Tulane stays green, reduces carbon footprint with Yulman Stadium

Jordan Figueredo, Print Sports Editor Mackenna Barker

Tulane Athletics is no exception to the green movement gaining momentum across the nation.

Yulman Stadium became the eighth and newest university building to receive Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification by the U.S. Green Building Council Aug. 13.

Tulane has met a core list of LEED standards, ranging from design and construction to operation and maintenance. Every step of the process in the LEED certification must be documented, with water and electricity data sharing for five years after the certification.

“LEED is a list of about 60 things that we can do to reduce the environmental impact and to make the building more healthy and comfortable for the people who are occupants,” Director of Environmental Affairs Elizabeth Davey said. “Our approach to LEED has been very practical, emphasizing energy efficiency, water conservation and indoor air quality. Then we [take] other actions on the list that make sense for the project.”

Completing more tasks on the LEED list leads to higher certification levels. Yulman Stadium is currently at silver accreditation, receiving up to 59 points from the criteria.

Throughout the stadium, every garbage can is paired with a matching recycling bin. In addition, there are water efficient restrooms, which reduces water usage by 39 percent.

“A lot of the building materials were made in our region and have a high recycled content. For LEED, this is tracked by the amount spent on regional materials and recycled materials,” Davy said. “Of the total cost of materials, 48 percent was spent on materials produced in our region and 39 percent was spent on materials made from recycled content.”

Yulman Stadium also has an environmentally friendly field without losing any of the quality of its athletic facility. Yulman has the same field as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, with the one remarkable difference being what is underneath. 

At Yulman, there is gravel below the field, not concrete. The benefit of gravel rather than concrete is that water is able to drain through the gravel into a “rainstore system,” which is an underground rainwater storage system located under the practice field next to the stadium.

“When we have heavy rains, the rainstore system holds the water instead of sending it straight into the storm drains and city pumping system,” Davey said. 

Tulane Athletics continues to create environmentally friendly buildings due to sufficient funds, as well as a desire to produce a greener image and give local industry workers an opportunity to work with LEED.

“It’s not about getting recognized but doing the right thing,” Executive Associate Athletic Director Brandon Macneill said.

Yulman Stadium will be presented with its silver certification plaque in the upcoming weeks. 

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