The Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta has been named the world's first LEED Platinum–certified professional sports stadium by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The 2-million-square-foot arena, designed by HOK, is home to the Atlanta Falcons football team and the Atlanta United soccer team. The venue officially opened to the public Aug. 26, replacing the 1992-built Georgia Dome stadium, which was demolished on Nov. 20.
In order to acquire the 88 points required to achieve the milestone certification, many of the stadium's design elements were selected with sustainable practices in mind. The building received all of the water category LEED credits through the use of an advanced stormwater management system and efficient fixtures that enables the building to consume 47 percent less water than baseline EPA standards. A partnership with local non-profit Trees Atlanta also utilizes the captured rainwater for tree irrigation. The building is also equipped with 4,000 solar photovoltaic panels capable of generating enough power for LED fixtures to function for nine Atlanta Falcons football games.
Additionally, the stadium—which hosts over 50 public events per year, as well as daily tours and private events—is within close proximity to public transportation and encourages alternative modes of transit through a bike valet program, electric vehicle charging stations, and pedestrian walking paths.
“We set out to build a venue that would not only exceed expectations, but also push the limits of what was possible in terms of stadium design, fan experience and sustainability,” said Arthur Blank, owner and chairman of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, in an HOK press release. “We set a goal of achieving the highest LEED rating because it was the right thing to do for our city and the environment. With this achievement, we have a powerful new platform to showcase to the industry and to our fans that building sustainably and responsibly is possible for a venue of any type, size and scale.”
Editor's Note: This article initially stated that the Mercedes-Benz Stadium was named the first LEED Platinum professional sports arena, when it is in fact the first LEED Platinum professional sports stadium. The editor regrets the error.