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AmericanAirlines Arena Is World’s First Sports & Entertainment Facility To Achieve LEED® Gold Recertification

Home of the Miami HEAT is International Leader in Operational Sustainability
AmericanAirlines Arena

MIAMI, January 20 – AmericanAirlines Arena, Miami’s top sports and entertainment venue and home of the three-time NBA Champion Miami HEAT, announced today that it has been awarded LEED Gold recertification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). LEED is USGBC’s leading rating system for designing, constructing and operating the world’s greenest, most energy-efficient, and highest performing buildings.

The AmericanAirlines Arena, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary year in 2015, continues to blaze a trail for best practices and industry firsts. In 2009, the Arena secured its first LEED for Existing Buildings certification after months of exhaustive preparation. Over the past five years, the facility has maintained its steadfast commitment to environmentally sound principles and practices—so much so that the facility completely bypassed its initial LEED Silver goal and achieved LEED Gold, the first arena in the world to receive LEED Gold recertification.

“The HEAT Group is very proud to be a leader of the sustainability movement in both our industry and our beloved city,” said Eric Woolworth, President of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations. “Achieving LEED Gold is the fantastic culmination of our ongoing efforts over the past five years to behave in an environmentally responsible way that has a positive effect on our community and our planet.”

“This is an extraordinary act of leadership and stewardship by The HEAT Group,” said USGBC CEO and Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi. “Buildings are like people in that both can perform at their peak when they pay attention to their performance every day. It’s that attention to thousands of little details that helped this facility not only match but actually outperform its first certification. That’s a tremendous achievement and we congratulate them."

The Arena has used LEED for Existing Buildings rating system as a road map to achieve the coveted Gold recertification, a set of voluntary performance standards for the sustainable ongoing operation of buildings, that includes a number of sustainable maintenance measures as well as energy efficiency and conservation practices. For the AmericanAirlines Arena, these features include:

Building Exterior and Hardscape: The exterior of the Arena is maintained without the use of chemicals, preventing the potential contamination of our water table and soil erosion.

Alternative Transportation: AmericanAirlines Arena is centrally located providing easy access to mass transit systems such as MetroBus, MetroMover, MetroRail and the Miami Trolley. Carpooling and mass transit use to arena events resulted in 6,694 alternative transportation trips during the 2013-14 Miami HEAT season.

Water: The Arena is outfitted with efficient plumbing fixtures (toilets, urinals and faucets) resulting in a reduction of 16.7% water consumption. That’s 4,194,798.25 gallons of water saved—the equivalent of 6.35 Olympic-sized swimming pools. In addition, 190,630 gallons of water have been conserved due to the facility’s efficient landscaping, which provides a reduction of 77.1% in irrigation due to drought resistant plants, drip irrigation and weather-sensitive meters.

Recycling: During the 2013-14 Miami HEAT season, 330,810 pounds of waste was diverted from the landfill including:

  • 5,982 pounds of electronic waste
  • 43,520 pounds of plastic (seat replacement project)
  • 3,538 pounds of salvaged metal (aluminum, copper)
  • 5,000 pounds of food were donated through the Re-HEAT Program where unused food from HEAT games and Arena events is donated to local homeless shelters
  • 172,800 pounds of paper (86.4 tons)
  • 85,690 pounds of cardboard
  • 2,100 pounds of plastic bottles
  • 12,180 pounds of wooden pallets

Green Cleaning: Over 63% of the Arena’s cleaning purchases—cleaning supplies, toilet paper, paper towels and soap—meet LEED’s and other industry sustainability criteria.

Sustainable Purchasing: Over 85% of the Arena’s on-going consumables—office supplies, toner, copy paper, calendars—meet LEED’s sustainability criteria saving hundreds of trees, thousands of gallons of water, hundreds of hours of electricity and preventing hundreds of pounds of air pollution. In 2013, AmericanAirlines Arena won the Office Depot Leadership in Green Purchasing Award, one of 30 organizations recognized by the office supply giant for sustainable purchasing habits.

Energy: When compared to other public assembly facilities, the Arena uses 26.5 percent less energy per square foot. In addition, more than half of all arena electrical equipment purchases meet EnergyStar and/or EPEAT standards. Over 54% of purchases for alterations to the Arena, such as floor tiles, ceiling materials, and carpeting contain recycled content. Adhesives and paints meet VOC (volatile organic compounds) content limits.

AmericanAirlines Arena is ensuring that 75% of its annual electricity use comes from renewable energy by purchasing RECs (Renewable Energy Certificates). RECs represent the renewable and environmental attributes of renewable energy and are one of the important sources of revenue that renewable energy generation projects take into account when developing new projects. To address the Arena’s unavoidable emissions, carbon offsets were purchased equivalent to 75% of the Arena’s natural gas and district chilled water use. Voluntary carbon offset purchases are a critical part of supporting technologies that reduce carbon from the atmosphere. Both the RECs and carbon offsets were provided by Bonneville Environmental Foundation.

Roof: AmericanAirlines Arena has a High Solar Reflective Material on its roof, which alleviates the “heat island effect” (i.e., dark non-reflective surfaces absorb the sun’s warmth and raises ambient temperature), which reduces cooling needs.

Underground Parking: The facility’s underground parking alleviates the “heat island effect” which can artificially elevate ambient temperatures in urban areas by 2-10 degrees Fahrenheit.

About AmericanAirlines Arena

Since its opening on December 31, 1999, the 19,600-seat AmericanAirlines Arena has proudly hosted megastars such as Marc Anthony, Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, One Direction, Bruce Springsteen, Coldplay, U2, Justin Timberlake, Phish, Madonna, Maná, Taylor Swift and Bruno Mars to name a few. In addition, AmericanAirlines Arena is home to family shows such as the Harlem Globetrotters, Disney on Ice, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, which maintains a long term, exclusive South Florida run. AmericanAirlines Arena has also played host to several live televised events including the 2004 and 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, the prestigious Latin Grammy Awards and four NBA Finals, 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. For more information, please visit

About the U.S. Green Building Council

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is committed to a prosperous and sustainable future through cost-efficient and energy-saving green buildings. USGBC works toward its mission of market transformation through its LEED green building program, robust educational offerings, a nationwide network of chapters and affiliates, the annual Greenbuild International Conference & Expo, the Center for Green Schools and advocacy in support of public policy that encourages and enables green buildings and communities. For more information, visit, explore the Green Building Information Gateway (GBIG) and connect on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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