Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The Green Features

These are building design features to reduce the various environmental impacts.

These include dealing with the water run off pollution from the stadium complex into the nearby Anacostia River.

These include energy fixtures.

This also deals with the environmental impacts of the production of the materials used in construction, including the concrete and steel, with requirements for using recycled steel.

In contrast to something as a limestone façade, such green features must be included in the initial construction.

Which of these must the stadium have is the recent controversy.

The most reporting that I have yet found on this is Jacqueline Dupree’s Near Southeast DC Redevelopment site:

Will the Stadium be "Green"? (4/13/06 01:22 PM)
WTOP is reporting that, in order to have the new baseball stadium
meet "environmentally friendly" design standards, an additional $5-$10 million will have to be spent. The December 2004 law passed by the city council requires the stadium to be "green", says Phil Mendelson, but the DC Sports and Entertainment Commission has written a letter to the Mayor and the council that appears to disagree--and the council has written a letter disagreeing with that disagreement. Since this additional money is above and beyond the $611 million spending cap, it's not known where the money would be coming from.

Because Dupree includes a link to the letters, one can read something of the controversy between the DC City Council and the DC Sports & Entertainment Commission. Sadly there is no link to the WTOP item (which does not show up in a search of the WTOP site). Nor, is this the WTOP pdf file of these letters complete, with numerous pages missing.

According to an April 4, 2006 letter to DC Mayor Anthony Williams, signed by DC Councilmembers Jack Evans; Kathy Patterson; Vincent Gray; Jim Graham; Carol Schwartz; Sharon Ambrose; Phil Mendelson; and Vincent Orange:

“(5) The Ballpark shall be designed and constructed in a manner to promote (1) minimizing the life cycle cost and environmental impact of the facility and dependence on petroleum-based fuels by utilizing energy efficiency, water conservation, or solar or other renewable energy technologies and (2) minimizing waste production, water pollution, and storm water run off from the facility, taking into account applicable criteria in effect, on the effective date of this Act, of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System for New Construction and Major Renovation, LEED-NC version 2.1, as defined by the U.S. Breen Building Council

This requirement mirrors the commitment the City made last year that all new D.C. government buildings would be designed and built to comply with the “LEED silver” rating standard of the U.S. Green Building Council.

When the Council imposed a ceiling on the Ballpark’s construction cost, it did not rescind the “green design” requirement. Because “green buildings” cost little, if any, more than conventional buildings, it was the intent of the council that the mandate to make the Ballpark a green building be harmonized with the statutory ceiling on construction costs. Many studies have shown that “green buildings” enjoy significant reductions in annual operating costs.

According to the April 4 letter to DC Councilmember Linda W. Cropp by Allen Y. Lew, Chief Executive Officer of the DC Sports & Entertainment Commission:

As we understand it, the legislation requires use of the LEED (Leadership Energy and Environmental Design) criteria of the U.S. Green Building Council to measure the building’s performance with regard to Green Design principles and, in particular, to address issues affecting the health of the Anacostia River, namely storm-water management and mitigation of water pollution.

It is fair to say that we have found this assignment challenging. In fact, it is worthy of note that no stadium anywhere (baseball, football or otherwise) has ever become LEED Certified. In addition, the cost cap applied to this project, within which we must achieve very specific program, site and zoning requirements, significantly limits the DCSEC in achieving the level of environmentally sensitive design to which we would otherwise aspire.

Nevertheless we feel that the project as currently designed represents one of the most “Green” stadiums in the U.S. Moreover, we have been and continue to work in partnership with a variety of environmental advocacy groups and supporters to ensure that we not only achieve the letter of the scoring criteria outlined by LEED, but that we focus our efforts on those issues that have been identified by the environmentalist community as most important for this project.

…Project elements that are currently included within this project scope (either within the Clark/Hunt/Smoot GMP or fror nominal additional cost to the DCSEC) and would be classified as Green design elements include (using LEED terminology):

Sustainable site:

Site selection
Density and community connectivity
Alternative transportation: Public transportation access
Alternative transportation: Bicycle storage and changing rooms
Alternative transportation: low emitting and fuel efficient vehicles
Alternative transportation” parking capacity
Stormwater: Quality Control

Water Efficency:

Water efficient landscaping: reduce water consumption by 50%
Water efficient landscaping: no potable water use.

