The word gold will feature prominently in this blog post.
The Golden State Warriors are fashioning one of the golden eras of NBA history, having been to the last three NBA Finals, winning championships in 2015 and 2017. And while the Houston Rockets — and perhaps others — look like they will be a worthy challenger, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and the rest of the “Dubs” are favored to bring home championship gold to Oracle Arena in Oakland this June.
Gold will also be an operative word when the club moves to San Francisco and the new Chase Center for the 2019-20 season — as in the LEED Gold certification the arena is expected to attain. GreenSportsBlog spoke with Peter Bryan, VP Construction and Development for the new Warriors arena, and Molly Hayes, LEED certification project manager for Mortenson︱Clark, to get a better sense of how, from the Warriors/Chase Center perspective, green is golden.
GreenSportsBlog: Managing the construction for the new arena for the Golden State Warriors, an organization that demands the best from top to bottom, is a big job. Congratulations! How did you get here?
Peter Bryan: Thanks, Lew. I worked for 19 years at Clark Construction, starting in 1997 in Bethesda, MD, working up to running all of the company’s pre-construction in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Clark built the MCI Center (now the Capital One Arena) in DC, home of the NBA’s Wizards and NHL’s Capitals, while I was there, although I didn’t work on that project. I moved to Clark’s Bay Area office in 2004.
There, I was involved with pre-construction for my first sports venues — Galen Center, home of USC Trojans basketball, and the renovation of the press boxes at the Rose Bowl. Then I was involved in Clark’s bid on the new Warriors Arena at Piers 30-32. We came in second but kept in touch. When the site moved to Mission Bay, Piers 29-32, a new RFP was issued and we won it. I handled pre-construction.
Then the Warriors replaced the person heading construction on the project. I had a good rapport with Steve Collins, Chase Center’s Chief Operating Officer who was overseeing the project for the Warriors. I approached him about coming to the club to run construction; one thing led to another and I signed on in May 2016.
GSB: You have a championship-level responsibility for sure. Talk to us about where sustainability fits in…
Peter: Absolutely. Sustainability has been embedded in the project since its inception. Prior to my joining the project, sustainability consultants — as well as mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineers — Smith Seckman Reid developed a LEED scorecard and the sustainability plan in June 2013, held sustainability workshops with my predecessors two months later, and infused the project team with lofty sustainability goals and aspirations, as well as with a “what’s possible” point of view.
GSB: What are Chase Center’s key sustainability features and benefits resulting from those lofty aspirations?
Peter: Well we went into it with a broad definition of sustainability. Let’s start with the Mission Bay site, purchased from Salesforce.com. Located in a redevelopment zone that was once a bay, it is in a reclaimed brownfield area. Since before I came on board, mass transit and alternate transit have been a big priority. There will be a bike valet with 300 spaces…
GSB: …Wow…that’s the biggest bike valet I’ve heard of at an arena.
Peter: …Then once I joined the team, we put a big priority on water efficiency. The arena will feature a top quality water re-use program and other water use reduction measures.
GSB: That makes a lot of sense for any new stadium or arena but especially one in California during the era of the five-year drought…
Peter: Without a doubt. In addition to our water re-use program to reduce potable water use, we will have a very robust building management and HVAC system that will result in significant energy and water conservation. The HVAC system features IDEC or indirect evaporation and cooling air handling units. There are no high water usage, high energy use chillers involved in Chase Center. Instead the system is condenser-based, which is much more efficient given our local climate.
Savings will also come from a gray water recovery system. We’ll recover the storm water off the arena roof, store it in the parking garage, treat it and put into a storage tank. From there, we’ll use it for irrigation, the toilets and urinals.
GSB: In light of the mega five-year California drought, these water conservation measures could not be more timely or important. You mentioned mass transit before. Tell us more.
Peter: We have a lot going on mass transit-wise. There is the extension of the MUNI platform next to our plaza, which will feature the 18,000 seat Chase Center and two, 11 story office buildings (580,000 square feet of office space). That extension will handle more cars, allowing more people to get out faster. The MUNI connects to BART and also CalTrain commuter trains a mile away. Multiple bus lines will service the arena, with added buses on game days. And there will be shuttles from different points of the city.
GSB: Do you have a projection of the percentage of fans that will use alternative and/or mass transit?
Peter: The project’s environmental impact report estimates that fans arriving in cars will range from 52-59 percent…And some portion of those vehicles will be EVs. The on-site parking structure will have 29 EV charging stations
GSB: …So 41-48 percent using mass or alternative transit and 29 EV charging stations? Impressive. Now let’s turn to waste. Will there be on-site composting?
Peter: No, we won’t compost on-site — we don’t have the space like they do over at AT&T Park…
GSB: …Home of the San Francisco Giants…
Peter: But we will have a three-stream waste system: recycling, compost and landfill. The organics will be sent offsite for composting. The challenge is how do we get our guests to put their food waste in the right receptacles.
Molly Hayes: Yeah, the Warriors consulted with the Sacramento Kings’ Golden One Center and the team leading the renovation of Madison Square Garden regarding waste diversion and one thing that’s unique about San Francisco is that 100 percent of waste streams must be sorted correctly.
GSB: That seems like an impossible standard to meet…
Molly: …San Francisco has strict standards that we will have to meet.
Peter: We’re actively talking with the San Francisco Department of Environment to get to the best result.
GSB: What about on-site renewables and energy storage?
Peter: We talked a lot, and conducted several studies about, the feasibility of solar and wind at the site. Our conclusion was that the surface area was insufficient and that we didn’t want to do it just for show. Now, we are working the utility PG&E to deliver electricity from clean sources.
Energy storage is not in the mix right now — we did look at it for backup emergency storage, but due to the facility type, regulatory approval from a fire and life-safety standpoint, and additional onsite space allocation needs it was not a viable option. A bioswale^ at the perimeter of the roof was considered but we decided against it, in part because of the drought. That said, a significant portion of our food —managed by Bon Apetit Management, a division of Levy — will be sourced locally,
GSB: Very impressive, really. Now, I understand that Chase Center will be seeking LEED Gold certification but not Platinum. Reasons?
Peter: I think it comes down to lack of on-site renewables. But we are very happy to go for the Gold. Our first submission to the USGBC is this spring.
GSB: Good luck…
Peter: We’re excited about being able to operate a LEED Gold arena and office campus and for our opening in Fall 2019.
^ Bioswales are landscape elements designed to concentrate or remove debris and pollution out of surface runoff water. They consist of a swaled drainage course with gently sloped sides (less than 6%) and filled with vegetation, compost