March 25, 2014
Since 2008, all newly constructed-city owned buildings, more than 5,000 square feet, have been required to pursue LEED-Silver Certification. This effort is due in large part to the founding of the US Green Building Council’s Chihuahuan Desert Chapter here in El Paso by two principals of MNK Architects, Mrs. Renee Jimenez and Ms. Jennifer Matthews. Ms. Renee Jimenez, through her efforts in leading sustainable practices within the region became not only the LEED Consultant, but the Principal-In-Charge for MNK Architects after their selection to design the ballpark in conjunction with Populous, Sports Architecture specialists.
The overall project anticipates receiving 53 of the 110 points in order to attain LEED Silver Certification. Sustainable sites was a major component which we anticipate receiving 21 of the 53 points. The elements contributing to sustainable sites include: (a) project was constructed on a site that was previously developed; (b) located within a high density area; (c) located within a ½ mile of basic services such as (church, restaurants, retail); and residential; (d) located within ¼ mile of several bus stops; (e) providing low emitting and fuel efficient vehicle parking spaces; (f) reducing the amount of parking which supports sustainability efforts for reducing pollution; (g) sixty bike storage spaces would be placed initially and monitored over the next 5 years to determine if additional bike storage spaces will be needed.
Additional sustainable elements incorporated in the design of the ballpark were reducing water usage by 30% and energy use by 28% for a building of this type. Installation of recycling bins located throughout the ballpark to encourage and facilitate recycling. Approximately 95% of the construction waste has been diverted from the landfills to date. The MNK/Populous design team was adamant in specifying materials that were made of certified wood, recycled content and manufactured regionally within 500 miles of the ballpark site. Site and roofing materials were selected to reduce the heat island effect and minimize the impact on the micro-climate and pedestrians. The comfort of the occupants was a significant factor in the design. The design concept was to provide a comfortable thermal environment and a lighting system control to promote occupant productivity and well-being.