The United States Green Building Council, Washington, recently announced State Farm Arena, home of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks Basketball Club, has received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification. Council President Mahesh Ramanujam presented Atlanta Hawks and State Farm Arena CEO Steve Koonin with the designation plaque during the Greenbuild Atlanta Cultivation event.

The LEED is one of the most widely recognized green certification programs specializing in building design, construction, operations and maintenance.

“It is an honor to accept this certification on behalf of State Farm Arena and all of the amazing partners who helped us achieve this great honor,” says Koonin. “As we looked at reimagining the new State Farm Arena into a world-class venue, creating a responsible, sustainable building for our employees, fans and community was of the utmost importance in that vision.”

According to the US Green Buildings Council, buildings can earn four levels of LEED certification: Certified (40–49 points), Silver (50–59 points), Gold (60–79 points) and Platinum (80 points and above). State Farm Arena received the Gold designation, which is the second highest of four classifications of green buildings.

Several highlights that led to State Farm Arena’s LEED Gold certification include:

  • partnering with Rubicon to recycle 12,500 seats in 2018
  • becoming an entirely smoke-free campus
  • upgrading lighting fixtures to LED fixtures, resulting in a 41 percent lighting power reduction
  • replacing plumbing fixtures more efficient fixtures, resulting in savings of more than 540,000 gallons of potable water per year
  • adopting green housekeeping practices to protect the health of the arena’s staff and fans
  • diverting more than 900 tons of waste from landfill, including multiple items that were salvaged from the existing facility and sent to Atlanta’s Lifecycle Building Center to be resold