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AmericanAirlines Arena NRG Solar Canopy

DLR Group

Shared By

Sara Johnson


601 Biscayne Blvd.



The Heat Group

Project Status


Year Completed



24,000 sq. feet



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DLR Group's Solar Canopy is an addition to the AmericanAirlines Arena designed by Miami-based firm Arquitectonica.

Project Description


Design Achievement – The new Solar Canopy on the East Plaza at AmericanAirlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, is DLR Group’s first renewable solar power system design at an NBA arena. The design goal was to add a unique guest amenity to the arena and enhance fan engagement by promoting the Heat’s commitment to sustainability and renewable energy systems. The solar canopy allows the Heat to activate a new fan amenity space featuring a bar, food and beverage locations, advertisement displays, and retail outlets. The solar canopy integrates 14 solar skylight rings with building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs), a technology that embeds solar cells into sheets of clear glass. Concealed within the soffits of each skylight is a dynamic, color changing LED system. These programmable LEDs illuminate the skylight cavities to produce changing light patterns creating a vibrant and high energy environment for fans within the plaza. Fixtures are hidden from the direct view of occupants and are installed not only within solar skylights, but around the atrium and in the seating area adjacent to the bar.

Scope Summary – The Solar Canopy at AmericanAirlines Arena is a 24,000 square foot canopy housing 14 solar skylights, inserted directly above the Miami Heat offices and two levels of parking. The solar skylights create a 19kW photovoltaic system producing approximately 34,000 kW/Hr of energy per year. The canopy covers a redefined outdoor amenity space at the east end of the arena overlooking Biscayne Bay. The canopy columns are constructed with internally routed utility distribution conduits and cabling to allow the team maximum flexibility for adding hospitality stations, WiFi connections and LED screens for entertainment and locations for advertising key partners. DLR Group provided architecture, structural engineering, electrical engineering, and interior design services.
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