When it comes to green living and being environmentally conscious, your average sporting arena falls at the very bottom of that list. Stadiums and athletic centers tend to be large, open venues with enormous energy demands for lighting, climate control, multimedia needs, and more. These buildings typically epitomize the antithesis of being earth-friendly, but if you look a little deeper, green is trending even in the world of athletic center construction.
So, as you get ready to enjoy the Big Game this Sunday, let’s take some time to appreciate efforts to bring green designs to sports stadiums.
While I’m a diehard Steelers Fan, I have a genuine soft spot for the Philadelphia Eagles given their efforts to make Lincoln Financial Field more environmentally friendly. They boast a wide variety of recycling and waste reduction efforts, including saving almost a third of game-day waste from headed to the landfill. They compost, on average, 25 tons of waste per year and convert kitchen oil and grease to biodiesel. The stadium also receives an enormous amount of its power (3 MW of peak power!) from ithe 11,000 solar panels and 14 wind turbines the facility has onsite!
Located in the nation’s capital of Brasilia, the newly constructed National Stadium of Brazil seizes the opportunity to reduce its functional resource use. Incorporating a solar-panel energy system around the perimeter of its roof that can generate a peak energy output of 2.5 million megawatts of energy. If you aren’t fluent in electricity lingo, 1 megawatt can power over 300 homes for an hour, so 25 million megawatts are capable of making a huge dent in the energy budget of this stadium. It also has a system to capture and reuse rainwater for irrigation. One thing is for sure, this stadium is helping to set trends for future green stadium design.
The new home of New York’s two storied professional football teams, the New York Giants and the New York Jets, was built with green in mind. While actually larger than its predecessor, it’s actually 30% more energy efficient due to a number of energy saving efforts, including composing their waste, installing solar panels, and expanding all recycling efforts to include the parking lots and not just the stadium. Just imagine doubling the size of YOUR home while making it even more efficient than your last! In addition, construction of the new stadium utilized many recycled materials, and much of the old stadium was recycled after demolition.
The National Stadium of Taiwan also takes advantage of its large footprint to help generate its own power. This enormous, question-mark-shaped sporting arena boasts 8,844 solar panels that generate 1.14 MW of peak power! To put that in perspective, when the stadium is not in use, it can provide enough energy to fully power 80% of its surrounding neighborhood. If that weren’t enough, all raw materials used in this stadium are 100% recyclable.
The key highlight of this stadium, in my opinion, is the fusion of energy efficiency, energy generation, and design. This building incorporates traditional Asian themes and design practices, while maintaining an eco-forward vision, providing another model for green planning with an eye for aesthetics and tradition.
What do you look for when you attend sporting events in your area? Are green concepts and sustainable materials important? Share with us in the comments!