This afternoon, Alex Martins, president of the Orlando Magic, joined Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer to celebrate the Amway Center’s designation as a “LEED Green” facility – one that has developed methods to improve the local environment. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and these facilities are given a gold certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.
“These buildings are making changes all over the world,” said U.S. Green Building Council President, CEO & Founding Chair Rick Fedrizzi. “This is a leadership opportunity that teaches people about what is possible.”
LEED designations are a nationally-accepted benchmark for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of green buildings. LEED ratings are based on a point system that measures the impact each facility has on the environment and those who use the building.
The Amway Center’s green designation came about from environmentally-friendly efforts like having storage for 25 bicycles on the site, setting aside 5 percent of the parking for fuel efficient cars, and collecting rainwater on the roof in a 5,000 gallon cistern below the ground, with the rainwater used for irrigation on the site.
“This Amway Center was built with every Central Florida citizen in mind,” Martins said. “We may even have an opportunity to exceed our goals.”
The attempt to be green friendly extended to the planting of three sustainable gardens on the property, built by the Boys and Girls Club of Parramore.
Martins called it a collaborative effort to make the Amway a leader in the green movement.
“We worked to create to enduring legacy for the city of Orlando,” he said. “We will continue adopting green habits to sustain the natural resources that we all hope to enjoy for yea.s to come. The Amway Center will always be a place of great civic pride.”
Dyer agreed, saying “This is an exciting day.” The mayor added that the Amway Center has helped put the City Beautiful on the map as an environmentally-sensitive urban center.
“We believe we are one of the most environmentally sustainable cities in the country,” he said. “We will be a leader and an example in that regard.”
Dyer said the Amway Center was designed to be innovative, and as a result, “Now we’ve achieved gold certification.”
Part of that, he noted, includes Orlando’s decision in 2007 to become the only city in Florida to sign on to Project Get Ready, giving local residents the first chance to test electric hybrid vehicles. As part of the auto manufacturer’s agreement, 4,600 chargers will be deployed in nine cities, and they must be made publicly accessible. The Amway Center has chargers for electric, battery-operated vehicles.
“Orlando is one of nine cities in the U.S. to take part in the Charge Point America program for electric vehicles, which can be charged at the Amway Center,” Dyer said.
Dan Kirby, the commissioner of the Orlando Utilities Commission, said the decision to bring so many green ideas to the Amway Center was part of a collaboration between the city, OUC and the Orlando Magic.
“There are a lot of smaller efforts that went into this larger effort,” he said. “The Amway Center is a symbol of civic pride and an example of how a lot of smaller efforts can lead to a larger one.”
For example, he noted that the Amway Center saves more than 1.3 million gallons of water through the use of low-flow fixtures and faucets, and utilizes OUC’s chilled water to provide efficient air conditioning.
“The Amway Center is 2 ½ times larger than the building it replaced, and yet it uses less water,” Kirby said. “OUC has also played a part by building a districtwide chilled water plant right across the street. When it comes to sustainability, we are in fact doing our part.”
Fedrizzi said the Amway Center met 39 points toward its gold certification, an impressive achievement.
“This is tremendous leadership,” he said.
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