Greensboro Coliseum Greener with Energy Efficiency Upgrades
The Greensboro Coliseum has embarked on a significant initiative to improve its energy and water efficiency, and over the long haul, reduce the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions, and lower its utility bills.
Over the next few months, the Greensboro Coliseum - one of the largest arenas on the East Coast will implement energy-efficient lighting system retrofits, water conserving plumbing fixtures and major upgrades to its heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. These facility improvement measures are expected to reduce electricity consumption by nearly a quarter and cut water consumption and natural gas use in half. Importantly, this will result in energy reductions that could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 1,700 tons a year--the equivalent of removing 530 cars from the road.
Mitchell Johnson, City Manager, for Greensboro, North Carolina, explains, “I hear very clearly from the community that they want a balance between saving money, being fiscally responsible and also being environmentally responsible.” He concluded, “This fits very well into that model.”
“There are multiple benefits to pursuing green building strategies such as retrofitting a building to make it more energy and water efficient,” explained Scott Gugenheim of Siemens Building Technologies, Inc., the company responsible for managing the broad-scope energy efficiency project for Greensboro. “There are, of course, the financial benefits, because a more energy-efficient building obviously costs a lot less money to operate over its life. You’ll usually have better equipment in there which requires less maintenance. You’ll also have more comfortable and more productive occupants in the building.”
Gugenheim elaborated, linking Greensboro Coliseum’s energy and facility efficiency initiatives to Green trends in the building industry: “Green building technologies have almost become the norm or standard and numerous states and local governments are enacting laws requiring green building practices in new construction.”
Industry groups are behind the movement as well. For example, the U.S. Green Building Council has devised the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” or LEED Green Building Rating System to designate buildings that meet green standards in design, construction and operation. To date, 5% of new commercial buildings in the U.S. meet these standards, and more than 6,000 buildings are registered or certified as LEED projects, with states like California, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Illinois among the leaders.
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