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LEED Gold Certification

Southwest University Park Receives LEED Gold Certification

Becomes First Minor League Park to Earn Gold Rating


EL PASO - February 16, 2015 - Southwest University Park has been awarded LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council, the first Minor League ballpark to earn this distinction.

LEED recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. LEED buildings save money and resources, have a positive impact on the environment and promote renewable, clean energy. Southwest University Park received 60 out of 110 available credits for LEED certification.

"We are proud to have worked with the entire design and construction team, and the City of El Paso, to earn LEED Gold," said Josh Hunt, managing partner of MountainStar Sports Group. "It puts Southwest University Park in a leadership role to encourage others to create an energy efficient and innovative environment and a sustainable future."

"We would like to congratulate the entire project team on achieving LEED Gold certification for Southwest University Park," said Joseph Riccillo, Chair of the USGBC Chihuahuan Desert Chapter. "LEED is truly a commitment by all project stakeholders to invest in the future and resiliency of our communities."

Riccillo continued, "Southwest University Park's LEED Gold certification demonstrates the dedication of its leadership to pave the way to a higher standard of building community in El Paso."

Chief Resilience Officer for the City of El Paso, Nicole Ferrini said, "This certification underscores the City of El Paso's commitment to comprehensively and meaningfully integrate sustainable building practices at the highest level. By integrating these practices in projects like Southwest University Park, the city is not only making El Paso a more appealing place to raise a family and locate a business, we are doing so in a manner that helps ensure the long-term sustainability of our community."

"From the very early stages of the design process, Populous collaborated with both MNK Architects and C.F. Jordan Construction / Hunt Construction to ensure that the design and construction of Southwest University Park was as sustainable as possible. We set out to positively impact the team and city's bottom line and to design a building on a sustainable site within the city's urban core," said Mike Sabatini, Principal at Populous and lead designer for the project. "In turn, Southwest University Park isn't just one of the best experiences in Minor League Baseball, it's also the most sustainable."

Some of the design elements included:

  • A sustainable site
  • Located in a high density area (Downtown El Paso)
  • Utilized existing parking spaces supporting the city's efforts for reducing pollution
  • Proximity to public transportation
  • 60 bike storage spaces have been placed in close proximity to the ballpark
  • Designed to reduce water usage by 30% and energy use by 28%
  • Approximately 95% of the construction waste was diverted from landfills
  • The MNK/Populous design team ensured materials were made of certified wood, low-emitting, made of recycled content and manufactured locally


* LEED-NC (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for New Construction) is a rating system that was designed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) to guide and distinguish newly constructed, high performance buildings that have less of an impact on the environment, are healthier for those who use the building and are more efficient to operate than their conventional counterparts.