INHABITAT: Is the new stadium part of a grander scheme on the part of the university to improve sustainability?
Chris Mundell: In 2008, UNT became the first large Texas university to sign the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). As a signatory of the ACUPCC, UNT is committed to develop a strategy to reach carbon neutrality by the year 2040. UNT has a commitment to push sustainability on all their projects and has achieved LEED Gold on many of them.
INHABITAT: How did the wind turbines come about? Was that part of the plan from the beginning?
Greg Whittemore: In the initial sustainability charrette we discussed the desire for on-site renewable energy. Our early drawings included turbines on the sports lighting poles, but throughout the design process we continued to search for the most economical solution with the highest efficiency. The three community-scale wind turbines manufactured by Northern were the answer we were looking for. Thanks to the grant provided by the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) the project was able to include them.
INHABITAT: How much of the stadium’s power do you expect the turbines to generate?
Chris Mundell: The three wind turbines produce 450,000 kWh annually, which is 1/3 of the stadium’s energy consumption.
INHABITAT: What is your team most proud of about this project?
Greg Whittemore: The collaborative process between the design team, the University, and the contractor is what I’m most proud of. By working together we were able to create a trailblazing design that is not only a great venue to watch a game, but includes ingrained sustainable features not normally found on a football stadium. This was all accomplished while maximizing revenue generating opportunities and adhering to a tight budget.
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