Bentley University Multipurpose Arena
Waltham, Mass.
Award of Merit

Owner: Bentley University
Lead Design Firm: ARC/Architectural Resources Cambridge Inc.
General Contractor: Suffolk
Civil Engineer: Samiotes Consultants Inc.
Structural Engineer: McNamara-Salvia
MEP Engineer: RFS/Rist-Frost-Shumway Engineering P.C.
LEED Consultant: Thornton Tomasetti
Subcontractors: American Refrigerator Co. (Ice Sheet Contractor); Varco Pruden (Pre-Engineered Building Contractor)

This 76,000-sq-ft arena—the nation’s first stand-alone ice arena to achieve LEED Platinum—was built in 18 months despite a building permit delay and a zoning variance requirement triggered by the building’s height and setback. Although this added two months to the schedule, the team was able to accelerate construction of the $45-million project to make up lost time and complete it on schedule.

Building the arena beside a pond was also challenging since the city required that surrounding wetlands be protected throughout construction, the team says. This blocked access to the pond side of the site for delivery of lifts, material and equipment. In an unusual approach, the team constructed the arena as a pre-engineered building to save money and achieve optimal site preparation.

Among its sustainable features, the arena includes a 504-kW rooftop solar array developed by Rivermoor Energy that will generate 40% of the building’s annual electricity needs and technology that captures heat generated from the rink’s ice-making equipment.

Due to the building’s orientation and design, the team says it questioned whether the Zamboni would encounter any obstacles along the hallway it would have to navigate to get to the ice rink. In an innovative use of virtual design and construction (VDC), the team created a 3D model of the Zamboni and drove it virtually through a 3D model of the building to remove any obstacles prior to construction.