The demand for “Smart Buildings” and use of “PropTech” is on the rise. This increase in demand not only relates to residential properties and commercial office space, but to sports stadiums too. The examples below also demonstrate how important sustainability is in the development of today’s sports venues.
1. The solar energy plant (and stadium)
Norwegian team Odds Ballklubb has recently completed a project that transforms its stadium into a solar energy plant. Swiss-Swedish automation firm ABB has contributed its tech to the project. The roof top of the Skagerak Arena has been covered with solar modules, producing up to 800 kilowatts of power. The systems employed ensure maximum use of renewable power even when there is low light. The system provides electricity to the local neighbourhood as well as powering the stadium floodlights.
2. Spurs’ new stadium
Tottenham Hotspurs’ new £1billion, 62,000 seat stadium opened to the public in April 2019. With home entertainment becoming more elaborate Spurs had to come up with a smart stadium to lure fans from their home. Notably, the stadium hosts the world’s first retractable pitch, which has an artificial surface below. The field splits into three sections, each with a 3,000-ton steel tray with rails underneath. Sixty-eight electric motors spin 168 wheels to move each tray, maneuvering them under the south stand to reveal the artificial surface below (designed with NFL games in mind). The process is then reversed to reveal the natural grass.
Spurs have certainly set a high standard when it comes to smart stadium development; you can find the guide to the new stadium here.
3. Wasps are bringing 5G to the Ricoh Arena
Vodafone has partnered with Wasps Rugby and Wasps Netball in order to bring 5G capabilities to the Ricoh Arena. The technology will enable augmented reality half time entertainment services with fans also able to enjoy enhanced content through 5G services.
Turning to other mobile networks, EE has also renewed its sponsorship of Wembley Stadium as part of a partnership with its parent company BT and the English Football Association. EE have been working on making Wembley the most connected stadium on the planet, even claiming that they have created “the most technologically advanced stadium tour in the world.”
4. CO2 refrigeration systems at the Beijing 2022 winter Olympic Games
In order to decrease the event’s overall carbon footprint, C02 refrigeration systems are set to be fitted at the majority of the ice venues. The International Olympic Committee has said the initiative reduces carbon emissions equal to the yearly footprint of almost 3,900 cars, with the carbon reduction similar to that of planting more than 1.2 million trees. It will mark the first time the technology is used in China and at the Olympic Games.
5. European stadiums to be powered by old car batteries
Looking towards the future, it seems that several European football stadiums are interested in powering their facilities with second-hand car batteries after discussions with Eaton. Eaton, a US conglomerate, takes the cells from the batteries of Nissan’s returned Leaf electric cars and repurposes them into a product called xStorage, which stores power in buildings. Eaton has already equipped the Netherlands’ Johan Cruyff Arena, home of the Ajax, and the firm has worked at Oslo’s Bislett athletics stadium in Norway to install the new power units.
Want to know more about Smart Buildings and PropTech?
Smart Buildings - Smart Buildings leverage wireless connectivity, sensors and internet technologies to communicate and analyse data that is used to control and optimise building management systems. A combination of solutions is used to automate access control, security systems, lighting, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems and more. They provide greater efficiency, safety and comfort, while delivering cost savings that are more closely aligned with the goals of property owners, managers and tenants.
The global Smart Building market was valued at around $5.8 million in the year 2016 and is expected to reach approximately $61.9 million by 2024. The primary reason for the rise in demand for Smart Buildings is due to the increasing concerns surrounding global energy consumption.
PropTech - the fusion of “Property” and “Technology” is now the catch-all label attached to the digital transformation of the Real Estate sector. PropTech uses digital innovation to address the needs of the property industry and is intrinsically linked to Smart Buildings.