The Pit showcases New Mexico's sustainability

The Pit showcases New Mexico's sustainability

The University of New Mexico’s legendary basketball arena, a mid-century fixture modernized as part of a multimillion-dollar renovation a few years ago, has been recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Built in 1966, The Pit is one of college basketball’s most famous – and loudest – buildings. Now, the council has included the arena in a report showcasing some of the most impressive sporting venues, convention centers and other public gathering spaces that have transformed their environmental footprint.

Since renovations were completed in 2010, The Pit has boosted its water savings by nearly 50 percent and energy savings has been calculated at more than 20 percent. By preserving much of the existing building, construction waste was limited and nearly all of the materials from the demolition were recycled.

In speaking to the Associated Press, John Pate of MolzenCorbin, the architecture firm hired for the renovation, called The Pit one of the most unique sporting venues in the world. Its sunken court has attracted more than 13 million fans over five decades.

The USGBC estimates that buildings certified under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program, or LEED, can save more than $2 billion in combined energy, water and maintenance savings over a three-year period.

As for collegiate sports programs, the council contends that they have the ability to reach the largest and most diverse audiences through their commitments to greener practices. So far, more than 3,700 higher education projects across the country, including sporting venues, are LEED-certified.

The Pit hosted the 1983 Final Four, as well as numerous regional and early-round NCAA competitions over the years.

Topics: Associations / Organizations, Automation and Controls, Building Owners and Managers, Certifications, Consulting - Green & Sustainable Strategies and Solutions, Energy Saving Products, Sports and Recreation, Sustainable Communities, Urban Planning and Design, USGBC

Companies: U.S. Green Building Council

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