Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia has been awarded LEED Platinum Certification.
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) was created by the U.S. Green Building Council and is the most widely-used green building rating system.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is the home of NFL American football team the Atlanta Falcons and Major League Soccer team Atlanta United. The 71,000-seat stadium, which opened in August, was awarded 88 points with its LEED Platinum Certification, more than any other sports facility.
The stadium has been recognised for its two-million-square-foot-strong sustainability solutions for water, lighting and energy conservation, as well as its community initiatives and stewardship.
Arthur Blank, owner of the Falcons and United, said: “We set out to build a venue that would not only exceed expectations, but also push the limits of what was possible in terms of stadium design, fan experience and sustainability.
“We set a goal of achieving the highest LEED rating because it was the right thing to do for our city and the environment and with this achievement, we have a powerful new platform to showcase to the industry and to our fans that building sustainably and responsibly is possible for a venue of any type, size and scale.”
Mercedes-Benz Stadium becomes the first sports venue to receive all water category credits. The stadium uses 47 per cent less water than baseline standards due to water-efficient fixtures and conservation infrastructure.
The stadium also features 4,000 solar PV panels, which can power nine Falcons games or 13 United matches, while its LED lighting lasts 10 times as long as standard lights.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium also holds partnerships with community organisations such as Trees Atlanta to share captured rainwater for tree irrigation. Further initiatives include bike valet programs, electric car charging stations and pedestrian-friendly walking paths.
The Falcons are also the NFL team with the highest percentage of fans using public transportation to attend games.
In addition, the stadium has local food production features such as edible landscaping, urban gardens and culinary arts training programs, as well as a 13-acre greenspace that is under development.
Mahesh Ramanujam, president and chief executive of USGBC and Green Business Certification, said: “By achieving LEED Platinum, Mercedes-Benz Stadium is showing fans and the larger Atlanta community that the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United leadership is committed to creating a space that is healthier and more sustainable. We commend Mr. Blank and his leadership team for raising the bar for their industry, creating a better experience for fans, and for helping to transform the built environment.”
A special ceremony to award Blank and his project team with the stadium’s LEED Platinum plaque will be held ahead of the Falcons’ home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on November 26.
United broke the MLS attendance record when 71,874 attended last month’s game against Toronto.
Golden 1 Center, home of NBA basketball team the Sacramento Kings, also holds LEED Platinum Certification.
This article was updated on November 20 to note that Golden 1 Center holds LEED Platinum Certification.