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18th Jun 2018

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Green stadiums at the 2018 FIFA World Cup

  • The Luzhniki stadium in Moscow, which hosted the 1980 Olympic Games, will also host FIFA World Cup Final (Photo: FIFA)

As the world's biggest sporting event, the FIFA World Cup has a strong impact on various aspects of society in the host country, and Russia is no exception.

An important legacy of this summer's event will be a new national green standard specially adapted for the certification of football stadiums in Russia, which is the first of its kind in the country.

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Based on FIFA's requirements for green certification of all official stadiums, the new standard was developed by a group of experts working for the ministry of natural resources and the environment, supported by the local organising committee.

It was introduced in 2016 and represents a big legislative step forward, making sure that the country's construction industry keeps up with international green-building standards and legal frameworks.

The standard takes into account FIFA's requirements as well as international standards, Russian legislation and construction regulations, and includes requirements for architecture, construction, engineering and site plans as well as specifications for Russian environmental norms, energy efficiency and the environmental compatibility of the venues.

By the time the tournament kicks off on 14 June, the twelve stadiums will all have undergone a standards certification process for sustainable buildings, either through the new Russian certification or through the BREEAM international certification (e.g. the Luzhniki and Spartak Stadiums in Moscow and Fisht Stadium in Sochi).

Building sporting arenas in line with green standards not only reduces their impact on the environment but also, to a great extent, determines their future use, including lower water and energy consumption.

FIFA's technical reports on green stadiums in Russia describe the sustainable construction activities in detail and are available online.

For instance, in the case of the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, which will be the main venue of the event, decisions concerning the green construction and environmental efficiency of the facility were incorporated into the project from the very early stages:

Energy conservation at the Luzhniki Stadium is achieved through modern heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, as well as bringing together all essential utilities into one automated central system. This will allow complete monitoring and control of how much energy the building is consuming.

Using LED-based lamps instead of incandescent lights will save a significant amount of electricity. The lighting outside the venue was also installed using electricity-saving strategies.

Water-saving technology at the stadium will allow hundreds of thousands of litres to be saved during a match at full operational capacity.

Large green spaces and a high number of trees already present in the vicinity were preserved during the reconstruction, while even more greenery was also added. According to the stadium managers, 1,050 trees and bushes were planted, and 15,700 square metres of flower beds were laid down.

"Stadiums are key in our efforts to stage a successful and more sustainable FIFA World Cup, which is why FIFA has made green certification mandatory for all arenas used for the event.

"We are very pleased with the efforts undertaken by the Russian green standard working group, the local organising committee and ministry of natural resources and environment of the Russian Federation and believe that this new standard for sustainable buildings will become a legacy of the 2018 FIFA World Cup," said FIFA secretary general Fatma Samoura.

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