Kroger Field, the home of the University of Kentucky’s football team, has been awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) silver certification.

The certification has been awarded due to the facility’s environmental performance and sustainable design.

Kroger Field becomes the first LEED-certified competition venue across any sport in the Southeastern Conference.

The LEED rating system is developed by the US Green Building Council and recognises buildings, homes and communities that are designed, constructed, maintained and operated for improved environmental and human health performance.

“In both the design and construction process, we were committed to transforming the long-time home of Kentucky football in a way that would be sustainable for years to come,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “We are proud Kroger Field has joined exclusive company in becoming LEED-certified for exactly that reason and thankful for the work of our partners in the renovation.”

An extensive renovation of the stadium began in 2013 in a move designed to transform the game day experience for supporters. The stadium reopened in 2015, with $126m worth of improvements having been made.

The modern-day Kruger Field features widened concourses, new restrooms, suites, clubs, lodge seating and private lounges.

Kevin Locke, of RossTarrant Architects, which worked on the redesigned stadium, said: “We knew from the beginning that sustainability was critical to the success of this project.

“Achieving LEED silver is a real testament to the university’s commitment to the environment. Knowing how well this stadium performs makes the experience they have created for Wildcat fans even more special.”

Kroger Field was recognised for implementing practical and measurable strategies and solutions aimed at achieving high performance in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality.

Two thirds of the old stadium was used to create the old Kroger Field, which minimised construction waste and the need for the manufacturing and transportation of new materials. Low-flow water fixtures have helped save around 204,000 gallons of water annually. The stadium is also said to use a third less energy than the typical venue.

Image: JGlover