Venue of semifinals, Mineirão is first Brazilian stadium to receive top sustainability seal

07/07/2014 - 12:32
Brazil World Cup stadiums first to receive international environmental certification

The Mineirão, in Belo Horizonte, where Brazil and Germany will face off in the 2014 FIFA World Cup semifinals, on Tuesday, is the first stadium in Brazil to receive the LEED Platinum seal, the highest grade in international sustainability certification.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil is also the first in the history of the tournament to have stadiums internationally certified by sustainable construction standards. Alongside Mineirão, Maracanã (Rio de Janeiro), Arena Amazônia (Manaus), Arena Pernambuco (Recife), Arena Fonte Nova (Salvador) and Arena Castelão (Fortaleza) have all been awarded with the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) Certification, an international certification used in over 140 countries to certify green buildings, or those designed to reduce impact on the environment.

The Mineirão is only the second stadium in the world to be awarded LEED Platinum Certification, the highest level of the seal. Previously, only the Apogee Stadium at the University of North Texas in the United States had been certified at that level. The Maracanã stadium, Arena Pernambuco and Arena Fonte Nova have all received LEED Silver Certification. The Silver Certification is one step above the basic LEED Certification, which has been awarded to the Arena Castelão and Arena da Amazônia. The other six stadiums being used for the 2014 World Cup are currently undergoing the certification process.

“The LEED Platinum Certification of the Mineirão recognizes the efforts made by all government bodies and all those involved in preparing Brazil for the World Cup,” highlighted Brazilian Minister of Sport Aldo Rebelo.

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» Mineirão is the first stadium in Brazil to be awarded the platinum sustainability seal

» For more information on the Mineirão, plus photos and video

» Check out the core themes that guide the sustainability initiatives planned for the World Cup

The certification of stadiums and arenas built for the World Cup in Brazil was a voluntary initiative by the federal government. To ensure environmental sustainability, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) granted funds for the construction of the stadiums on the condition that they meet the standards of internationally recognized environmental certification.

“This is the first World Cup with stadiums certified with the LEED seal, an outstanding tool to measure sustainable building practices from initial project design through to construction and the start of operations,” said Green Building Council Brazil (GBC Brazil) Director Felipe Faria.

According to the GBC Brazil ranking released this week, Brazil is ranked second in the world in terms of the number of sports buildings that are LEED certified. According to the institution, the country has six LEED certified sports buildings. The United States is first in the ranking with 80 certified buildings, while China and Australia are tied for third place with one certified project each.

Some sustainability measures have been adopted by all the World Cup arenas that received the seal, such as the reuse of debris from the demolition of former stadiums and the reuse of rainwater for irrigation of the pitch and cleaning the bathrooms. All arenas also have power-efficient lighting systems, use smart faucets and toilets to save water and include selective waste collection points.

Another novelty is the installation of solar power panels to power the stadiums and reduce conventional energy use. Solar power is already operational at Maracanã, Mineirão and Arena Pernambuco. Part of the electricity generated by these plants will be allocated to the local energy grid so that the energy is only used by the arenas when necessary – for instance, on match days or when holding events.

According to Cláudio Langone, Coordinator of the Sustainability Agenda for the World Cup under the Ministry of Sport, the main goal of these sustainability measures is to reduce the average cost of maintenance of the buildings and to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. In the new stadiums, according to Langone, the measures decreased emissions on average by 30 percent throughout the chain, including construction, renovation and operation of the arenas after the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

The main sustainability practices adopted by the six arenas that have already been awarded the LEED seal include:


Reuse of debris for construction work;
Reuse of rainwater, collected in a 6,000 cubic meter reservoir;
6,000 photovoltaic panels on the roof to generate solar energy;
Automatic-closing valve systems for toilets and faucets;
High-efficiency lighting with low consumption and smart electrical system;
Selective garbage collection and solid waste storage systems;
Use of wood certified with the sustainable forest management seal.

Arena Pernambuco

Solar plant with 3,652 photovoltaic panels that generate 126,480 kWh/month and serve 30 percent of the stadium's energy demands;
Stadium cover and lateral closure designed to collect and allow for the reuse of rainwater;
24 percent of building materials came from recycled sources during construction, including steel and cement.


Photovoltaic panels on the surface covering the stands, approximately 2,500 square meters in size, with the capacity to generate 400,000 kW/h per year (9 percent of the energy required to operate the stadium);
Use of water-efficient equipment and facilities, and a rainwater capture system in the roof cover that allows for the reuse of water, reducing the stadium's requirements for drinking water by 50 percent and of overall water by 40 percent;
Partnership with Recicla Rio, a network of five wastepicker cooperatives from the North Zone of the city, which allows for the reuse of seven metric tons of recyclable materials per month.

Amazonia Arena

Cover captures rainwater for automated irrigation of the pitch;
Translucent cover allows for greater light penetration, reducing the use of artificial energy;
Membrane on the roof reflects 75 percent of sunlight, lowering the stadium's overall temperature and consequent need for cooling;
95 percent of the materials from the previous stadium's demolition were reused.

Arena Fonte Nova

Reuse of 100 percent of the concrete from the old Arena Fonte Nova;
Cover captures rainwater for reuse;
Facade louvers provide ventilation, natural lighting and protect the stadium from excessive solar radiation;
Highly reflective cover avoids the "heat island" effect while not completely blocking sunlight;
Reuse of about 90 percent of the waste generated.

Arena Castelão

Reuse of existing structures;
Use of water-efficient bathroom appliances and vacuum flushes to reduce water consumption;
Collection, separation and disposal of solid waste; About 67,550 tonnes has already been collected as of the beginning of June.

Source: Open Media Centre

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