Green Sports Alliance tapped for Obama's building program

The LEED-certified Rose Garden arena was held up as an example of what's possible for energy efficiency in sports venues.

The LEED-certified Rose Garden arena was held up as an example of what's possible for energy efficiency in sports venues.

The Green Sports Alliance was chosen last week as one of 14 initial partners signing on to the Obama Administration's $500 million Better Buildings Challenge.

The Portland-based sustainability group represents 25 sports teams that between them play in over 20 million square feet of sports facilities. The Green Sports Alliance will lead a campaign to reduce energy use across the facilities by at least 20 percent by 2020.

In a press release from the U.S. Department of Energy, the Portland Trail Blazers, whose Rose Garden arena achieved LEED Gold status last year, were cited as an example to show how such an overall goal would be achievable.

The DOE kicked off the Better Buildings Challenge last week at the Clinton Global Initiative America meeting in Chicago. The meat of the challenge is that selected private sector and local government organizations will commit more than $500 million to improve the energy efficiency in some 300 million square feet of building space.

Similar to Oregon's Clean Energy Works and Cool School initiatives, the challenge's goals include creating jobs, reducing energy waste, saving money and reducing the need for foreign oil.

In addition to the Green Sports Alliance, a nonprofit that launched earlier this year with backing from the Trail Blazers and other sports teams, the challenge is working with four other groups, each representing a large number of buildings. They are:

  • Best Buy, with 55 million square feet of retail space in the U.S.
  • Actus Lend Lease, a Tennessee company with a portfolio of 40,000 military housing buildings.
  • Transwestern, a national real estate firm with 78 million square feet of managed properties.
  • USAA Real Estate Company, which has more than 50 million square feet in its portfolio.
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@SustainableBzOR | christinawilliams@bizjournals.com | 503.219.3438

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