Golden 1 Center the ‘greenest’ arena in U.S.

Check out what the Sacramento Kings are building next to Golden 1 Center

The new Golden 1 Center is part of a larger development that the Kings owners have dubbed Downtown Commons, or DoCo. One of the first structures is a 16-story hotel going up next to the arena.
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The new Golden 1 Center is part of a larger development that the Kings owners have dubbed Downtown Commons, or DoCo. One of the first structures is a 16-story hotel going up next to the arena.

Golden 1 Center is officially the “greenest” arena in the country.

The Sacramento Kings announced Thursday that their new downtown arena had been certified LEED Platinum by the U.S. Green Building Council, “the highest level of global recognition for environmentally conscious buildings and organizations.” The team said Golden 1 will be the first indoor arena to achieve that status.

“Our hope in creating Golden 1 Center was to help drive meaningful change in our community – which includes working to curb climate change and promote renewable energy,” Kings Chairman Vivek Ranadive said in a statement.

LEED Platinum is given to projects that meet strict standards in energy use, water efficiency, transportation impacts and the materials used in construction.

Golden 1 Center will be powered during the day by solar panels on the building’s roof. A new 11-megawatt solar farm built by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District on its Rancho Seco property in partnership with the Kings will generate the power to offset electricity used at the facility during evening events. Hangar doors above the arena’s main entrance can open, allowing cool Delta breezes to fill the building.

The LEED stamp of approval also takes into account how the arena was constructed. Nearly all of the construction materials from the former Downtown Plaza were recycled when the mall was demolished, and more than a third of the materials used to build the arena were from recycled sources.

The Kings also plan to source 90 percent of the food and drink concessions from businesses and farms within 150 miles of the arena.

The arena will also host next year’s Green Sports Alliance, a prestigious meeting of sports executives focused on environmental standards for sports facilities.

“California has more green buildings than any other state in the nation, and Sacramento’s new arena is an example of the elegant design and construction we need to meet our ambitious climate goals,” Gov. Jerry Brown said Wednesday in a prepared statement.

There are other LEED Platinum buildings in the Sacramento area, including the Bank of the West Tower on Capitol Mall, the SMUD operations center, the Cal EPA headquarters on I Street and the CalSTRS headquarters in West Sacramento, according to the U.S. Green Building Council.

While Golden 1 Center may be the first new indoor arena to win the platinum label, other sports facilities also have environmental ambitions. The new football stadium at the University of North Texas – which receives power from wind turbines – has been certified platinum, according to the U.S. Green Building Council, and the Atlanta Falcons stadium set to open in 2017 is also expected to meet that mark. Other new and existing sports facilities have been certified as LEED gold or silver, the levels below platinum.

The Kings noted that Golden 1 Center will showcase its environmental standards to 1.2 million visitors each year.

“We worked with the Kings to design Golden 1 Center for fans, city and planet,” said Bill Hanway of AECOM, the firm that designed the facility. “Our architects, sports designers, sustainability experts, engineers, urban planners and landscape architects worked together from the beginning to shape an indoor-outdoor arena that is revitalizing downtown Sacramento and setting a new global standard for sustainability.”

Golden 1 Center opens in a spot Sacramento has tried to revive for six decades -- ever since demolishing the multi-racial neighborhood that once stood there.

Take a tour of the future home of the Sacramento Kings.

Ryan Lillis: 916-321-1085, @Ryan_Lillis

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