Power Play

We blog about projects, and we blog about sustainability.  And we really like to blog about projects which “buy in” to the idea that they can set examples for others.  And it’s icing on the cake if it involves games or sports, especially on Father’s Day!

This weekend we came across a story about – of all things – a new hockey rink – in Falmouth, Massachusetts, and its outstanding consideration of energy and sustainability in its design and in its planned operation.

The article comes from The Cape Cod Times.  Here is a link to the entire story, we encourage you to read it.

But what struck us was the way that just one or two people in this project made the difference.

To quote the article,

“The rink is equipped with a number of energy-saving features, including a waste heat recovery system, lighting that is free of chlorofluorocarbons and advanced insulation. Many of these features were researched and planned by Sia Karplus, director of research at Science Wares, a Falmouth architecture and engineering company.

Karplus said she had worked on planning highly energy-efficient homes in the past and volunteered to help make the rink as energy conscious as possible.

“In many ways it’s a refrigerator with the door open,” she said of traditional skating rinks and their inherent energy waste problems. She then asked, “What can you do to make the most energy-efficient rink ever?””


What we want you to notice is the way Sia took this on as a challenge – as we always imagine the best project managers do their work – as change agents and “get-r’done” types of contributors.

Some of the statistics for this ice rink:

  • Cost: $6 million
  • Square feet: 49,000
  • Panels: 3,302
  • Seats: approximately 700
  • Electricity produced: 900,000 kilowatt-hours/year
  • Energy use estimate compared to other similar rinks: 50%

The creators and sponsors of this project are justifiably proud.

You can visit their site and see photos of the construction and some of the very creative energy-saving ideas they implemented by clicking here.

And whether you are a hockey fan, an energy fan, or a project fan, we think you’d agree that although the energy savings may be icing on the cake, there’s no icing on this play!