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Fit for a King

Golden1 Center  Exterior  Custom  Railing

Arena is first indoor sports venue to earn LEED Platinum

The Sacramento Kings have a new castle in Sacramento, Calif., to play basketball in. The new Golden 1 Center is the nation's only indoor arena to claim LEED Platinum certification. Hosting concerts, conventions and other sporting and entertainment events, it can accommodate 17,500 spectators for NBA games and is expandable to 19,000. It's the first NBA arena to be completely solar powered, making it one of the greenest of its kind in the country. Metal helped this highest-tech stadium score.

The arena's architect, AECOM, Los Angeles, studied the flow of people and activity through downtown, analyzed microclimates, engaged with the community to understand the city's passions and ambitions, and took inspiration from the region's granite geology. Five massive aircraft-hangar doors, from Schweiss Doors, Hector, Minn., above the grand entrance open and allow the arena to use a natural cooling phenomenon in Sacramento, the Delta Breeze, to control the building's climate efficiently. A public plaza with water-saving gardens welcomes the community year-round.

According to the arena's structural engineer, Thornton Tomasetti Inc., New York City, the 780,000-square-foot arena features high roof trusses that measure 394 feet by 342 feet, including two primary queen-post box trusses that have a total truss depth of 55 feet at mid-span. A repetitive, bent ladder-type framing system was used for the façade. Because the floors of the arena are set back from the façade, the ladders are supported from a ring beam bracketed outside the building columns at the loft level and clear-span to the roof.

The arena's façade of silvery-white aluminum panels from Kovach Building Enclosures, Chandler, Ariz., draws on the Sierra Nevada mountains, particularly Yosemite's Half Dome, for inspiration. The panels jut in and out to give the building a sense of movement. The general contractor was New York City-based Turner Construction Co.

The façade's aluminum panels are embossed with thousands of leaf designs. The leaves merge to form billowing oak canopies on the building's face. The façade's installation of metal and glass panels onto a ladder-like framework proved to be a challenge technically because it involved connecting materials that have different expansion and contraction rates. Crews made minute on-site adjustments of the framework using lasers before welding the panels into place.

Nearly 3 miles of sturdy, decorative railing snake throughout the arena. Crafted by Minneapolis-based SC Railing Co., a half-dozen styles of railing composed of mainly recyclable aluminum and glass can be found at the north bridges, grand stairs, players practice facility, concourse areas, and the upper and lower bowls, suites and lofts. Several custom specialty railings accommodate the modern design of the arena and ensure safety of the guests. A rooftop solar array, installed by Solar Power Inc. (now SPI Energy Co.), Roseville, Calif., at a cost of $2.5 million, generates up to 1.2 megawatts, augmented by a 11 megawatt solar field in nearby Rancho Seco, operated by the Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Installing solar power is part of the Sacramento Kings ownership's goal to have its new sports and entertainment center be efficient and use renewable energy.

Nearly all of the construction materials from the former Downtown Plaza were recycled when an existing mall was demolished, and more than a third of the materials used to build the arena were from recycled sources. "We worked with the Kings to design Golden 1 Center for the fans, city and planet," says Bill Hanway, AECOM's global sports leader. "Our architects, sports designers, sustainability experts, engineers, urban planners and landscape architects worked together from the beginning to shape an indoor-outdoor arena that is revitalizing downtown Sacramento and setting a new global standard for sustainability."


Sidebar: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, Calif.

Owner: Sacramento Kings Basketball Holdings
Architect: AECOM, Los Angeles,
General contractor: Turner Construction Co., New York City,
Structural engineer: Thornton Tomasetti Inc., New York City,
Hangar doors: Schweiss Doors, Hector, Minn.,
Metal wall panels: Kovach Building Enclosures, Chandler, Ariz.,
Metal railings: SC Railing Co., Minneapolis,
Photovoltaics: SPI Energy Co., Roseville, Calif.,