World’s First Net-Zero Stadium to Host World Athletic Events


Brazil National StadiumEvery two years, or every four years, depending on how you look at it, the world gets together to watch world-class athletes compete in the Olympic Games or the World Cup. In 2014, Brazil will be hosting the World Cup, and then, just two years later, the 2016 Olympic Games.

The next few years are going to be extraordinary, and not just because of the games and tourist traffic, but because of the very special stadium remodel taking place in the capital. The stadium, previously named Estádio Mané Garrincha Stadium, is getting entirely overhauled, but not only to clean up the area, but to clean up the environment.

The remodel, designed by Castro Mello Architects [CMA], is getting a new name, the Estádio Nacional de Brasília, but that’s just the beginning. By the time the remodel is finished this year, it will have achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design [LEED] Platinum certification, and become the world’s first net-zero stadium. CMA designed a number of elements into the remodel to make this possible.

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To encourage clean transportation, there are 3,500 bike parking spots, of those, 1,000 VIP spots inside the stadium. Ian KcKee, CMA’s green building and sustainability manager, says he doesn’t know of any other stadiums with this much bike parking inside.

“They’re considered unsafe and more of a lower to middle income person activity [in Brazil],” McKee continues, so safety and accessibility are a concern addressed by the new design, which reduces the pitch of seating areas and improves the sight lines so that everyone has a clear view of the action.

Probably the most impressive feature of the remodel is the new roof. Composed of translucent solar panels connected to smart metering systems, the new roof will allow the panels to supply power to grid as well as to the stadium, depending on usage.

The new roof’s photocatalytic membrane captures airborne pollutants, as well as rainwater, to be processed and recycled for the landscaping. Additionally, materials from the old stadium will be used in the remodel. Overall, the new stadium is expected to have a net-zero impact on the environment and on the power grid.

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