The decision to build the new 68,500-seat Levi’s ® Stadium, a venue owned by the Santa Clara Stadium Authority, was never about simply constructing a new home for its city’s beloved football team, the San Francisco 49ers. It was intended to be the first of its kind in sustainability: the first stadium in the United States to receive LEED Gold certification as new construction. In order for the stadium to obtain LEED Gold, the project had to pursue not only the prerequisite commissioning credit, but also the enhanced commissioning and Measurement & Verification credits. Glumac provided these services and helped achieve the goal of the most sustainable stadium to date.
Sustainability was a defining feature of this project, and was incorporated in to everything from the field to the roof. HNTB Architects designed the state-of-the-art stadium and a joint venture between Turner Construction and Devcon Construction (TDJV) built it. The stadium has several features that set it apart from other entertainment/sports venue, including electric vehicle charging stations, photovoltaic panels atop pedestrian bridges and suite tower, a first-in-the-league vegetative green roof, and an extensive dual-plumbed recycled water system design to serve the green roof, playing field, cooling towers, and all restroom toilet/urinal fixtures.
The enormity of this 1.85 million sqft project was striking. The project had 45 air handler units (AHU’s) and rooftop units with 12 unique sequences of operations resulting in the writing of 12 different functional acceptance tests. In addition to the AHU’s, there were 80 water-source heat pumps and more than 450 variable-air volume boxes. A hot water system, consisting of five 3,000 MBH boilers, serves the stadium, while a 2,450 ton central cooling tower plant provided the cooling. Additional commissioned equipment included more than 100 exhaust fans ranging from electrical & toilet exhaust fans to smoke and CO exhaust fans, a dehumidification unit for the hydrotherapy room, a triplex water softener skid and domestic/recycled water booster pumps.
With an aggressive construction schedule and stadium grand opening date fast approaching, Glumac worked efficiently with the general contractor, sub-contractors, and air and water balancers to outline a commissioning schedule that would allow certain areas to be commissioned and turned over earlier. To ensure coordination and quick resolution to commissioning-related issues, regular weekly meetings started a full year before project completion in order to facilitate the successful execution of the project. The stadium operations team participated early in the development, and was a key part of the commissioning process. They were active participants in the startup and commissioning of all equipment, participating in all commissioning meetings, and providing valuable input that ensured commissioning could continue to progress forward.
On July 21, 2014, Levi’s ® Stadium achieved its goal of LEED Gold certification. But, the stadium continues to go beyond. As part of the ongoing sustainability effort they have incorporated an interactive educational learning exhibit into a 20,000sqft 49ers Museum Presented by Sony for fans to experience. The 49ers Museum Presented by Sony also offers educational programs to teach students in local area schools the importance of sustainable practices. There is a commitment to maintain energy efficiency, promote sustainability, and be a “first-class celebration of the 49ers past, present and future.”
For further information on the commissioning for your next LEED project, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.