LEE COUNTY, FL – A forward-thinking collaboration between Lee County and the Boston Red Sox is expected to save Lee County more than $100,000 each year — or more than $3 million over the life of the Red Sox lease agreement – through the sustainable design of JetBlue Park at Fenway South, the team’s new 106-acre Spring Training and Player Development Complex that opened earlier this year.
On Oct. 1, JetBlue Park was LEED® Certified. Established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nation’s preeminent program for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings.
The certification came as a result of decisions made early in the design process of the facility by the long-standing public-private partnership between Lee County and the Boston Red Sox to demonstrate leadership, innovation, environmental stewardship, social responsibility and a focus on reducing operating costs.
“Together with the Red Sox and an extensive project team, achieving LEED certification of JetBlue Park allows us to reduce operating costs, lower environmental impacts, educate visitors about the benefits of sustainable design, and remind the world that Lee County is a great place to be,” said Lee County Sustainability Manager Tessa LeSage. “It’s a win-win.”
Energy and water use played a key role in achieving LEED certification. JetBlue Park was designed to reduce life-cycle costs by reducing energy use by approximately 26 percent of that of a traditionally designed stadium. It is estimated this will save more than $83,000 in annual operating costs. With an estimated reduction in water use of approximately 1.7 million gallons per year compared to a similar traditionally designed building, Lee County expects to save nearly $18,000 annually in water/sewer costs. TLC Engineering for Architecture provided the engineering design, energy modeling and LEED support for the mechanical and electrical systems.
The Red Sox have also identified innovative ways to promote alternative transportation to the park. Plans to increase bicycling to the games include creating additional bicycle storage and allowing fans who ride their
bikes to park for free. JetBlue Park has 68 parking spaces in permanent bike racks and has additional temporary parking for bicycles during Spring Training.
“As we worked with Lee County on the creation of JetBlue Park at Fenway South, we knew environmental sustainability would be an important component of its design and construction,” said Boston Red Sox EVP/Business Affairs Jonathan Gilula. “The decision to enhance the environmental attributes of the complex is one born out of a sense of civic responsibility and professional duty. As so many are doing in Florida, New England and around the world, we will continue to look for effective ways to protect the environment in a cost-competitive way.”
Parker/Mudgett/Smith Architects of Fort Myers, associate architects for the project, graciously donated the necessary LEED administrative and professional architectural services from March 2009 through September 2012. The firm also designed Lee County's Six Mile Cypress Preserve Interpretive Center, which is LEED Silver certified.
The architecture firm Populous from Kansas City led the design team for JetBlue Park. Manhattan Construction of Florida provided construction management services to carry out the high-efficient design. The company oversaw daily control of specialized materials and recycling of construction debris, providing necessary documentation for LEED certification.
According to the U.S. Green Building Council, LEED certification of JetBlue Park was based on a number of green design and construction features that positively impact the project itself and the broader community. These features include:
• Preservation of 20 acres of contiguous natural habitat
• Grass parking with a secondary use as soccer fields
• White shade canopy and white metal roofs to reflect sunlight and cool the building to reduce energy use
• Water efficient landscaping using Florida native and adaptive plants and permanent drip irrigation
• Low-flow control aerator faucets and low-flow flush toilets and urinals
• Recycling containers and Fenway South’s Green Team to collect recyclable materials that don’t make it to the containers
• Tinted windows to reduce sunlight intensity, saving energy use
• Low-emitting materials, including low Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) interior paints and cabinetry that contains no added urea-formaldehyde resins
• Commitment to green cleaning methods and materials
• Plenty of bicycle parking at no charge
• Green education program, including signage and tours
• 81% of construction waste (2,515 tons) was recycled and diverted from landfills
JetBlue Park held its grand opening celebration Feb. 25, 2012. A 2009 Lee County Spring Training Study by Davidson-Peterson Associates shows that Spring Training visitors contributed more than $47 million to the Lee County economy that year alone. More than half of Spring Training visitors said Spring Training was the primary reason they first came to Lee County. The stadium will be used year-round for amateur sports and non-sporting events, realizing additional benefits for the community.
For more information on the U.S. Green Building Council, visit www.usgbc.org.