Estádio Nacional de Brasília 2014 pursuing LEED certification

publicado em 05/02/2014

Sustainable Strategies

 Fact Sheet

  • Stadium capacity is 72,800
  • The Estádio Nacional de Brasília will host the opening game of the Confederations Cup in 2013.  It will host more than 7 games during the 2014 World Cup, including a first-round game of the national team and the game for 3rd place.  It will be the main venue (Soccer Headquarters) for futebol during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
  • Stadium building budget is approximately US$400 million not including external site work, pitch surface, stadium seats and the Solar PV system.
  • The GDF, local government of the Federal District, is financing stadium construction using the sale of lands owned by the state.  Unlike other stadium being built in Brazil, the GDF is not using any BNDES (Brazil National Development Bank) funds.
  • More than 90% of the materials from the original demolished stadium has been recycled or reused on-site.
  • Castro Mello Arquitetos – architecture and design team coordination
  • ETALP – Escritório Técnico Artur Luis Pitta – Structural Engineers
  • SBP and GMP – Roof consultants
  • Beneddito Abbud – landscape architecture
  • Brasília 2014 Consortium – formed by contractors Andrade Gutierrez and Via Engenharia

Brasília’s Design Team Primary Sustainability Goals

  • Pursue the highest level of Green Building Certification possible, LEED Platinum.
  • Position the stadium in an existing built environment, with ample access to public transportation, in a central location where arrival by foot and bicycle transport can be encouraged.
  • Dramatically improve the stadium’s overall energy efficiency, in the order of 50%-120% through quality lighting, ventilation, air conditioning and automation design, coupled with renewable energy generation integrated into the stadium’s roof, which will become the largest solar PV system in Brazil.
  • Reduce by more than 50% the consumption of public, potable water through strategies of water capturing for reuse, utilization of efficient water consuming fixtures (toilets, urinals and faucets) and irrigation free landscaping.
  • Restore habitat by adding green space where there was none before and transform parking areas into rich, diverse biospheres.
  • Reduce Heat Island Effect in Brasília’s city center, through increased vegetation, high SRI (Solar Reflective Index) hardscapes and a very large white roof covering the entire stadium bowl, and providing ample shade inside and outside of the facility.
  • Maximize natural ventilation using a 360-degree, breathable façade with open columns, which can benefit from the highly variable winds of Brasília.
  • Utilize recycled materials in construction and manage materials during stadium operations to reduce landfill waste.  This includes high levels of recycled content in concrete and steel and using a green marketing & operations philosophy to compost materials such as plates, utensils and cups mixed with food waste in a full-cycle process that can be managed on-site. The goal is to achieve +90% landfill diversion rates during stadium construction and operation.

Bioclimatic Analysis: Pre-design phase

The city of Brasília is located in the cerrado region of Brazil, an area known as the Brazilian savanna.  The climate of the cerrado is very dry, has lots of sun (high solar incidence) and scarce water resources.  These three climate factors were the key drivers in our sustainable design decisions.  Despite the strong sun, the low humidity creates a very comfortable environment when in the shade, especially, when there is a nice breeze.

Pursuing LEED Platinum

Brasília’s design team is pursuing  LEED Platinum “New Construction” certification for a major sports stadium.  A Platinum level certification under LEED for a regular commercial building is by itself a major challenge, but for a stadium, much less a FIFA level stadium, it is a herculean effort!

The key design opportunity identified by the team was in improving Overall Building Energy Efficiency a solution that could considerably differentiate Brasília from other FIFA stadiums in Brazil and around the world.   Brasília has terrific solar incidence so solar energy, integrated into the building, became a top priority.  It became paramount that there be space on the building’s structure (preferably the roof) to lay a 2.o Megawatt solar system, generating approximately 3.5 million kilowatt hours per year.

It should be noted that there was no meaningful solar power generation in Brazil in 2008 when the original design was made, and at the time of, October 2012, the largest solar installation in Brazil is still a 1 Megawatt ground-mounted system (meaning not on a roof).  

The challenge was a significant one since Brazil had no solar legislation (net-metering) or incentive programs for solar energy in 2008.  Over the last couple of years the Design Team has worked with government officials to create legislation, which will give the stadium operator the opportunity to generate its own power, and trade it with the grid.   The Estádio Nacional de Brasília can become the first Net Zero Energy Stadium in the world!

Costs are always a factor when building stadiums but the focus is usually on the cost of construction, and long-term costs, associated with building operation, are rarely considered.  According to industry statistics on LEED buildings a LEED Platinum certification requires an additional investment of between 4-7% of total cost of construction and yields a return on investment in less than 10 years.  Assuming stadiums are properly maintained they should last 50-75 years.  Considering the long-term financial benefit of an EcoArena and the reduced “negative externalities”, or indirect costs, associated with its environmental impact, the case for investing with an eye on the long-term is clear and will become a new industry standard.