LEED BD+C: New Construction v2 - LEED 2.2
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick
LEED Gold 2011
The Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian community challenged the design team to create a spring training home for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies that spoke the language of not only the land that is was to be constructed on, but also the Indian community responsible for its creation.
Salt River Fields at Talking Stick is not only the first Major League Baseball spring training facility to achieve LEED Gold certification, it is also the first of its kind to be built on Native American tribal land. The 140-acre project was fully funded by the Salt River Pima - Maricopa Indian Community and is home to both the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies spring training programs. Built on a site directly east of Scottsdale, Arizona, the stadium seats 7,000 spectators with an outfield berm that accommodates an additional 4,000. The complex also includes stadium suites, specialty concessions, team retail outlets, and clubhouses/training facilities for both teams.
At the project's inception, the Indian community only sought basic LEED certification as a symbol of their environmental awareness. But after extensive discussions about their already-existing environmental policies and sustainable goals, the project team determined it could achieve a higher certification with little additional effort. Great emphasis was placed on preserving the delicate desert ecosystem and reducing the environmental impact as much as possible. As a result, the site includes more than 85 mature trees and cacti that were preserved prior to construction and relocated throughout the new facility. An additional 2,400 native trees were also planted to provide shade for visitors, as well as a habitat for indigenous animal species.
Another unique feature of this site resulted from the challenge of accommodating a high number of visitors for only a small portion of the year. Providing surface parking was unavoidable, but the design team reduced the hardscape almost in half by replacing it with native grass fields. The majority of the year, these green spaces serve as playing fields for the community, doubling as overflow parking during the busy spring training season. This resulted in a substantial reduction in stormwater runoff and mitigated the heat island effect that is especially pervasive in this part of the country. To further address the hot desert climate, the monumental roof structures above the stadium were designed with the angles of the sun in mind to provide maximum relief from the southwestern sun, while framing views of the surrounding mountainside.
Located on Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian tribal land, the spring training facility was situated to be a symbol of the Indian community, as well as its neighbors in Scottsdale. Situated near Indian Bend Road and along the 101 Freeway, the complex is adjacent to a substantial retail area and suburban residential development. It was intentionally designed with four entrance points, each distinct but equal in importance to serve the Diamondbacks, the Rockies, the freeway traffic, and the neighboring community.