When the Estádio Nacional de Brasília, a stadium in the middle of Brazil’s capital, is finished, it should reach LEED Platinum certification and become the first net-zero-energy stadium in the world.

The stadium will feature solar panels and a photocatalytic membrane on the roof that captures and breaks down air pollution as it falls, removing it from the atmosphere.

There will be 3,500 bike parking spots in total, including VIP bicycle parking for 1,000 bikes inside the stadium.

Stadiums use a lot of water. This one features a rainwater collection and recycling system for landscaping use, and low-flow water fixtures inside the stadium.

The stadium seats 70,000 fans.

The stadium is expected to cost more than $400 million to complete.

2012-10-24

Co.Exist

The First Net-Zero-Energy Stadium Will Be In The Next World Cup

In 2014, the world’s best soccer players will be playing in a solar-powered, pollution-eating arena.

Brazil is about to do double-duty hosting international sporting events—first, the 2014 World Cup and then the 2016 Olympics. That means some serious sports center remodeling is in order. The Estádio Nacional de Brasília, a stadium in the middle of Brazil’s capital (Brasília), is getting the most impressive upgrade, at least in our eyes. When it’s finished, the stadium should reach LEED Platinum certification and become the first net-zero-energy stadium in the world.

The stadium, designed by Castro Mello Architects using Autodesk software, will be the second-largest World Cup stadium in the 2014 games. The remodel (the stadium was formerly known as Estádio Mané Garrincha Stadium) will bring seating capacity up to just over 70,000 seats.

That LEED Platinum status will be achieved through a number of design elements:

  • A ring of solar photovoltaic panels on the roof provides the stadium’s power. Because of new net-metering legislation in Brazil, the stadium will be able to trade energy between the panels and the power grid as necessary.
  • VIP bicycle parking for 1,000 bikes inside the stadium. There will be 3,500 bike parking spots in total. Ian McKee, the green building and sustainability manager for Castro Mello, says he doesn’t know of any other stadiums with this much bike parking inside.
  • A photocatalytic membrane on the roof that captures air pollution as it falls, and breaks down the chemicals, removing them from the atmosphere. This is especially important because over 50% of CO2 emissions related to stadium operations come from transportation to and from the stadium.
  • A rainwater collection and recycling system for landscaping use, and low-flow water fixtures inside the stadium.
  • Lots of natural light—but ample shading from the hot Brasilia sun as well.
  • The new design reuses material from the old stadium.

Castro Mello aims to fix some of the features that traditionally have stopped the elite in the country from going to games at stadiums. "They’re considered unsafe and more of a lower to middle income person activity [in Brazil]. Athletic tracks within the stadium are between the stands and soccer fields, which destroys sight lines," says McKee. Safety fears are warranted; in 2007, seven people died when a stand at the Fonte Nova stadium in Salvador collapsed. The new stadium, in contrast, is built with safety in mind and has a lowered pitch that allows for clear views from all seats.

None of this comes cheap. The stadium is expected to cost more than $400 million to complete. But the solar panels, at least, are expected to provide a return on investment in 10 to 12 years, with the panels themselves able to perform well for at least 25 years.

The Estádio Nacional de Brasília is expected to be completed at the end of the year.

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11 Comments

  • MechEngineer

    Yes, the solar panels will save some energy when the sky is clear, butt... a simple calculation will show that it is impossible for this stadium to be "net zero energy" unless they do not plan on having air conditioning, ice makers, and night lighting.  A stadium of this size would require solar panel arrays ten times the size of the stadium to meet the power demands with the amenities (like air conditioning) modern stadiums must have for people to attend (these are the people who pay the 400 million to construct) ...  If there are any clouds in the sky, well, power plant is needed 100%.  Night events? 100% power plant.    Obviously there are no mechanical or electrical engineers who have run the calcs yet...  This is the usual enviro-PR that has no facts behind it.

  • Sciadunn

     This stadium would not consume power when those systems were not in use, when customers need the services, except possible ice-making, which you mentioned above.  The solar panels feed energy into the grid on any sunny day, and intermittently on cloudy days, while the stadium would NOT be cooled or run night lighting every day of the year.  Given the concept of net metering, the give/take from the grid can match depending on how many events are scheduled annually and how much daily/monthly power is consumed vs. fed into the grid.  The arguments above about a "simple calculation" are vague and do not serve to validate your point.  Engineer or not, no validation here. 

  • Armando Ricardo Pucci

    I suspect that the project will be the first Net-Zero-Energy, which does not offer catering service for viewers in this way saved up energy in the production of food, water to produce ice and dilute beverages, and restrooms demand ...

  • Mark Hines

    Sounds like it has some potential; they need to actually track energy use and maintenance costs over the years and see if it pans out.  Unfortunately that's something many "Green" building owners have been reluctant to do.

  • Hopeful

    WoW! That is impressive and
    exciting! I really hope we can keep up with all the maintenance requirements
    once the world cup and the Olympics go by.

     

    “There will be 3,500 bike parking spots in total. Ian
    McKee, the green building and sustainability manager for Castro Mello, says he
    doesn’t know of any other stadiums with this much bike parking inside.”  

     

    That is maybe because 3,500 people don’t
    ride bikes to soccer games, they ride busses, taxis or cars (it is just not
    part of our culture-at least not the elite or middle class people they are
    hoping to attract). I hope they can achieve that capacity of bike riders! That would be awesome!

     

    “None of this comes cheap. The stadium is expected to
    cost more than $400 million to complete. But the solar panels,
    at least, are expected to provide a return on investment in 10 to 12 years,
    with the panels themselves able to perform well for at least 25 years”

     

    Not cheap indeed! Like I mentioned before,
    I hope we can keep up with maintenance in order to get the return, if it ends
    up like the Beijing stadium, we won’t get that return investment back. Either way, I am vary happy to sse Brazil's efforts and development in this world. Proud of Brazil, just hope we can keep improving and justifying these grand projects!

  • Jessie

    Despite the fact that the energy-neutral panels have a good ROI after a few years, that doesn't justify the fact that Brasilia should have a $400 million stadium at all. Do readers know that Brasilia doesn't even have a soccer team? After the glory of the world cup, that stadium won't even be used by a professional team in the country's league.

  • alila5

    $400 million sounds like a lot, until you compare it to the price of other stadiums - that is actually far cheaper than many being built today.

  • Ledbraz

    Nobody in Brasilia uses bikes. And yes, the stadium is beautiful, a true feat of technology and sustainability, but it will cost 5-10 times more than it should, money that could be used in other equally important things. Want to be a millionaire? Open a contracting company in Brazil and have a handshake with any governor.

  • Guest

    I am truly sorry for you and your concepts, my friend... 
    Brazil can be corrupt, so is every other country in the world. The fact that Brazil is showing the world it can be a pioneer in a construction aspect is a great feat for the country itself and has nothing to do with your argument. The first step to build a country and make it a better place is believing in it. Before becoming a victim, please put your pants on and do something for your country rather than just talk smack and bringing it down. Trust me, envious people outside your country will do the bad talking for you...
    Be proud and honored to be Brazilian, and dont let other people come and take that away from your country.

    Regards,
    A proud Brazilian for this great achievement.