Football Performance Center

Exterior View of Football Performance Center

Project Overview

LEED Certification: LEED Gold                       
Completion:  August 2014
Architect: Perkins + Will
Project Manager: Joseph Balzano

Project Purpose

In 2012 the UMass Football team began a new era, as a full member of the Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and a member of the Mid-American Conference. As part of that new era the University realized that some facility upgrades would be necessary. The previous single-story Stadium Facilities Building was long-outdated and well under-sized to support the re-vamped football program and the requirements for both home and visiting teams on game days.  When completed, the new $34M, 55,000 sq. ft. facility will consolidate the team geographically; improving team members’ schedule efficiency and making the facility more sustainable.

In an effort to remedy the previous facility’s inefficiencies, the new Football Center integrates all the team’s needs, providing a new press box, locker rooms, strength & conditioning areas, coaches’ offices, team meeting rooms, equipment storage, and laundry facilities. With all of these functions under one roof, the new center provides athletes a state-of-the-art home to hone their athletic and academic performance.

Located at the North end of the existing Stadium, with a South-facing terrace over-looking the field, the Center is a prominent landmark that will draw the attention of visitors. In addition to serving the current UMass team and affiliated persons, it will also serve as an important recruiting tool for the coaching staff as they seek to build the FBS UMass Football Program for competition at the highest national level.

Accessibility was a priority for the project. For those with physical disabilities, including injured players, it is fully equipped with elevator services and wheel-chair accessible restrooms.

Sustainable Design Features

 LEED Certification: The FPC is registered as a LEED v3 BD+C project and is currently tracking Gold certification. This exceeds the minimum required LEED Silver by the ACUPCC and LEED Plus standard set forth by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Site Development: The building sits adjacent to the existing McGuirk Stadium and within walking distance of a variety of retail establishments, services, student housing, and several bus lines, making it an ideal location for sustainable development.

Water Management: Surface run-off is mitigated by landscape grading that directs storm water into vegetated areas. Native plant species have been re-introduced in some of the previously paved areas, and light-colored paving materials were specified wherever feasible to reduce the Heat Island Effect.
The newly re-landscaped areas have no irrigation, relying on available rainfall. Water consumption inside the building is kept to a minimum with dual-flush toilets, and low-flow urinals and showerheads.

Energy Reduction: Reduced overall energy use is a top priority at UMA. The FPC relies solely on purchased electricity and natural gas for the building’s systems, because of its far-removed distance from the University’s CHP Plant. Geo-exchange was investigated, but ultimately ruled out because of its significantly greater demand for funds from the project’s capital budget. Basic energy conservation measures included a high performance building enclosure with a 30% glass to 70% solid wall ratio, high-efficiency boilers, and a cutting edge high-efficiency Magnetic Levitation-Bearing Chiller. The air-cooler reduces cooling energy use by up to 30%. It is an air-cooled system, eliminating the need for water or a cooling tower, and is essentially frictionless without the use of oil, reducing heat generation and oil-associated costs and maintenance. Modeled energy reduction for the building is 25% greater than the LEED V3 baseline. The project will continue to be metered to measure actual energy use to help UMA understand how the building is performing and make adjustments to improve performance.

Materials: The building is comprised of almost 30% recycled content, 10-20% sourced regionally, and more than 50% Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Wood. During construction, 95% generated waste was recycled.

Indoor Environmental Air Quality: The entire UMA Campus became non-smoking as of July 1, 2013, demonstrating the University’s commitment to improved indoor air quality (IAQ). In addition, construction indoor air quality is being managed and low-VOC materials have been specified and installed. Improved IAQ will be maintained during occupancy by the implementation of the Green Cleaning Program, which minimizes the use of toxic products.