Envisioning the world’s first Net Zero Carbon Certified arena

Climate Pledge Arena

Sports venues are historically one of the most energy intensive building typologies on the planet. But with the help of McLennan Design, Climate Pledge Arena is on track to become the first Net Zero Carbon certified Arena in the world by the International Living Future Institute. McLennan Design provided strategic sustainability and regenerative design consulting to set this facility on the path to become arguably the most sustainable sports venues ever. The roughly 800,000 sqft arena will host the new NHL Seattle team and be completely carbon neutral for both operations and events. As the project progresses through construction and operations, McLennan Design will continue to coordinate, advise, and improve the performance of the facility through the formation of a Climate Pledge Council, co-led by Jason. F McLennan.

The vision is simple – to create the world’s first truly resilient, self-sustaining campus as a beacon of hope, leadership, and environmental stewardship. This lofty aspiration is grounded both in practical architectural solutions and an innovative educational curriculum. Inspired by the site’s unique position in a truly wild and biodynamic part of the world, the redesign of the campus is focused on bringing out potential opportunities for discovery, creativity, and education.

Client: Oak View Group and NHL Seattle
Location: Seattle, Washington
Year: Ongoing – facility to open 2021
Project Team: Jason F. McLennan, Brad Benke

The vision for Climate Pledge Arena targeted a wide range of regenerative design strategies and continues to evolve. Several key components include:

 

Carbon Neutral

  • No fossil fuel consumption in the arena for daily use. All facility mechanical systems, gas combustion engines, heating, dehumidification, and cooking have been converted to electric.
  • Solar Panels on the Alaska Airlines Atrium and 1st Ave Garage combined with off-site supplementary renewable energy for 100% renewable energy power.
  • Operate all events at zero carbon and purchase offsets including those for transportation.
  • Saving the historic roof and expanding underground reduces embodied energy use typical of new construction.
  • Fully integrated transportation plan that includes, subsidized public transportation, electric vehicle charging stations, and investment in the Seattle Center Monorail.

Zero Single Use Plastics

  • The first arena and NHL Team to announce their intention to eliminate single use plastics within the venue starting in 2021 and being 100% free of single-use plastics by 2024.

Water Conservation

  • “Rainwater to Ice” system that will harvest water off the roof, collect it into cisterns, and turn it into the greenest ice in the NHL.
  • ‘Make it Rain’ event where fans provide rainwater for use in making ice.
  • Waterless urinals and ultra-efficient showers.
  • On-site stormwater retention for landscaping.
  • Water bottle filling stations throughout the arena.

 

Zero Waste

  • Targeting a 97%+ diversion rate for waste, which is considered ‘zero waste’ in the industry.
  • Consumer education, beautiful and simple infographics, and on-site sorting along with other techniques will help the client reach this unprecedented level of performance.
  • Extensive waste composting and recycling throughout the arena.
  • Removing single use plastics from the arena by 2024.