Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The AAA Goes Green

(Left to right): Rick Fedrizzi, President, CEO and Founding Chair, US Green Building Council; Eric Woolworth, president of The HEAT Group’s Business Operations and Mayor Manny Diaz. Photo: Jorge R. Perez/City of Miami.

Several years ago I called for the greening of Miami with the hope of creating an environmentally-friendly city, a model for others to follow. The Heat and the AmericanAirlines Arena have since answered that call. I was very pleased today to join Eric Woolworth—president of the Heat Group’s Business Operations— and Rick Fedrizzi—president, CEO and founding chair of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGNC)—in acknowledging the AmericanAirlines Arena’s accomplishment of receiving LEED Certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance by the USGBC. The AAA is one of two arenas in the U.S. to be the first to receive this prestigious certification.
Some of the “green” features in the AAA include water-efficient landscaping, walk-off carpets, green roofing materials and underground parking, all in accordance with the LEED Existing Buildings Rating System. This building now serves as a model for other arenas across the country.
We are also building the Miami Marlins Stadium, which will be the first LEED Silver Certified retractable-roof stadium and represents the first time Major League Baseball has partnered with a team to make a stadium green. This means we will be the 1st city in the country with 2 major “green” sports facilities.
When we called to the private sector to green their buildings, Miami led by example: Miami City hall is one of a handful of LEED EB registered buildings and is the first LEED EB registered building East of the Mississippi.
I know that we cannot achieve our goal of a greener Miami without the help of the private sector. It is my hope that Miami’s business community follows this lead.