Friday, July 15, 2016

Brooklyn's Barclays Center catches my sustainability attention

On my way to a bookstore today, I passed by the Barclays Center, home of the Brooklyn Nets.  Two things stood out that I wanted to share.

First, the second I caught sight of Barclays Center on Atlantic Ave., my eyes were met with an awe-inspiring, architecturally-beautiful structure topped with a green roof.  (The style brought me back to last year's Worlds Fair in Milan, as it resembled many of the National Pavilions.)

An immediate google search told me the roof was retrofitted and green roof-- part of the original building plans -- installed in 2015.  Motivation for the addition/follow-through were muffling sound and beautification of the area.  

Green roofs have additional benefits that the Barclays Center (and the environment) will enjoy.  
  • They are a big-hitter for green infrastructure. Green roofs capture rain water and decrease stormwater runoff.  This alleviates pressure from sewer systems and keeps pollutants out of waterways.
  • They act as a natural form of insulation for the building below, which decreases the amount of energy needed to moderate indoor temperature.
  • They help to reduce heat island effect in dense city centers. 
  • They improve air quality because plants can capture and filter airborne pollutants.
  • They are a visible and public display of innovation, leadership, and a sustainable commitment.

Second, the Atlantic Ave./Barclays Center station truly is a public transportation hub for the city.  A representative from the arena boasted this fact at a past Green Sports Alliance Summit, but it really is incredible to see.  And, after being in Brooklyn for the past six weeks, I have a revised understanding of how great this is. 

In NYC, a city where transport by subway is second nature to most people, having to transfer transit lines in order to reach your final destination still significantly decreases the convenience of a metro system.

Imagine you've just witnessed an amazing win and celebrated accordingly. If you had to take two or more trains to get home, I'm willing to bet the chances you opt for a cab increase significantly.  With so many different lines that service Barclays Center, more fans have convenient, public, low-environmental-impact transportation options available to them.  

Now, I didn't have time to look around, but I'd like to know if there is any signage about the green roof and its benefits located around the building.  This is a great, low maintenance public education opportunity and I'll have to go back to investigate.