Contractor Spotlight – McKinstry Relies on Solar PV for CenturyLink Field

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Seattle's CenturyLink Field was the first mechanical design-build stadium in the nation. Over a five-year period, McKinstry designed, budgeted, studied, compared, investigated and constructed this state-of-the-art stadium featuring 72,000 seats, 118 suites, 10,000 Premium Club seats, two Club Lounges that stretch almost the entire length of the football field, a Club Restaurant/Bar, 46 food concession stands, 2 cutting edge scoreboards, 400 television monitors, and an underground turf heating system for optimum year round growing conditions. Delivering the pre-fab materials and equipment on time and when needed was key to a successful installation.On the strength of their longstanding relationship, the company turned to McKinstry once again to help it address problems arising from the aging infrastructure of CenturyLink Field and a desire to further engage the 12th man’s pride in the franchise as promoters of sustainability. One of their most frustrating challenges was changing their showcase lighting colors on top of the arena for special occasions. The former process involved labor-intensive manual changes. Toimprove this, our Energy group implemented a system of LED floodlights with the ability to change desired colors through a computer system.

At the same time, McKinstry introduced them to a solar system that would yield improved energy performance. First & Goal contracted McKinstry to design and install a ballasted solar photovoltaic system.

The innovative design of the solar panels allows sunlight to be captured 360-degrees from both direct and indirect lighting sources. Over 3,700 panels were installed over a new Firestone GAF roof membrane and supplemented with (2) Power One Aurora PV Inverters.
McKinstry coordinated with Seattle City Light on First & Goal’s behalf to put a plan in place for their metering requirements, which are monitored and reported by our Knowledge Response Center.

The KRC provided dashboard visualizations and weekly and monthly summary reporting that First & Goal could broadcast to fans at the stadium. McKinstry also provided predictive and proactive alarming and notification alerts that go off if PV panels do not perform correctly.
McKinstry partnered with the Seattle Local 46 Joint Apprenticeship Training Counsel (JATC) in training for “Green Jobs” associated with this project. The JATC directly places currently out-of-work, skilled union trades people back to work. The project utilized 30% apprenticeship labor.
First & Goal provided a kiosk in the stadium to further engage the 12th man and promote environmental stewardship. Through the powerED program, McKinstry helped them with educational literature for this purpose.

Project Partners:
Owner – First & Goal/Vulcan
NW Developer – Vulcan NW
Architect – Ellerbe Becket General Contractor – Turner Construction

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