|The Champion of Sustainable Ballparks: SF Giants Green AT&T Park|
|Written by Dennis Liu, Four Green Steps|
|Tuesday, 24 January 2012 19:00|
Written by Dennis Liu, Four Green Steps
The San Francisco Giants are not only giants in the Major League Baseball, they are also giants in protecting the environments. Their ball park is definitely the best in the whole country of U.S.A. It is the best not because it is the biggest or fanciest; it is the best simply because of its implementation of many environmentally friendly features. These features allow the ballpark to accomplish more work with less energy used and less waste produced. It is great for the environment, and provides fantastic experience for the players and the fans at the same time.
By being “green”, AT&T Park’s first step was receiving certification from LEED EBO&M (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance). The certificate authenticates the ballpark’s initiative to save the environment, and motivates organizers of the park to continue traveling on the right path towards a cleaner Earth. Secondly, the ballpark’s best concession stand was completely renovated to fit the sustainable style of the park. Fryers for garlic fries, pop machines, lights, and signage in the stand are all energy-efficient. Even the paints and cups are biodegradable and recyclable! It is estimated that all the energy the stand saved alone can fry an additional 110 tons of garlic fries. That can supply enough garlic fries for about 275 games! Thirdly, AT&T Park introduced a team of green experts called the “Green Team”. These experts, in easily identifiable uniforms and badges, assist fans to correctly recycle and compost. Fourthly, the installation of 590 solar panels has already prevented the release of 360,000 pounds of greenhouse gases. The ballpark’s fifth approach was the lighting retrofits. By using various energy-efficient devices for lighting, the ballpark managed to save 171,000 kilowatt hours worth of energy so far. Enough to power 25 homes for one year, and this is just the energy saved solely from lighting the ballpark. The scoreboard was also replaced in 2007 by a 78% more energy-efficient one to save additional energy.
Other than saving energy, the AT&T Park also took leadership in water conservation and public transit promotion. A new irrigation clock with extraordinary technology was installed that can use 33 – 50% less water than before to irrigate the field. Also, the composition of the field had an increase in clay and decrease in sand, which can reduce the watering of the field by 33%. Furthermore, the ballpark is the most transit friendly ballpark in the country because it is reachable by all public transit systems in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is known that more than 50% of the guests travel to the park by public transit. There are also valets for parking bikes at the park to reduce traveling by car by even more.
With all the new technologies and designs the ballpark implemented, AT&T Park is becoming more and more sustainable. The fans will have a better experience, and less pollutant is produced at the same time. AT&T Park should be a role model other sports parks and stadiums look upon to. By following the same routine, sports entertainment can be a gigantic sector that the wastes can be reduced from.
Image courtesy of Creative Commons.
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