Maggie Krantz / week 9 / post 7
The Forest Green Rovers’ soccer team in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, England is putting their slogan, “Sustainability in Sport, changing the rules of the game”, to a whole new level with an all wood stadium. This stadium is an example of how the new ways wood can be used to build large structures without compromising the environment. Recently, more and more people are looking at how much wasted energy is in the building itself and wood is the perfect material to lower this footprint.
Dale Vince, the CEO of the world’s first green electricity company, Ecotricity, and owner of the Rovers, has continually challenged the norm in sports by selling only vegan concessions at games and implementing an organic pitch fertilized by cow manure (1). The next step in his quest for complete sustainability is a brand new, low carbon stadium. Vince states, “We’ve done as much as we can to make our current stadium properly sustainable, but we are limited with what we can do – it simply wasn’t built with the environment in mind.” (2)
The new design by Zaha Hadid is a part of the club’s 100 million pounds and 100 acres Eco Park development that include a 5,000 seat stadium and green technology business park. This stadium will be the first in the world made entirely out of wood, a material being used more and more in large structures. “The importance of using wood is not only that it’s a naturally occurring material, it has very low carbon content – about as low as it gets for a building material. And when you bear in mind that around three-quarters of the lifetime carbon impact of any stadium comes from its building materials, you can see why that’s so important,” says Vince (2). This exciting new design showcases the potential wood has to be used in larger structures. No longer relegated to residential architecture, this sustainable material can be used in mega-buildings while still maintaining a low embodied energy footprint.