Located in the City of Kent, in Washington, the ShoWare Center is a 154,000-square-foot multipurpose arena that is home to the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team as well as a regional venue for sports, entertainment, concerts and trade shows. Designed by Seattle-based LMN, it was awarded LEED® Gold-NC (new construction) certification this week.
“It was exciting to be given the opportunity to help advance sustainable approaches in a new market sector” notes LMN Design Partner Mark Reddington. “Event centers in particular present a significant need for creative and ambitious water and energy efficiency measures as well as responsible environmental choices. In achieving LEED® Gold, we have created a model of high performance sustainable design for other spectator sports and events facilities to emulate.”
Sustainable design features that contributed to the LEED® Gold certification include:
• A variety of water-efficient features, including dual-flush toilets and low-flow fixtures, that will lead to an estimated 40 percent savings in water usage.
• Energy smart lighting, heating and cooling systems, including the ice-making equipment, which is predicted to reduce energy use by 37 percent over the national standards.
• A rainwater collection system that uses water obtained from the roof to replenish the existing wetlands adjacent to the center’s site. The parking area is constructed over a layer of gravel, which will help hold stormwater runoff and provide controlled release of rainwater back into the drainage system.
The ShoWare Center was completed in just 27 months. The design team addressed budget challenges by using simple materials in unconventional ways to make an interactive space that respected the city’s budget. Features like a giant sloping, stainless steel soffit is angled to provide a mirror of the activity and excitement of a busy plaza and events space to patrons approaching the facility and community passersby.
Painted “energy lines” on the ground, highlighted by LED lights at night, lead event-goers toward the venue’s main entrance. Oversized hockey-puck-shaped structures serve as benches and meeting places, representing the center as the home of Seattle’s hockey team. Inside, super-sized graphics, including jumbo section numbers and extra-large “people” symbols at restrooms, become playful elements of the design.
Differentiating the ShoWare Center from other “black box” event centers is the indoor exposure to natural light. The first-floor concourse level is surrounded by a glass façade that provides light to the public spaces within as well as makes the indoor goings-on visible to passersby outside. A portion of the upper club level is also bordered by large windows, with operable shutters made from airplane hangar doors; the light from these windows can travel all the way into the bowl of the arena.
Project partners included PBK as Associate Architect; Magnusson-Klemencic Associates, Structural & Civil Design; Wood/Harbinger, Mechanical Design; Sparling, Electrical Design; and Mortenson Construction, General Contractor.