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Sanford Coyote Sports Complex


Sustainable Buildings –Sanford Coyote Sports Center

The Sanford Coyote Sports Center is home to USD Athletics Administration, Men’s & Women’s Basketball, Volleyball, Strength & Conditioning, Athletic Training, and the departments of Kinesiology & Sports Science (KSS), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT).


Design and Construction

USD and Architecture Incorporated advocated green building initiatives and followed strategies outlined by LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) to design and construct a state-of-the-art building that operates more efficiently, conserving energy and water and creating a healthy place for athletes, students, faculty, staff and spectators. In meeting the “Green Building” criteria they also used local suppliers to cut down on fuel emissions from truckers, reused recycled concrete from the old parking lot, and dealt with waste disposal in an environmentally friendly manner.

USD is seeking LEED Silver certification of the Sanford Coyote Sports Center through the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED for New Construction version 2009 program. The LEED-NC program is a voluntary standard that defines high-performance green buildings that are healthier, more environmentally responsible, and less costly to operate.

The LEED standards provide a rating system to benchmark a building's design and construction across six categories:


Sustainable Sites

Measures were taken during construction to reduce the building's impact on the immediate environment. In order to prevent loss of soil during construction by stormwater runoff and wind erosion, the design team developed and the construction team implemented a Site Sediment and Erosion Control Plan that protected topsoil by stockpiling for reuse and prevented erosion with silt fencing, inlet protection and vehicle tracking control measures.

In an effort to reduce pollution from automobile use and promote alternative means of transportation, the Sanford Coyote Sports Center will provide preferred parking for low-emitting and fuel-efficient vehicles.


Water Efficiency

Design decisions were made to minimize the use of water resources. USD is committed to maximizing water efficiency within buildings to reduce the burden on municipal water supply and wastewater systems. By using low flow plumbing fixtures, the Sanford Coyote Sports Center uses 20% less water than baseline fixture performance requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 1992.


Energy & Atmosphere

During design and construction of the Sanford Coyote Sports Center, USD worked with a third-party commissioning authority to provide fundamental and enhanced commissioning ensuring that building systems were designed, installed and calibrated to operate as intended.

Whole Building Energy Simulation was performed on the building design and shows a 28.3% energy cost savings relative to the ANSI/ASHRAE/IESNA Standard 90.1-2007 baseline building.

The Sanford Coyote Sports Center HVAC&R systems use no CFC-based refrigerants. Elimination of CFCs in building equipment helps reduce ozone depletion and the negative effects of UV-B radiation on people.


Materials & Resources

The Sanford Coyote Sports Center has a dedicated area for recycling waste generated in the building and accommodates paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals.

During construction, this project used materials with recycled content, including the structural steel, reinforcing bars, and aluminum. Over 20% of the total value of the materials and products used for this project were manufactured regionally within a 500-mile radius.

Indoor Environmental Quality

USD established minimum indoor air quality (IAQ) performance goals for the project. Protecting indoor environments from contaminants such as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) is essential for maintaining a healthy space for building occupants. The University has implemented an aggressive Policy on Smoke-Free Zones that prohibits smoking in any building, within 25 feet of entrances, exits, and windows for any building, or at any other location where others would be required to walk through secondhand smoke to enter a building.

The project utilized low-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, coatings and flooring systems to reduce the quantity of indoor air contaminants that are odorous, irritating and/or harmful to the comfort and well-being of installers and building occupants.

Innovation in Design

USD is applying for recognition of innovative programs, including Green Cleaning custodial service that uses “green cleaning” products and equipment to reduce exposure to potentially hazardous chemicals and minimize the environmental impact on the surrounding ecosystem.

The Sanford Coyote Sports Center includes more than 184,000 square feet of space to serve student athletes, athletics administration, students, faculty, staff and spectators.

Competition Court & Spectator Seating

  • The competition court provides a venue for men’s & women’s basketball and volleyball
  • The seating bowl accommodates in excess of 6,000 spectators and includes restroom and concessions facilities around the concourse
  • An arena club provides catering, lounge and seating areas for club ticket holders


Athletics and Training Ancillary Spaces

  • Offices for athletics administration and basketball and volleyball coaching staff occur at the east side of the event level
  • In addition to the competition court, the building contains two regulation practice courts which serve the needs of basketball, volleyball and KSS
  • Lounge, locker and grooming spaces for men’s and women’s home and visiting teams are dispersed throughout the event level
  • A team film room central to home team locker rooms provides a space for analyzing game performance
  • An 8,000 square foot state-of-the-art weight room provides equipment for strength, resistance and cardio training
  • In addition to taping and therapy tables, the training room includes a hydro therapy space with polar and thermal plunge pools and a treadmill pool
  • The building takes advantage of its proximity and connection to the existing DakotaDome by providing a club space that overlooks the football field in the Dome


Education Wing

  •  Houses office, classroom and lab spaces for the departments of Kinesiology & Sports Science (KSS), Occupational Therapy (OT) and Physical Therapy (PT)
  • Sharing the same building as student athletes fosters interaction between KSS, OT and PT students and student athletes for hands on training and therapy care
  • An Activities of Daily Living suite simulates a home environment with a bedroom, bathroom, living and dining room where students can teach individuals with disabilities to live independently
  • This wing includes a progressive learning environment, shifting from traditional lecture-style teaching to collaborative learning through small groups
  • Students in basic health sciences will learn as they work together through problem solving with real-life human examples
  • The teaching style is patient-based and the most effective way to teach future health care providers


  • Technology includes wireless networking for staff, students and spectators
  • Audio and video recording capabilities are provided in learning spaces improve feedback students receive from faculty
  • Classrooms are wired to enable delivery of educational content online
  • Computers in classrooms and study spaces are fully loaded with essential specialty software
  • Security is state-of-the-art with key cards access for students, faculty and staff
  • Forty-nine security cameras are included throughout the building and monitored by the Department of Public Safety
  • Computers monitor the building's mechanical systems and generate an automatic alert if necessary