A Big Green Stadium (Renovation) For The 2012 World Cup

We’ve brought you a few big green stadiums in connection with the London Olympics, and a few from the NFL as well. But while the Olympic frenzy only comes once every four years, the World Cup is an annual event — and as far as the world at large, football is soccer. Shouldn’t the global show-down of the world’s sport boast its own green home?

Inhabit reports that design firm of Fernandes Arquitetos Associados recently unveiled its design for the 2014 World Cup Final Stage in Rio De Jeneiro, Brazil, (which, incidentally, will serve in the 2016 Summer Olympics as well). Combining green strategies with building reuse, this innovative design keeps the historic Estádio do Maracanã intact, preserving its functionality while adding new portions that will help the stadium more energy efficient (and more comfortable for sports fans as well). The Estádio do Maracanã was originally named for the Mario Filho, a noted sportswriter, who founded of what what is considered the first journal devoted entirely to Brazilian sports.

World Cup, Rio

image via Fernandes Arquitetos Associados

Chief among these new additions is the stadium’s new roof. This light-gauge, structured roof will serve in multiple capacities: first, it will create a space for new video screens and lights to be mounted (without impacting the existing stadium’s facade, thanks to its low profile). Second, this white, reflective roof will provide some much-needed shade for those attending the hot daytime games in Rio. Third, it will allow diffuse sunlight to enter the stadium, helping to cut down on the amount of electricity used in lighting.

In the course of this general redesign, the grandstands in the stadium will be moved closer to the field, putting spectators in closer proximity to the action — a move we imagine is being applauded by sports fans everywhere. The stadium will also see the addition of new lounges, cabins, athletic areas, and dressing rooms. Flexible spaces are part of the mix, as the stadium is being redesigned to accommodate more events and more traffic in the years to come. The plan is to reopen the facility next year to host the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup — then, of course, the 2014 World Cup, the 2016 Summer Olympics, and then the 2016 Summer Paralympics.

World Cup, Rio

image via Fernandes Arquitetos Associados

Both the designers and Rio are to be applauded here, not just for the green touches involved with this renovation, but for the degree to which it retains the integrity of the original building, which may, in fact, be its greenest aspect. According to a recent report from Preservation Green Lab of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the green benefits of reusing old buildings outstrip those of building new ones in almost every case.

The organization’s recent report, entitled The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse, found that new green buildings can take between 10 and 80 years to overcome the negative energy and climate change impacts caused during their construction via increased  energy savings (figuring the new building at an average of 30 percent more efficient than the old one). Of course, old buildings also tend to be inefficient, so energy efficient renovations such as this constitute an ideal solution.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

Be first to comment