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64 Matches, 12 Stadiums, and… How Much Energy Use During the FIFA World Cup Games?

Written by: Sormeh Konjkav

It’s World Cup season! During the past few weeks, people have celebrated Mexico beating Germany 1-0, woken up at 5am PT on a Saturday morning to watch the England score 6 goals against Panama (guilty), taken lunch breaks to catch the second half of a thrilling Portugal vs Iran game, and some lucky individuals are watching those games in person. Regardless of whether you watch the World Cup or not, the buzz is all around. We at Waypoint Energy have been following the soccer games, and couldn’t help but wonder whether the 12 stadiums had put any energy efficiency strategies in place.

After some targeted research, we are happy to report that … of course they have!

The 2018 FIFA World Cup has a full Sustainability Strategy in place and are continuously releasing updates on their efforts to ensure that the 12 stadiums address their three key sustainability issues: Social, Environmental and Economic.

Some key energy efficiency and sustainability measures include:

  • LED light installations in all stadiums

  • Glazed windows to reduce artificial lighting during the day (Spartak Stadium has 30% of its windows glazed)

  • Radiators fitted with thermostatic valves to adjust temperature and avoid opening windows

  • Modern HVAC Systems in place

  • Heat recovery measures with air handling units (AHUs)

  • Luzhniki Stadium implemented a system that brings together all essential utilities into one automated central control

  • Multi-zone virtual routing and forwarding (VRF) systems at 7 of the stadiums, which are intelligent controls with smart operation for HVAC systems

  • Also at the Kaliningrad Stadium, rooms are heated by floor-mounted radiators with thermostatic control valves

  • Historical facades at the Ekaterinburg Arena have been preserved to serve as natural wind protection.

  • Unique thermal characteristics of Saint Petersburg Stadium enclosing structures make it one of the most energy effective, receiving a rating of A++ in an energy inspection whereas most other stadiums are classified with a B rating

All the stadiums have received sustainability certifications from either the BREEAM International certification or RUSO, the new Russian certification for stadiums (see table image below from FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy updates). In general, the buildings are expected to consume 40% less energy than comparable buildings – how fantastic!

We’re pleased that these strategies have been put in place and are excited to hear more about the energy savings these stadiums have achieved. Even more, Major League Soccer (MLS) and the United Soccer League are also part of the Green Sports Alliance. For now, we can sit back and enjoy these games knowing they’re being played in arenas with minimal environmental impact. Ole!


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