Massachusetts arena scores LEED with rooftop solar

Bentley Arena features more glass windows than a typical arena, which allows for more natural light and decreases the amount of electricity needed to light the building’s interior. Photo courtesy Bentley University
Bentley Arena features more glass windows than a typical arena, which allows for more natural light and decreases the amount of electricity needed to light the building’s interior.
Photo courtesy Bentley University

Bentley Arena at Massachusetts’ Bentley University has received Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification under the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), making it one of the first standalone ice arenas in the country to achieve the designation.

“Thanks to the combination of the rooftop solar technology and energy-efficient mechanical design, the overall grid energy required to power the arena will be less than half of what it would take to power a building of a similar size,” said Amanda King, director of sustainability at Bentley. “These technologies also cut the building’s carbon footprint in half.”

Designed by Architectural Resources Cambridge and built by Suffolk Construction, the 7061-m2 (76,000-sf) arena’s sustainable features include:

  • a 504-kW rooftop solar asset, comprised of 1400 panels, which will generate 40 percent of the building’s annual electricity needs;
  • a system that captures heat generated from the rink’s ice-making equipment and uses it to heat water throughout the arena;
  • a high-efficiency light-emitting diode (LED) system with motion-detection control;
  • ice-making and air conditioning systems that use zero chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)-based refrigerants;
  • high-efficiency plumbing features (e.g. waterless urinals, dual-flush toilets, low-flow faucets/showers); and
  • locally sourced construction/finish materials, including 20 percent containing recycled content.

Additionally, the arena will double as a “living lab” for students majoring in sustainability science, where they will be able to analyze the building’s energy data. The facility is aligned with Bentley University’s Climate Action Plan, which carries a goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.

“This first-in-the-nation rating for the Bentley Arena demonstrates Bentley’s strong and longstanding commitment to sustainability,” said Gloria Cordes Larson, Bentley University president. “From our university-wide commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030, to our sustainability science major for students, to our campus waste reduction program that recycles more than 270 tons of material per year, Bentley acts every day on our mission of preparing environmentally conscious, socially responsible leaders.”

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