Story posted July 27, 2009
The Sidney J. Watson Arena, dedicated January 18, 2009, has become the first newly constructed ice arena in the United States to earn coveted LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).
The USGBC certified the ice arena's LEED status July 16, 2009. Two residence halls, Osher and West, were granted LEED Silver certification in 2006.
"Sustainable design and construction have become a core philosophy at Bowdoin," said Director of Capital Projects Don Borkowski.
"Attaining LEED certification on any project is certainly notable. To be the first new hockey arena in the country to achieve certification on a complex project such as Watson Arena is something everyone at the College can be proud of. It's a great achievement."
LEED is a voluntary, consensus-based rating system for high-performance sustainable buildings that provides a measurable standard for building owners and occupants.
"It seems counterintuitive that an ice arena, a huge building that ordinarily would use so much energy, could be LEED-certified," said S. Catherine Longley, who, as senior vice president for finance and administration and treasurer, oversees the College's many sustainability efforts.
"But when we discovered it was possible, we knew it was the environmentally responsible thing to do. The building's mechanical, refrigeration and dehumidification systems were all chosen with energy optimization in mind. As a result, Watson Arena uses 17 percent less energy than a comparable facility would, reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as operating costs."
The USGBC awards points in six environmental categories: sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality, and innovation and design.
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"The green building movement offers an unprecedented opportunity to respond to the most important challenges of
our time, including global climate change, dependence on
non-sustainable and expensive sources of energy, and
threats to human health," said Rick Fedrizzi, USGBC
president, CEO and founding chair.
"The work of innovative building projects such as the Sidney
J. Watson Arena is a fundamental driving force in the green building movement."
Earning LEED Certification
Sustainable features and practices for which Watson Arena earned LEED credits include:
The $20 million arena features a 90-ft. by 200-ft. ice surface and seating for 1,900 spectators.
In addition to Bowdoin's men's and women's hockey teams, the arena is also used by nearly 600 skaters from the community, comprising hockey leagues and skating groups that serve everyone from so-called "pee-wees" to senior citizens.
About Sid Watson
The arena is named in honor of Sid Watson, who guided the Bowdoin hockey program to extraordinary heights during his career behind the bench.
Watson was an inaugural member of Bowdoin's Athletic Hall of Honor in 2002 and was awarded the Hobey Baker Legend of Hockey Award by the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in 2001.
He was also inducted into the Andover Hall of Fame, the Northeastern University Hall of Fame and the Maine Sports Hall of Fame.
He passed away in April 2004 at the age of 71. Watson lived in Brunswick, Maine, and Naples, Fla., with his wife, Henrietta. His son Christopher is a member of the Class of 1988.