Philanthro-Pitts: Brad Pitt and Family Donate $600K to Help Arena Meet Gold Standard for Green

The new arena at Springfield, Missouri's Drury University will be a little greener thanks to an influx of green (money, that is) from the town's well-known Pitt family, which includes local businessman Doug Pitt and his brother Brad Pitt, of Brangelina fame.

Together with their sister, Julie, and mother, Jane, the Pitt boys have donated $600,000 to the O'Reilly Family Event Center, the new arena under construction at Drury University. According to the Springfield News-Leader, the money "will go toward upgrading the building's environmental friendliness." Specifically, the Pitts' donation will be used to help the arena earn Gold Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) certification, the second-highest ranking available from the U.S. Green Building Council.

LEED-certified buildings have lower operating costs, produce less waste and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and water, and are just plain healthier and safer for occupants, employees, and visitors -- not to mention the environment. LEED rankings are based on point scores assessed by the Green Building Certification Institute in areas such as energy and water efficiency, indoor environment quality, and use of recyclable or sustainable materials and resources. Originally designed to meet the requirements for Silver LEED certification, the arena will now be able to afford low-flow water fixtures and a solar-reflective roof, among other elements, which should earn it enough additional points to meet the Gold standard, making it the first Gold-LEED-certified arena in the country.

In return for the Pitts' generosity, the O'Reilly Family Event Center's 3,100-seat playing area will be called The William A. Pitt Court, after the boys' father.

Once again proving that his heart is even bigger than his bank account, Brad Pitt has managed to help his hometown, save the environment, and honor his father with a single (albeit sizeable) donation.

Kudos to Brad and the rest of the Pitt family for turning their green into LEED Gold, which will in turn make Springfield a little greener.

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