Energy & Atmosphere:

Green power

Indoor Environmental Quality:

Low-Emitting Materials: Adhesives & Sealants
Low-Emitting Materials: Paints & Coatings
Low-Emitting Materials: Carpet Systems
Low-Emitting Materials: Composite Wood & Agrifiber

Innovation & Design

Off-season Shut-down Program

However, these project elements are only a sampling of the many measures which DCSEC has investigated and wises to pursue, if sufficient funding sources can be identified.

Enhanced Storm-Water Management

The building design features for water run off pollution include additional subterranean vaults to retain more storm water systems on site, systems to possibly reuse some storm water for on site irrigation, and mechanisms to filter the field drainage and building storm water (including building washdown), drainage to remove or treat pollutants before the water is discharged. The potential costs for this are estimated to be $1 million.

LEED Certification

A score of 26 points is required to achieve LEED Certification. To achieve this level of Green design, the project could include additional elements such as:

Increased storm-water retention, management , and filtering

Green roof systems

Reduced water usage (though electronic sensors on washroom sinks)

Enhanced building commissioning

Adherence to energy efficiency criteria and refrigeration performance

Use of local materials

Air quality management and monitoring

Enhanced thermal Controls

It is estimated that the addition of elements necessary yo achieve LEED certification, inclusive of the design and commissioning “soft costs” would be approximately $5 million (inclusive of the enhanced storm-water management cost described above).

LEED Silver Certification

A score of 33 points is required to achieve LEED Silver Certification. To achieve this level of Green design, the project could include additional elements such as:

Optimized Energy Performance through energy efficient fixtures, systems with economizer cycles, etc.)

Recycled Materials (such as structural stele with high recycled content.)

It is estimated that the additional elements…inclusive of the “soft-costs,” would be approximately $10 million (inclusive of the costs for basic LEED Certification described above).

Unfortunately, the WTOP pdf file omits much of these letters. From what I gather from this incomplete file, the DCSEC wants to limit the green features to the storm water management features as a greatest bang per the buck. Perhaps. But I would still like to see the full letters. What’s up with that WTOP?

There is nothing on this controversy that I have found from either The Washington Post nor The Washington Times.

The Washington Post though did publish a letter on Wednesday, March 29, 2006 only days earlier in its Letters to the editor section under the hideously ironic title "Make That New Ballpark a Real Park touting these green features.

The press release announcing the design of the Washington Nationals' new baseball stadium noted that the ballpark also will be "environmentally friendly," as required by legislation passed by the D.C. Council. In Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum Sport (HOK Sport), one part of the stadium design team, the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission has an architecture firm that has distinguished itself for environmentally sensitive and sustainable designs. In Sydney, Australia, rainwater captured from the roof of HOK's Telstra Stadium is used to irrigate the playing field. In London, HOK's Arsenal Stadium uses rainwater for toilets and cleaning. And Petco Park in San Diego, a joint venture that included HOK and Clark Construction -- the same partners that will build the District's new stadium -- has tree-covered patio s and terraces.

To meet a commitment to minimize stadium-related pollution in the Anacostia River, HOK and Clark Construction should capture and use rainwater, recycle irrigation water, and reduce runoff.

They should plant trees and install pervious pavement, fountains and natural or sand filters to create a parklike setting for the stadium.

A parklike environment connecting to a river walk along the Anacostia would increase the likelihood that fans would linger at shops and restaurants adjacent to the ballpark, boosting revenue and employment opportunities. And it would increase the likelihood that Washingtonians would come to the area not just for baseball but for the pleasure of experiencing a day by the river


Executive Director
Casey Trees Endowment Fund



Director, Clean Water Project
Natural Resources Defense Council


Of course there is not a word said about the site selection’s conflict with the South Capitol/Frederick Douglass Mall concept, even though LEED criteria includes site selection.

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