Building the world’s first LEED Platinum soccer stadium in Brasilia | Video
Wednesday, March 7th, 2012
By John Dugan
Soccer freaks and fans of green architecture alike are buzzing about Brasil's green soccer stadiums. The so-called EcoArenas are going up in a hurry to accomodate the World Cup games of 2014. Brasil, despite the reportedly abysmal state of many of its aging stadiums, won the bid for the Cup back in 2007. For the likes of EcoArenas founder Ian McKee, there was an opportunity to place Brazil's beautiful game in equally beautiful, modern spaces. And McKee's Copa Verde plan for green soccer stadiums is the largest coordinated green building effort ever. The ambitious pursuit of LEED certification for Estadio Nacional de Brasilia Stadium (time lapse video of the construction) has set the pace for a bit of a green architecture competition among the host cities. Eleven of twelve stadiums are now vying for LEED certificates with solar power upgrades and the like.
Few will match Brasilia's new Estadio Nacional, designed by Castro Mello Arquitetos in league with McKee. Forbes reports that the new stadium will feature the largest solar installation in the country (Over 169,000 square feet), reflecting pools which double as water retention reservoirs during the rainy season, an open-air meshwork of pillars that maximize natural shade and ventilation, a roof of white photocatalytic membrane that neutralizes air pollution on contact, flushless urinals and 100% recycling of the materials from the old stadium. With a soccer capacity of 70,000, it will also double as a concert arena for 27,000—a good thing in Brasilia, which is, somewhat ironically, not a huge soccer town. The stadium will be surrounded by wetlands, native fauna and ample bike parking—but most of the city hotels are in walking distance. The stadium will also have a low-power "sleep-mode."
Of course, this green soccer news stands in contrast to a backdrop rife with controversy surrounding FIFA and Brazil's issues around construction for the 2016 Olympics. Even with that in mind, the prospect of a little Brasilia visit in 2014 sounds pretty good.