The Forest Green Rovers’ football club will soon be the owners of a football stadium made almost entirely out of wood.
Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the new 5,000-10,000 seater stadium will be the first of its kind anywhere in the world.
Made using sustainable materials and new technologies it will have the lowest carbon impact of any stadium ever built.
So why build a vast football stadium out of wood? Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder and Forest Green Rovers chairman, explains: “The importance of wood is not only that it’s naturally occurring, it has very low embodied carbon – 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 – and it’s why our new stadium will have the lowest embodied carbon of any stadium in the world.”
Standout features of the stadium include a transparent membrane which will cover the roof. This not only helps encourage turf growth on the pitch but removes many of the stark shadows caused by stadiums which can distract players.
Jim Heverin, Director at ZHA, said: “The design retains and enhances the existing meadow landscape of the site whilst adding the stadium and other functions for the town. Embodying low carbon construction methods and operational processes,”
What makes the stadium really special however is the materials that will be used.
“It will be the first all timber football stadium with almost every element made of sustainably sourced timber including its structure, roof cantilevers and louvered cladding.” explains Heverin.
While clearly the centrepiece of the landscape, the stadium will actually just be one part of a huge £100 million Eco Park development that will consist of state-of-the-art sporting facilities, including the new stadium, grass and all-weather training pitches, publicly accessible multi-disciplinary facilities, and a sports science hub.