The new $1.3 billion Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, California, home to the NFL’s San Francisco 49ers is a model of sustainability. It has a 27,000- square-foot green roof, an owners suites decked out in reclaimed wood, and farm-to-table concessions. But none of the green features is more crucial to its operations than its use of recycled water for the flushing and irrigation systems.
Up to 85 percent of all water use in the 68,500-seat stadium will be from recycled water. California Hydronics Corp. built the recycled-water pressure booster system using Xylem’s Bell & Gossett brand products. The system taps into the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s water recycling system and eliminates the stadium’s need to use freshwater to flush toilets and irrigate the playing field, green roof and other areas, which is of particular concern in drought-ridden California.
“A recycled-water pressure booster system ensures adequate water is available when everyone goes to the bathroom at one time, like halftime at a football game,” says Mark Handzel, vice president, product regulatory affairs, and director, HVAC commercial buildings, Bell & Gossett, a Xylem Brand.
Flushing all of the toilets at once
A “super flush” was conducted in April 2014 to make sure the system was fully operational before the stadium opened. During the test, hundreds of workers and volunteers simultaneously flushed every toilet and urinal and turned on every sink in the stadium for about 30 minutes.
“The B&G/CHC system solution handled it with flying colors,” says Handzel.
There are twice as many toilets in Levi’s® Stadium as there were in Candlestick Park, the 49ers’ former stadium, and the expectation is for significant water savings due to more efficient infrastructure. According to stadium water assessment estimates, 84 percent of all of the water used will be recycled water, which amounts to more than 42 million gallons a year.
Delivering a high-performance system
All of the Bell & Gossett products that went into the stadium are noted for their efficiency. Plumbing contractors ACCO and FW Spencer helped select Bell & Gossett centrifugal pumps and Goulds Water Technology e-SV multistage centrifugal pumps for the recycled-water pressure booster system.
“The system needed to be both innovative and high-performing,” said Kevin Coyne, vice president, FW Spencer. “Based on our successful history working with California Hydronics Corp, we knew the Bell & Gossett products would deliver on both fronts.”
A national leader in environmental design
The stadium received Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification, a first for a NFL stadium. “Every detail regarding environmental sustainability was addressed during planning and construction,” said California Hydronics Corp.’s Ken Carey. “This project is a bellwether for others to follow.”
The 49ers made their debut in Levi’s® Stadium during the NFL preseason in August 2014. The stadium is scheduled to host Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, 2016, to a crowd of more than 70,000 people.
Fact box: Selecting the right equipment
ACCO, the mechanical contractor for the project, procured a variety of Bell & Gossett products, including:
– Rolairtrol air separators
– Series 60 inline pumps
– 1510 end suction base mounted pumps
– VSX double suction pumps for the hydronic systems.
Xylem Bell & Gossett brazed plate and GPX gasketed plate and frame heat exchangers were also specified and supplied for the project, offering the highest level of thermal efficiency for the condenser water system since a majority of the air-conditioning equipment and food service coolers are water-cooled.