US Bank Stadium, the home of the Minnesota Vikings NFL American football franchise, has become the first professional sports venue to achieve the highest rating level offered through the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) programme.

The prestigious LEED Platinum energy and environmental certification, using the Arc performance platform, was secured by using the Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M) rating system for existing buildings.

The Arc platform measures several sectors of environmental practices including water reduction, waste diversion and reduction, energy efficiency and the promotion of alternative transportation.

“Being the first professional sports stadium to receive LEED Platinum certification using Arc speaks to the importance that our stadium partners put on creating a sustainable, environmentally-friendly operation at US Bank Stadium,” said Michael Vekich, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority.

“As stewards of this facility, it is our responsibility to be on the forefront of sustainable operations. In order to achieve our goals, we have educated our staff and clients, developed sustainable processes and procedures, and invested in state-of-the-art infrastructure for our stadium.”

The Platinum certification is the second LEED designation for the stadium, which was certified LEED Gold for Building Design and Construction (BD+C) in 2017, a year after opening its doors.

The LEED programme was created by the US Green Building Council (USGBC) to recognise sustainability and environmentally-friendly achievements.

USGBC president and chief executive Mahesh Ramanujam added: “Sports bring people and communities together, and US Bank Stadium is a space that not only unifies Vikings fans, but provides a healthy, green and high performing building for all to enjoy.

“The Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, SMG, Minnesota Vikings, Aramark and all stadium partners understand the value of LEED and have exemplified extraordinary leadership in reshaping their community.”

The stadium successfully operated a “zero waste” Super Bowl in 2018 with 91% of waste diverted from landfill and also became the first stadium to receive a ‘Bike Friendly Business’ certification by supplying over 180 bicycle racks.

The venue also used renewable energy credits to power the stadium 100% by wind energy, with the venue’s natural daylight, heating and cooling benefits through the ETFE (Ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) roof structure helping to reduce carbon emissions further.

Image: Darb02