Building Sustainability at the Orlando Magic’s Amway Center When the Amway Center opened in…

Building Sustainability at the Orlando Magic’s Amway Center

When the Amway Center opened in Orlando in 2011, it became the first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold–certified professional basketball arena in the country. It took 10 years for Orlando Magic’s management to develop a plan for the new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment center. The community received not only an entertainment center but an environmentally sustainable building to showcase in its revitalized downtown location. “We wanted to make sure we brought the most sustainable measures to the construction, so in operation we can be a good partner to our community and our environment,” states CEO Alex Martins. The new 875,000-square foot facility—almost triple the size of the Amway Arena it replaced—is now the benchmark for other sports facilities. Here are a few of the elements in the Amway Center project that helped earn the LEED certification:

¨    The roof of the building is designed to minimize daytime heat gain by using reflective and insulated materials.

¨    Rainwater and air-conditioning condensation are captured and used for irrigation.

¨    There is 40% less water usage than in similar arenas (saving 800,000 gallons per year), mostly through use of high efficiency restrooms, including low-flow, dual-flush toilets.

¨    There is 20% energy savings (about $750,000 per year) with the use of high-efficiency heating and cooling systems.

¨    The center used environmentally friendly building materials and recycled 83% of the wood, steel, and concrete construction waste that would have ended up in a landfill.

¨    There is preferred parking for hybrids and other energy efficient cars.

¨    The center is maintained using green-friendly cleaning products.

LEED certification means five environmental measures and one design measure must be met when a facility is graded by the U.S. Green Building Council, which is a nationally accepted benchmark program. The categories are sustainability of site, water efficiency, energy, materials/resources, indoor environmental quality, and design innovation. Other Amway Center design features include efficient receiving docks, food storage layouts, and venue change-over systems. Massive LED electronic signage controlled from a central control room also contributes to lower operating costs. From an operations management perspective, combining these savings with the significant ongoing savings from reduced water and energy usage will yield a major reduction in annual operating expenses. “We think the LEED certification is not only great for the environment but good business overall,” says Martins.

Discussion Questions

1. Find a LEED-certified building in your area and compare its features to those of the Amway Center.

2. What does a facility need to do to earn the gold LEED rating? What other ratings exist?

3. Why did the Orlando Magic decide to “go green” in its new building?

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