World Cup Stadium to Feature Green Design

The Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, South Africa was completed in 2009 and is set to host 70,000 spectators during the World Cup. Photo:

There’s hasn’t been an abundance of sustainability coverage for the upcoming FIFA World Cup South Africa. Perhaps the excitement around the first-ever hosting of the World Cup on African soil has monopolized the media coverage; or perhaps there just isn’t a lot of sustainability initiatives to report on.

Regardless of the reason, we did find it worthy to highlight a few programs, most notably the design of the newly-built Durban stadium.

Construction of the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban was completed in 2009 and is set to host  70,000 spectators for one of the semi-final matches and numerous group matches.

The design called for a “state-of-the-art landmark sports facility with excellent amenities and a sustainable recreational and multi-disciplinary sporting venue.”

The stadium is stunning in design. Its most notable feature is a large 150-meter arch rising high above the stadium center. A SkyCar funicular system transports visitors to a Skydeck, allowing a birds’ eye view of the stadium, city and nearby coast.

Though large scale event-driven construction is always heavy on resource use, the builders of the Durban stadium minimized construction and demolition impact by utilizing recycled materials from the old stadium. More than 30,000 cubic meters of concrete demolition material from the old stadium was used for construction of the new stadium.

The PTFE-coated roof membrane allows 50 percent of sunlight to filter through while protecting the stadium from glare and rain. The stadium also features a rainwater collection system, water-saving installations, energy-efficient heating and cooling systems and natural ventilation design.

When the World Cup comes to a close mid-July and South Africans find themselves in a sort of post World Cup hangover, the ten beautiful stadiums spanning the country, five new and five updated, will still be standing. The Durban stadium, among others, was built to Olympic standards in the hopes of hosting a future Olympic Games in South Africa.

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  1. Great article. On a side note: I am traveling down to Cape Town (first time ever) in less then a month for the world cup finals and I cannot wait to get down there. Anyway, I thought this was a very interesting article. Also, I came across this student run organization called POP NOW. I was amazed to see how large this organization is – they are the largest nonprofit college organization in the country with over 150 colleges apart of their group. If I end up running into some college students down there; I will definitely inform them about it – to possibly get a chapter set up. The new ‘green’ stadium looks really cool though; it’ll be great to see it in person. Furthermore, keep up the good work Lori and I look forward to reading some more of your articles.

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