The HKS-designed Salt River Fields at Talking Stick recently achieved LEED Gold Certification for New Construction from the United States Green Building Council (USGBC). The spring training facility, which opened in February 2011, is the first LEED Gold-certified sports venue of its kind in the United States.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, the 140-acre spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies is also the first spring training facility built on Native American land. Owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the complex consists of separate training facilities and clubhouses accommodating each team as well as an 11,000-seat central stadium which features a uniquely designed roof structure that offers fans in the cross aisle plenty of shade.
Working with the community, D-backs and Rockies, HKS Sports & Entertainment Group designed a facility that serves as a symbol within the community, promoting and encouraging environmental stewardship. The site provides a never-before-realized opportunity for a Major League Baseball spring training facility to embrace the unique beauty of the Sonoran Desert ecosystem - allowing it to be the most green and innovative spring training facility in the nation.
Sustainable project elements include siting to provide maximum shade, with terracotta shade screens providing further shading, and uprooting and replanting more than 85 mature trees and cacti, and planting an additional 2,400 native trees, provides shade and habitat.
Local/regional materials were used, including harvesting the majority of the venue’s exterior skin from Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community soil with 40% of the building materials were derived from local suppliers/vendors. Native planting, passive water harvesting and an onsite retention pond were also included.
Displacement ventilation saves energy by supplying conditioned air in the occupied space range. Operable windows, maximising occupant lighting and thermal control achieve a 23.5% energy savings. Only 1/3 of the venue’s parking lots use asphalt, with the remaining 2/3 overflow lots grass-covered, allowing them to double as community playing fields when not in use. Salt River Fields was also recently named 2011 Ballpark of the Year by Ballparks.com.