What is LEED Certification?

LEED, or leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) in March 2000, LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.

LEED promotes sustainable building and development practices through a suite of rating systems and credits that recognize projects that implement strategies for better environmental and health performance

What is LEED for an Existing Building?

The LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System helps building owners and operators measure operations, improvements and maintenance on a consistent scale, with the goal of maximizing operational efficiency while minimizing environmental impacts. LEED for Existing Buildings addresses whole-building cleaning and maintenance issues (including chemical use), recycling programs, exterior maintenance programs, and systems upgrades. It can be applied both to existing buildings seeking LEED certification for the first time and to projects previously certified under LEED for New Construction, Schools, or Core & Shell.

What does LEED for an Existing Building measure?

The LEED Green Building Rating System for Existing Buildings: Operations and Maintenance is a set of performance standards for certifying the operations and maintenance of existing commercial or institutional buildings and high-rise residential buildings of all sizes, both public and private. The following key areas are rated:Sustainable Sites

  • Water Efficiency
  • Energy and Atmosphere
  • Materials and Resources
  • Indoor Environmental Quality
  • Innovation in Operations
  • Regional Priority

When did Philips Arena become LEED certified?

Philips Arena and LEED certification experts worked for eight (8) months to ensure that all LEED standards were being met prior to applying for certification. To certify the project, each key areas credit must be submitted with supporting documentation to the USGBC. The requirements for meeting each credit and the submittal requirements for demonstrating compliance with each credit are specifically stated in U.S. Green Building Council documents, available at www.usgbc.org/leed.

In April of 2009, Philips Arena became the first LEED certified NBA Arena for an existing building: Operations and Maintenance (LEED-EB: O&M) as specified by the USGBC.

Examples of Green Efforts Philips Arena Implemented for Certification:

Water Efficiency

  • Low-flow flush toilets, aerator changes and low-flow shower heads as well as management of the cooling system reduced water consumption to save more than 1.95 million gallons of water per year.
  • All public-use sinks are now automatic with half gallon per minute aerators installed.
  • The seating area aisles are cleaned using a microfiber mop system that minimizes water use by using a safe chemical.
  • Carpets are cleaned using a dry chemical eliminating the need for water.

Energy and Atmosphere

  • Philips Arena electrical consumption has seen an 8% reduction year over year, saving more than 4.5 million kilowatt hours per year.
  • Philips Arena's building automation system is set to use outside air to heat and cool on days that the temperature is optimum, reducing the need to start a chiller or boiler.
  • The 4' fluorescent lamps in the building were all changed from a 34 watt to a 25 watt, reducing energy consumption for the same lumen output.
  • Compact fluorescent lamps that were 20 watt all now 12 watt.
  • Philips Arena uses approximately 20% less energy than any other Arena housing two professional sports teams (Hawks and DREAM).

Indoor Environmental Quality

  • 75 % of building carpet is green manufactured with a minimum of 35% recylced content and can be as high as 52% and all adhesives are required to be Low VOC.
  • HEPA filters combined with secondary filters are used in the main building air handlers cleaning our air twice; this process exceeds the recommended standards for the building while providing an air quality that is safe for patrons and staff.

Materials and Resources

  • Philips Arena was built using crushed concrete and foundation pilings from the Omni minimizing ground disturbance.
  • The Omni seats were refurbished and used in the Philips Arena seating bowl.
  • Carpet and furniture is reused, recycled or donated to local Georgia charities.
  • Every light bulb, ballast and battery is recycled through Southeast Recycling to prevent mercury from leeching into the environment.
  • Philips Arena sends its plastic, aluminum, glass, cardboard and paper waste to SP Recycling. Currently, 15% of our waste is now recycled.
  • Philips Arena sends over 12 tons of food waste per year to be turned into compost that is sold and used locally.
  • Paper products such as paper towels, TP, and copy paper, are all 100% consumer recycled content.
  • Adapted a Green Cleaning program eliminating harsh chemicals and reducing the need for water in many areas of the operation.