Reducing energy consumption is also critical to lowering carbon emissions. With energy costs rising in many parts of the world, reducing energy consumption also makes financial sense.
A sustainable stadium should be designed with a compact, simple, high-performance thermal envelope. One simple step that designers can take to reduce energy usage is to ensure that all heated spaces are grouped together. Having orientated the stadium correctly, its facades should also be designed to ensure that unwanted solar gain and heat loss is avoided.
All of the fittings used within the stadium should be energy-efficient and installed correctly to maximise their performance. Fittings should be monitored and controlled to ensure that there is no wastage. Larger stadiums will have a building management system (BMS) to assist with this.
Sustainable stadiums are powered by using renewable energy rather than fossil fuels like gas. Common renewable energy sources are photovoltaic (PV) panels, geothermal, wind power, hydrothermal and solar thermal. Whenever available, stadiums should select a utility power supply retailer and contract which is based on renewable energy.
As much energy as possible should be generated on-site to reduce the stadium’s demand on the local energy network. Consideration should also be given as to how on-site renewable energy will be stored or used.
Stadium developers should consider investing in battery systems so that renewable energy can be stored on-site, ready for use during the short periods when the stadium is at its maximum capacity and demand is high. These same battery systems could provide power resiliency and back-up to critical systems at the stadium, instead of diesel or oil-burning back-up generators.
Some stadiums use old electric car batteries, which despite no longer having the capacity to drive cars, contain sufficient energy to power stadiums.
Stadiums are an unusual building type in that they only operate at full capacity on event days. This can be for a small number of days per year. For most of a stadium’s lifespan, only a fraction of its infrastructure capacity is used. By reducing the maximum peak load that the stadium uses, the infrastructure requirements can be reduced. Additionally, good use of this spare infrastructure capacity should be considered, for example, a project may offer electric vehicle-charging spaces within the stadium car park for the local community.