Wednesday, April 1, 2009

San Francisco Giants 2009 - On Way to Green Award

The Giants' AT & T Park is on its way to the accolade of the greenest existing ballpark in the country, it was announced today at the press preview for the 2009 season that opens on Tuesday - see previous blogs

That does not include the purpose-built stadium for the Washington Nationals, which opened last year.

Within the year, the Giants expect to be the first Major League ballpark in the country to have the US Green Building Council certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for Existing Buildings, Operations and Maintenance (EBO & M).

So how is it achieving this?

Working particularly in partnership with Pacific Gas and Electricity (PG & E), it has installed 590 solar panels. These, since they were fitted in 2007, have provided enough power for over 5,200 homes and saved over 360,000 pounds of greenhouse gases.

Energy-efficient lights have been retrofitted, eg compact fluorescent lights in place of several hundred incandescent lights, and a more efficient HD scoreboard, overall the equivalent of powering 25 homes a year.

And water conservation. The proportion of clay to sand in the pitch has been increased so that watering has been reduced by 33 per cent. A new irrigation clock that receives weather details has honed control over zone watering times, the result being that a saving of 33 to 50 per cent water use is expected.

Another focus is recycling, with 42 per cent of their trash being recycled. This season a Green Team has been formed to help guests direct their trash to an increased number of recycling and composting bins.

New high-tech office equipment has also cut down on energy and paper use and printing costs.

Travel is a major green success. The location of the ballpark at China Basin means that fewer than half of its fans use cars to get to and from games. Near the hub of public transport with Caltrain and Muni trains and buses, fans travel from around the Bay Area by bus, train or ferry, and many walk or cycle.

Smoking has also now been totally banner in the ballpark. Smokers need to be aware that there are no longer any smoking-designated areas.

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