platinum certification for building operations and maintenance.

Awarded by the US Green Building Council, certification comes as a result of the facility reducing its environmental impact through waste management, water restoration, energy efficiency, and robust food and transportation strategies.

The partnership between Moda Center and DeSantis Landscapes – a landscaping company local to Portland – in which the former donates food waste for the latter to turn into soil, was highlighted. It prevents one million pounds of food waste going to landfill.

All products at concession stands are recyclable or compostable, while the Moda Center Environmental Services team is tasked with sorting through all trash after every game to make sure materials end up in the right waste stream. 

Detergent-free cleaning products are also provided thanks to the venue’s partnership with ServiceMaster Building Services.

To reduce water consumption, Moda Center has installed low-flow toilets, a smart irrigation system and drought-resistant landscaping – all while purchasing Water Restoration Certificates, which each restore 1,000 gallons of water to a “critically dewatered” river or stream.

Moda Center offsets its energy use through the purchase of carbon offset credits from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation and renewable energy credits through Blue Sky Select. Within the building, equipment that reduces energy consumption has been acquired and installed.

Working with Levy Restaurants and local vendors, the venue’s food strategy is to prioritise local, organic and hormone-free produce. Excess food is donated to local deprived families through its partnership with nonprofit Urban Gleaners.

In terms of transportation, electric vehicle charging points have been installed outside, while Moda Center has also supported public transportation, biking and walking to games initiatives.

Erin Schnieders, the NBA’s head of arena development and standards, said the Moda Center was a “leader in sustainability within our league and across the sports and entertainment industry”.

“Since their initial certification almost a decade ago (when the venue was LEED Gold) to now achieving the highest level of accreditation, they have demonstrated a continued commitment to maintaining a healthy and safe space while reducing environmental impact,” she added.

Chris McGowen, president and chief executive of the Portland Trail Blazers, said: “We are very proud to be the first existing professional sports arena to receive LEED Platinum certification.”

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