Football is king in Texas. That sentiment holds true for the University of North Texas (UNT) in Denton, TX, and their Mean Green football team. In 2002 University officials decided to build a new, state-of-the art facility to replace the aging Fouts Field on campus. Eventually named Apogee Stadium, UNT also wanted sustainable design features incorporated whenever possible, with a goal of achieving LEED Silver® certification.
In keeping with the campus’s high sustainable goals, the new 31,000-seat stadium includes numerous environmentally friendly features. To reduce water consumption and urban runoff, the facility includes an 85,000 SF water retention system, 338,000 SF of permeable paving, and low-flow plumbing systems. To minimize the human impact on the environment, the landscape around the stadium was utilized whenever possible. The facility provides showers and lockers accessible to students who bike to campus. The stadium features state-of-the-art high-efficiency mechanical systems and was the first SSR project to use a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) HVAC systems to help minimize the energy use.
The facility also includes three Northwind 100 wind turbines, which have three 30-foot blades that produce a combined 450,000 kilowatt-hours of energy per year, which would account for roughly a third of the stadium’s energy needs and offset 323 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions. The power generated by the wind turbines could either be utilized by the stadium, or the power could be put back into the power grid. UNT decided that it would be more cost effective to have the power put back into the grid and SSR was instrumental in assisting the university in doing so.
Incorporating all of these environmentally friendly features, as well as adhering to UNT’s specific building codes, created some unique challenges and learning opportunities for the SSR design team. Upon completion of the project, Apogee Stadium became the first newly built stadium to achieve LEED Platinum® certification, the highest level awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council.