Levi’s Stadium—Commissioning the First LEED Gold NFL Stadium

Tetra Tech’s High Performance Buildings Group conducted the LEED and enhanced commissioning for this 1.85 million square-foot facility.


  • Size: 1.85 million square feet
  • Construction Cost: $1.18 billion
  • Client/Owner: Santa Clara Stadium Authority
  • Architect: Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff California Architects, P.C.
  • Contractor: Turner Construction & Devcon Construction
  • Completion Date: 2014

Home to the San Francisco 49ers, and the world’s premier outdoor sports and entertainment events, the new Levi’s Stadium in the Silicon Valley opened its gates to fans in 2014. Supporting the owner and design team’s sustainability goals, Levi’s Stadium is currently the largest facility certified by the U.S. Green Building Council and the first National Football League (NFL) stadium certified LEED Gold for new construction in the United States. Environmentally friendly, technologically equipped, and beautifully designed, this popular site sought to exceed all expectations for a sports facility.

To reach energy efficiency goals, Tetra Tech’s commissioning team monitored energy use and continuously tuned the systems. We also developed a comprehensive measurement and verification plan to help building operators monitor the energy use and realize the continuous benefit of lower energy use for the lifetime of the facility.

With a project this size, the systems’ components were considerable, consisting of a condenser water system with four cooling towers, heat exchangers, and associated pumps. More than 45 air handlers, 100 exhaust fans, 80 water source heat pumps, and more than 450 variable volume boxes were installed. Low-flow plumbing fixtures with reclaimed water system serviced the 27,000-square-foot green roof irrigation system. The domestic water system is composed of two boilers, two 4,000-gallon storage tanks, booster pumps, water softening system, and numerous electric instantaneous water heaters.

Energy-efficient lighting systems have a lighting controls system, a daylight harvesting controls system, and an occupancy sensor controls system—all contributing to energy savings. Other features such as a carbon monoxide detection system, sewage ejector pumps, and an all-encompassing building automation system make this stadium the model for all stadiums that aspire to be sustainable.

Image courtesy of Matthew Roth