Bridgestone Arena, home of the NHL’s Nashville Predators since 1998, opened its doors in December of 1996. The facility has hosted more than 13 million guests since that time. Increasingly, arena management has prioritized sustainable operating practices and procedures.
Most recently, Bridgestone Arena administrators conducted two audits—one reviewing energy usage and one examining water consumption—that will be used to determine methods for making the arena more sustainable. The scope of work was consistent with a Level II audit as described by ASHRAE guidelines.
“The focus of the audits was to determine what can be done to bring our building up to today’s energy-efficient standards,” says Terry McConnell, senior director of operations for the arena. “As a municipal building, we have a responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.”
Ongoing review of the audit results, which became available earlier this year, has pointed to several ways Bridgestone Arena might move forward in its sustainability goals.
Regarding energy, planned improvements to the lighting system will utilize daylight-harvesting next to glass curtain walls. “This process would enable us to make better use of daylight throughout the facility,” McConnell says. Inefficient T-12 bulbs will be replaced with energy-saving T-8s. Bi-level lighting controls and energy-efficient lamps—in the place of metal-halide sources—will be implemented along concourses will further reduce energy consumption.
On the mechanical side, upgrades to the HVAC control system will have the greatest impact. Enthalpy-based economizer controls are planned for all air-conditioning units while occupancy-based controls, night setbacks and variable frequency drives on unit fans will be utilized.
The goals of the water audit were to assess the arena’s current water use and cost and identify any potential water-saving improvements that could be made. Installation of more efficient water aerators will figure prominently in Bridgestone’s sustainability efforts. Water flow will be reduced from 2.5 to 1.5 gallons per minute for sink faucets. Similarly, low-flow toilets will replace the current 3.5 gallons used per flush to a more efficient 1.28 gallons. Looking toward the future, Bridgestone Arena has plans underway for a rainwater-harvesting system which would offset all water used for toilets and urinals.
These and other enhancements are set to begin later this year. “We believe it is a great initiative that is definitely moving us in the right direction,” McConnell says. “It enables us to be ecologically responsible tenants of this building and, at the same time, to remain at the forefront of the sports and entertainment industry.”
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