Colgate’s Class of 1965 Arena has earned LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, thanks to sustainable building methods and systems.

Since opening the LEED Gold Trudy Fitness Center in 2011, Colgate has committed to green building practices for all new construction and major renovations, with a minimum goal of LEED Silver certification.

“You’ve got to start day one and make the commitment that you’re going for this certification,” said Stephen Hughes, associate vice president of facilities and capital projects.

The U.S. Green Building Council certifies buildings at four levels: certification, silver, gold, and platinum. Enhancements to the Class of 1965 Arena that helped garner the gold distinction include an expected 20-percent reduction of water usage, specialized climate controls, and the use of recycled and locally-sourced building materials.

“The Arena benefits from number of thoughtful sustainable strategies. Resources are keenly valued, balancing optimized energy performance and reduced water consumption with an emphasis on recycled and local materials. The Arena’s smart, central location connects readily with the surrounding athletic facilities, academic campus, and existing transportation networks. The team also designed for the full life cycle of the building, using measures to improve indoor air quality and occupant comfort for every day of use. These actions demonstrate an ongoing dedication to the health and wellbeing of all student athletes, coaches and staff, and spectators,” said Sasaki Project Architect Kyle Richard

The heart of the rink is its ice, which is produced by 10 Ice Kube units — each using approximately 20lbs of 410A freon, rather than the more energy intensive and Ozone depleting  7,000lbs of R22 freon in Starr Rink. “This is more efficient,” said Robert Thomas, millwright and lead mechanic on the system. “The ice is only used for games and practices, so it stages down to whatever it needs.” The chemicals in the system are nontoxic; it doesn’t require special building modifications to ensure environmental safety, and if one of the 10 units leak, it can be shut down while the other nine pick up the slack.

Beyond the ice, indoor air quality was also a high priority during design and construction. The university relied on paints, adhesives, and other building materials that have no or low off-gassing.

“Receiving LEED Gold certification is a significant achievement indicative of Colgate’s competency and dedication to green building practices,” said Director of Sustainability John Pumilio.

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