Green Means Gold for Another Populous Facility

October 17, 2011

Arizona State University’s Weatherup Center recently achieved the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Gold Certification. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings. Powered by nearly 50 percent green power thanks to a photovoltaic system, the Weatherup Center, designed in association with Gould Evans, is the third Populous facility to achieve a LEED Gold rating. Others include Amway Center in Orlando, Florida and CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. It is the 8th Populous design to achieve some level of LEED Certification.

Located in the east athletic village of the Arizona State campus, the 49,000 square foot Weatherup Center has been home to the men’s and women’s Sun Devil basketball teams since 2009. The professional caliber facility includes state-of-the-art practice courts, training areas, study spaces, locker rooms, coaches’ offices and team meeting areas.

We are proud to have worked with ASU on this monumental project,” said Scott Radecic, Populous senior principal. “A forward-thinking athlete training facility like Weatherup Center is fundamental to the progression of sustainable design, which is what Populous strives for in each of our projects. Populous applauds the University’s commitment to sustainability, and we are pleased with what the Weatherup Center has been able to accomplish.

The Weatherup Center was built next to an existing facility, known as the Athlete’s Performance Institute, which houses several training areas and outdoor recreational and hydrotherapy pools. The strategic location eliminated the need to construct similar spaces within the new basketball facility. During construction of the Weatherup Center, 65 percent of project waste was recycled. Other sustainable features include an exterior of staggered masonry planes strategically placed to allow indirect natural light into the practice courts. Each wood element (doors, courts, etc.) throughout the facility is from managed forests. The most impressive sustainability feature, however, is the facility’s 138 Kilowatt photovoltaic system located on the roof, which provides the building with 45 percent green power.

I have been involved with two basketball training facilities and can attest to the complexities and importance of design of these facilities,” said ASU Sr. Associate Athletic Director Stephen Ponder. “We now have the benchmark collegiate basketball facility and the credit goes to Populous for getting us there.

Notable Populous sustainability recognitions include:

  • CONSOL Energy Center, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL team, was the first NHL arena to achieve LEED Gold Certification
  • The Burton Family Football Complex/Mark R. Shenkman Training Center at the University of Connecticut was the first collegiate athletic facility in the United States to achieve LEED Silver certification.
  • Nationals Park in Washington D.C. was the first professional sports facility to achieve LEED Silver certification.
  • TCF Bank Stadium at the University of Minnesota is the first LEED Silver collegiate football stadium in the U.S.
  • Amway Center, home of the Orlando Magic, is the first LEED Gold NBA Arena

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