Medlar Field at Lubrano Park in State College, Pennsylvania isn’t just the first LEED Certified ballpark in the world – it’s the only one (to date). Known as “The Med”, the new ballpark raises the bar in “green” sports facility design in several areas: water conservation, waste management, and recycled materials. Acoustics By Design first learned of the ballpark’s achievement while attending the MAPPA conference at the Monona Terrace Convention Center designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Madison, Wisconsin. MAPPA is a four-day conference focusing on higher education planning and development. As an acoustical consulting and audio-visual design firm, we attend and sponsor MAPPA to make connections with existing and potential clients in the university world, and to get the inside scoop on what’s happening with the most cutting edge design practices.
The Med caught our attention because of the unique set of circumstances leading to its conception. First, the park shares its space with a minor league baseball team, the State College Spikes. By sharing the facility, the college (Penn State) was able to secure additional funding from the minor league team, enabling them to provide a professional baseball experience to college and minor league fans. Another feat was the park’s water conservation and waste management, achieved by installing waterless urinals and diverting 76% of the construction waste for recycling. And to take recycling to the max, the park reused rocks and dirt from the original excavation to fill in the infield. According to the project manager, the green features did not add additional costs to the project. In cases where the prices were higher for green products, the long term savings were greater, so it became a win-win-win situation for the university, the minor league team, and the environment.
Congrats to architects, L. Robert Kimball and Associates from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and to builder, Barton Manlow from Southfield, Michigan, for designing and constructing this landmark sports facility.
As consultants, ABD is helping to pave the way toward greener, more sustainable facilities around the globe, and we applaud our friends for designing such a sustainable facility. ABD is proud to be the acoustical consultants for the new Grand Rapids Art Museum (the world’s first LEED Certified Art Museum) and Keystone Church (the world’s first LEED Certified Church). Check out our online portfolio to see some of the other LEED projects we’ve helped design.