With the 2010 hockey season is underway, the 2008 Stanley Cup Champions Pittsburgh Penguins are adjusting to their new arena, the Consol Energy Center. Designed by Kansas City, Mo.-based architecture firm Populous and Pittsburgh-based architectural firm Astorino, the facility is the first National Hockey League LEED Gold-certified venue. It is Populous' fifth project to achieve certification.

Keeping the venue open was a key design consideration. To meet that end, a serpentine curtainwall comprises the entire downtown-facing west side, allowing daylight to penetrate the building. The curtainwall and several sunshades were painted champagne gold to complement the team’s black and gold colors. The center’s concourses are open to the stadium itself so the estimated 700,000 visitors per year can leave their seats without missing the action.

The 735,000-square-foot center will host hockey games, basketball games, concerts, and other events. Of the 42 LEED points awarded to the center, nine were for indoor environmental quality, seven for materials and resources, five for innovation in design, and four for water efficiency. It also received high marks for water use reduction, recycled materials, regional materials, demolition and construction waste diversion, certified wood, and energy efficiency. More than 93 percent of the demolition and construction waste was diverted from landfill, and more than 31 percent of the total building material value was recycled materials and regional materials.

The construction team included a joint venture between construction managers PJ Dick and Hunt Construction, as well as project management firm ICON and glazing contractors from D-M Products Inc. and Universal Glass.