Each year, April 22nd marks Earth Day; a day dedicated towards raising environmental awareness and increasing efforts towards greater sustainability practices. As Chase Center nears its final stages of construction, contractors of the privately-funded project have consciously devoted their efforts towards the sustainable business practices and procedures used to develop the 18,000-seat arena and retail spaces that will open in San Francisco’s Mission Bay neighborhood this fall.
Contractors for the building have maintained an eco-conscious approach throughout the design, construction, and operation of the project. Chase Center’s innovative process maximizes visitor experience while also utilizing the least amount of resources as possible; and remains on track to achieve LEED Gold certification, a nationally accepted benchmark for the development and operation of green buildings, from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
Since its inception, Chase Center’s sophisticated design concentrates on reducing environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices. The 18,000-seat arena is constructed with regionally-sourced materials that contain recycled content, thus reducing the use of virgin materials. Chase Center’s sustainability savviness is magnified by the venue’s reduction of interior finishes that contain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) — chemicals that decrease indoor air quality. In the new facility, interior finishes such as adhesives, sealants, paints, and coatings are being installed meet stringent requirements for low VOC content.
Additionally, in order to reflect greater sunlight and prevent heat absorption, Chase Center will be draped in a light colored roofing material with a high solar reflectance index (SRI), creating an eco-friendly heat island effect.
According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), San Francisco is leading in waste diversion rates by setting national recycling and compost rate records as one of the highest of any city in North America. Chase Center parallels similar principles, encouraging waste diversion and proper waste disposal by placing recycling and composting bins in dedicated areas throughout the building to urge visitors to recycle paper, cardboard, glass, plastics, and metals.
Waste diversion solutions, including on-site water collection and reuse, have extended to the development space around the plaza as well. In order to reduce portable water use, Chase Center will be fully-equipped with efficient flush and flow fixtures throughout the building. Moreover, the site is designed to recover graywater from lavatories and showers as well as harvest stormwater from the roof. The water is then treated on-site before returning for use in restroom flush fixtures.
As a project on this scale, energy efficiency was of the upmost importance; with Chase Center being served by Indirect-Direct Evaporative Cooling (IDEC) air handling units which make use of the climate in the Bay Area to reduce the need for mechanical cooling. The design integrates highly-efficient lighting with lighting controls throughout the project, including in suites, lounges and office spaces to generate the desired user experience. Green Power will be a central source of energy for the project, where wind driven sources are reported to offset 70% of the facility’s electrical use for two years.
Following the construction of Chase Center, the entire site will also embrace sustainable operation practices; including offering alternative transportation options for visitors. In order to reduce auto emissions and pollution caused personal vehicle usage, the site will provide a network of public transportation options and preferred on-site parking spaces for carpools, low-emitting vehicles and electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Plus, the Chase Center site will offer a variety of bicycle storage spaces, including an indoor bike valet for up to 300 bicycles and a corral for over 100 additional bikes during events.
Additional public transit solutions will be added to the campus including bus stops, shuttles, and an extension of the Muni that will connect to both BART and Caltrain.
The development of Chase Center and its surroundings has shown that scale does not have to sacrifice sustainability, as the Golden State Warriors organization is committed to protecting the Earth for future generations by continuing mindful business practices and procedures that contribute to a clean, healthy environment.