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Modular stadium concept developed

Italian glulam timber construction specialist Rubner Holzbau has collaborated with consultancy and design company Bear Stadiums to develop a modular stadium concept made of glulam wood.

The concept, according to its creators, will enable construction of stadia in just 6-8 months (compared with 18-24-month schedules typical of larger, traditionally constructed stadia), with low environmental impact and high spectator comfort.

Its developers have priced the modular concept at approximately €1,500 (US$1,740) per seat – €2,000 (US$2,320) per seat in smaller formats. This compares with cited costs of €2,500-3,000 (US$2,900-3,480) per seat for traditional stadia.

“We see a huge demand in the world for medium-capacity stadia, ranging from 5,000 to 20,000 seats, which actually represents 80% of the global market for this type of infrastructure,” explained Jaime Manca Di Villahermosa, creator of this new format and co-founder of Bear Stadiums. Manca Di Villahermosa envisages the stadium design being used to replace existing structures made from reinforced concrete or metal.

“Given the significant development of HD television technology which drives us to watch games comfortably seated on the sofa at home, it is necessary to build a new concept of beautiful, comfortable, safe and easy-to-assemble stadium, whose structures express well-being, serenity and are gaining more and more ground, favoring encounters among individuals and team supporters.”

“Wood is an extraordinary building material,” added Claudio Rustioni, CEO of Rubner Holzbau. “[It makes it possible] to create warmth and comfort and offering a secure and lightweight structure. Our stadium is built with certified wood from sustainably managed forests. In particular, glulam wood enhances the structural capabilities of wood and allows the development of innovative design solutions with efficient engineering qualities.

“It is an advanced technology product, obtained by gluing layers of boards together, with ecological adhesives, which have high mechanical resistance. The production and installation of glulam wood structures result in low energy consumption that contribute to reducing CO₂ emissions into the atmosphere and to respect the environment.”

The new stadium concept has been tailored to offer a turnkey solution for customers. A partnership agreement between a number of Italian companies in specific sectors will outfit potential stadia with a variety of advanced environmentally friendly technology, including: mini wind turbines connected to solar panels; high efficiency and low energy consumption light towers and projectors; and recyclable, synthetic or hybrid turf surfaces built according to standards set out by FIFA/UEFA/local federations. Many of the selected technologies have been specified to also reduce maintenance costs, such as: internal surfaces treated with natural resins; underground drainage on playing fields; and high-tech, waterproof steps to render the bleachers watertight.

The stadium concept also includes high-quality interior furnishings and fixtures, prefabricated systems for bathrooms with latest-generation water dispensing taps, quick-coupling components and metal fasteners, prefabricated modules for stadium enclosures and turnstiles, folding ergonomic seats on bleachers, and custom design of the outer casing of the stadium proposed by the best Italian designers.

The modular project features facilities such as locker rooms for athletes and referees, an anti-doping area, infirmaries, media rooms, conference rooms, a club terrace with a window onto the playing field, a bar, a restaurant, and easy access to the bleachers. The design can be used for venues with as little as 1,500 seats, as well as for projects with capacities up to 20,000.

November 8, 2017

Written by Matt Ross


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