Apogee Stadium at the University of North Texas
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded UNT's Apogee Stadium a LEED Platinum Certification, making it the first newly constructed collegiate football stadium in the nation to achieve the highest level of LEED certification.
"This is a great accomplishment for UNT and strongly underscores our commitment to sustainability," UNT President V. Lane Rawlins says. "UNT is a leader in environmental research and sustainability, and the fact that we have the first LEED Platinum football stadium is an example of our commitment and our plans for the future."
Because UNT uses its buildings for 50-75 years, LEED certified buildings are practical, Rawlins adds. "By building in this manner, the sustainable features of the buildings pay for themselves through their efficiencies within eight years. Plus, environmentally responsible buildings mean healthier buildings with better air quality," he says.
The UNT System led the construction of the stadium, which was designed by HKS Architects and built by Manhattan Construction Company.
"As a university system, we are committed to building campuses that minimize the use of natural resources and don't harm the environment," says Lee Jackson, chancellor of the UNT System. "We want to provide all students, faculty and staff members on our campuses with buildings that are first class in every way, including reduced environmental impact."
The UNT System commitment to building green grew from an initiative by Jackson to construct future buildings to meet or exceed the latest efficiency and environmental standards. The initiative also supports UNT's commitment to sustainability, which was deeply underscored when it became the first large public university in Texas to sign on to the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment in 2008. There currently are three LEED Gold certified buildings on UNT System campuses -- the flagship campus in Denton, UNT Dallas and the Health Science Center in Fort Worth -- with two more awaiting certification.
The nearly 31,000-seat Apogee Stadium features luxury suites, an amenity-filled club level, a Spirit Store, a corporate deck and a unique end-zone seating area. In addition to hosting UNT events, it will serve the entire North Texas region as a venue for outdoor concerts, community events, high school games and band competitions.
In December, Apogee Stadium will achieve another first with the completion of three wind turbines that will feed the electrical grid that powers the stadium. Using a $2 million grant from the State Energy Conservation Office, UNT currently is installing the wind turbines, making Apogee Stadium the first collegiate stadium designed to incorporate onsite renewable wind energy.
Buddy Price with UNT News Service can be reached at Buddy.Price@unt.edu.