The 49ers have built the first sports stadium in the country to be awarded LEED Gold status upon completion, owner Jed York announced on Monday via Twitter. A LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is recognized as the premier mark of achieving environmentally friendly architecture. The Ravens -- whom the 49ers will visit next month -- have the NFLs only other LEED Gold building. They got it by retrofitting M&T Bank Stadium last year.
The 49ers stadium achieved the certification through a number of means, including water use. About 85 percent of the water used in the stadium is recycled or gray water. The type of grass used, Bermuda Bandera, also requires up to 50 percent less water than other types used in the Bay Area. Another major reason for the green designation is Levis Stadiums solar panels, which will sit atop the three bridges that lead to the stadium as well as the roof of the tower suite. The team expects that the power generated from those panels will offset the power used in the 10 NFL games played there each year.
The 49ers also used recycled products in the construction -- recycled wood, for instance, in the luxury suites. The building also is surrounded by public transit options, and the 49ers have a plan to accommodate cyclists on game days.
Read Matt Barrows blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.