AmericanAirlines Arena Awarded Prestigious LEED® Green Building Certification

View Photos of The AmericanAirlines Arena in Green!

Home of the Miami HEAT is Among First LEED Certified Arenas in U.S.

MIAMI, FL (April 7, 2009) – The AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami’s top sports and entertainment venue and home of the 2006 NBA Champion Miami HEAT, has announced that it has been awarded LEED Certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is the USGBC’s leading rating system for designing and constructing the world’s greenest, most energy-efficient, and high performing buildings.

The AmericanAirlines Arena and the Philips Arena in Atlanta received LEED certification on the same day, and they were the first two arenas in the country to receive this prestigious designation by the USGBC.

“Achieving LEED certification is a great affirmation of the AmericanAirlines Arena’s commitment to energy conservation and environmentally responsible operations,” said Eric Woolworth, president of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations. “Being among the first arena in the U.S. to be LEED Certified, we hope to inspire businesses of all kinds to think green and make a positive impact on our earth.”

Woolworth was joined at a press conference at AmericanAirlines Arena by City of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO & founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council.

"The AmericanAirlines Arena is a catalyst for all Miami businesses to invest in a greener future,” says Mayor Diaz.  "The Arena’s commitment to the Earth and our community paves the way for other companies in downtown Miami to follow that path and make a lasting difference.”

“The AmericanAirlines Arena’s LEED certification is a tremendous achievement that will bring significant energy and water savings – and, in turn, huge cost savings,” said Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, USGBC. “LEED-certified green buildings create much-needed green jobs and have a positive impact on their communities – especially when that building is visited by thousands of sports fans and entertainment lovers every year.”

From an operational side, AmericanAirlines Arena worked with key vendors such as Waste Management and Dade Paper to ensure the LEED certification process would be a success. Waste Management is the presenting sponsor for Green Initiatives at AmericanAirlines Arena.

“Without the help of Waste Management we would not have been able to achieve LEED certification,” says Woolworth. “They deliver progressive renewable energy programs that make it easy for AmericanAirlines Arena to think and act green.”

The AmericanAirlines Arena, originally built in 1999, used the LEED for Existing Buildings Rating System as a road map to achieve the coveted certification. The Operations & Maintenance Rating System is a set of voluntary performance standards for the sustainable ongoing operation of buildings, and includes a number green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. For the AmericanAirlines Arena, some of these features include:

  • Green roofing materials: The Arena’s solar reflective index is high enough that it reflects heat and reduces the energy needed to cool the building.
  • Energy consumption: The Arena was built without a chilled water plant, which requires a lot of energy, therefore, there is much less energy consumption as the Arena’s chilled water comes from an off-site source.
  • Water-efficient landscaping: All plants are high to medium drought resistant, and a “drip and soak” irrigation system (micro irrigation) runs under the surface delivering water directly to the roots and minimizing the amount of water evaporated by the sun.
  • Underground parking: Reduces heat-trapping asphalt to trap heat, which is known to cause a “heat-island effect” which releases heat back into the atmosphere.
  • Walk-off carpets: Trap dirt and contamination of Arena guests to improve overall indoor air quality.

To find out more about upcoming events, sponsorships and the latest news at AmericanAirlines Arena, visit or call 786-777-HEAT.

About AmericanAirlines Arena
Since its opening on December 31, 1999, the 19,600-seat AmericanAirlines Arena has hosted such diverse musical superstars as U2, Madonna, Cher, Gloria Estefan, Andrea Bocelli, Luis Miguel, the Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Usher, Marc Anthony, Phish, Shakira and Paul McCartney. The Arena has become South Florida’s number one entertainment destination with championship events in boxing, wrestling and gymnastics as well as rodeos and family shows such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Disney On Ice, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, The Wiggles and WWE.
AmericanAirlines Arena has also played host to several live televised events including the 2004 and 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, Britney Spears’ “Onyx Hotel” Tour, Cher’s “Living Proof – The Farewell Tour” and the prestigious Latin Grammy Awards, each placing Miami in the international spotlight. Private events have included product launches, corporate basketball tournaments, gala dinners and a host of meetings, large and small. In addition, the Arena has hosted several special events utilizing the East Plaza with its stunning view of Biscayne Bay and the ultra-exclusive Dewar’s 12 Clubhouse.

About the U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council is a nonprofit membership organization whose vision is a sustainable built environment within a generation. Its membership includes corporations, builders, universities, government agencies, and other nonprofit organizations. Since UGSBC’s founding in 1993, the Council has grown to more than 17,000 member companies and organizations, a comprehensive family of LEED® green building rating systems, an expansive educational offering, the industry’s popular Greenbuild International Conference and Expo (, and a network of 78 local chapters, affiliates, and organizing groups. For more information, visit

About LEED®
The LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™ is a feature-oriented rating system that awards buildings points for satisfying specified green building criteria. The six major environmental categories of review include: Sustainable Sites, Water Efficiency, Energy and Atmosphere, Materials and Resources, Indoor Environmental Quality and Innovation and Design. Certified, Silver, Gold, and Platinum levels of LEED green building certification are awarded based on the total number of points earned within each LEED category. LEED can be applied to all building types including new construction, commercial interiors, core & shell developments, existing buildings, homes, neighborhood developments, schools and retail facilities. LEED for Healthcare is currently under development and is expected to be released in early 2008. Incentives for LEED are available at the state and local level and LEED has also been adopted nationwide by federal agencies, state and local governments, and interested private companies. For more information, visit


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