New Net-Zero Ice Arena

COLORADO SPRINGS — Recently, Colorado College has been raising money to build a new hockey arena on campus.

Honnen, the current arena, was built in 1936. “It’s certainly not a green building,” said Linda Alexander, the director of Honnen. CC has been doing their best to work with what they have, updating lights, putting on a green roof, and installing a new ceiling among other things. However, all of this isn’t enough to make the building sustainable said Alexander.

The president created a master plan early in her terms here. It “realized that Honnen was coming to the end of its useful life, both in terms of the facility but also the energy efficiency,” said Jill Tiefenthaler, president of Colorado College said in an interview for a documentary about the new arena.

“The problem with so many hockey arenas is that they can be energy hogs with the cost of the ice and the cost of all the support services that surround that,” said Greg Capell. All but 20% of an ice arena’s energy use is from heating, refrigeration, and other ice making related systems (like Zambonis and water purifying machinery) according to the Business Energy Advisor website.

CC is attempting to solve this problem with its new arena.

“We’re hoping to build the first net-zero hockey arena in the country,” says Tiefenthaler. This would mean that the arena produces at least as much renewable energy as it uses.

“We found it didn’t add a ton to the cost and it saved us a lot of money going forward and also met our environmental and sustainability goals.”

Tiefenthaler will know this October or November whether the state has given the school enough to make a competition arena, or whether it will only be a practice arena she said, but “it’s definite that we’re building a new ice arena and replacing Honnen.” 

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