Climate Pledge Arena

Sustainable Headliner: First net-zero carbon certified arena in the world

“Our goal is to be the most progressive, responsible, and sustainable venue in the world. It is not just about one arena – it’s a platform for us to step up and heal our planet.”
Tim Leiweke, CEO of Oak View Group

The former KeyArena underwent an extensive renovation to become the 800,000-sf Climate Pledge Arena. The historic 1962 World’s Fair landmark now accommodates seating for 17,100 to 18,100 visitors with a deeper subterranean level and a larger building footprint. The building owners pursued the acclaimed Living Building Challenge certification so the facility can be the first certified net zero carbon arena in the world.

DCI Engineers was the civil engineer of record for the $1B renovation project. The civil team designed three separate on-site detention vaults (35,841 cubic ft/268,110 gallons of storage) and retrofitted an existing Seattle Center detention tank (10,400 cubic ft/78,000 gallons of storage) to handle storm drainage. They also assisted third-party vendors and the architects with the design of the “Rain-to-Rink” rainwater harvest system by advising where to position the 15,000 gallon cistern, vertical and horizontal equipment, and how to integrate details of the existing in-line storm water management system.

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Seattle, Washington
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Square Feet:
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Government & Municipal, Sports

Project Highlights

  • The ice rink is created from the “Rain-to-Rink” rainwater harvest system.
  • The historic roof, which resembles the Coastal Salish rain hat, was preserved.
  • The venue includes an underground tunnel that connects to a new parking garage.

Awards and Certifications

  • 2022 NAIOP Night of the Stars, Winner of the Judges’ Award: Best in Class Development
  • Registered for International Living Future Institute certification
  • 2022 ENR Northwest Best Regional Projects, Excellence in Sustainability Award & Best Sports/Entertainment
  • 2022 Sports Business Awards, Sports Facility of the Year
  • MONDO DR Awards 2022, Sustainability
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Damon A. Smith

Principal, Portland


The most gratifying part of our profession is the sense of accomplishment when a construction project is completed and put to good use by the intended users. Since I was a kid, I have enjoyed building everything from model airplanes to tree houses. That same feeling of accomplishment is present in every project I design today.”

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