I’ve had an extremely difficult time locating information about the sustainable design features out at Citi Field- the Mets’ new $600 million ballpark that’s rapidly rising in a former parking lot beyond the centerfield fence out at Shea- but in an article that was posted at green-links earlier this week, Lew Blaustein set forth the most comprehensive overview of the project’s green design elements that’s been written about to date.
While Citi Field will not seek LEED certification, architects HOK Sport and the Hunt/Bovis joint venture that’s building the stadium are attempting to comply with LEED “where possible,” according to Blaustein, who reports that green features include waterless urinals, building performance monitoring through “enhanced metering,” construction debris conservation and recycling, green cleaning products, and energy-efficient lighting. In terms of mass transit, the ballpark is adjacent to the 7 train and a Long Island Rail Road station, and the Mets will offer bus parking and implement a car pool program for fans. The club also plans to train its staff in how to operate and maintain a sustainable building in advance of the ballpark’s inaugural Opening Day in 2009.
Still, I’m a bit curious as to why the Mets aren’t pursuing a LEED rating. Go ahead and put “green ballpark Nationals” (which is pursuing LEED) and “green ballpark Mets” into Google and see what results turn up. I spent a substantial amount of time trying to find information on Citi Field’s green design elements and turned up nothing outside of Mr. Blaustein’s piece. Even New York Construction, which profiled the project at #4 on its Top Projects Started list back in June, made no mention of the project team’s aim to at least comply with LEED standards. While I think that a comparison of the press that Citi Field and the new Nationals park in D.C. have received thus far demonstrates perfectly one of LEED’s major strengths- the brand that the rating system has created and the marketing opportunities it offers owners- I do believe that the Mets have missed a major opportunity here by not registering the project with USGBC.