The stadium will be constructed for Forest Green Rovers, a football club based in Nailsworth – Gloucestershire, that plays in the second league. For the first time stadium will be completely made out of timber and powered by sustainable energy.
The stadium was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA), a UK international architecture and design firm, and was approved on December last year, by Stroud District Council’s planning committee. When completed, the facility will be able to host 5000 fans.
The design was approved by 6 to 4 votes. “This building is iconic, it could be a tourist attraction. At the moment we are known for our waste incinerator,” Miranda Clifton, Stroud District Councilor, stated. ZHA had to change the design of the stadium after the council rejected the project back in June 2019.
A different landscaping approach and an all-weather pitch were implemented in order to address some arguments claiming that the facility will be constructed in green fields and result in a negative environmental impact. Moreover, the new plan includes different transportation systems and infrastructure aiming to reduce traffic and noise.
The stadium will be covered by a transparent membrane and, thus, shadows will be mitigated and organic grass will grow naturally under the sunlight. The grass will be watered using a recycling system that will collect water from rainfalls and it will be cut by an electric robot that will utilize a GPS system.
Forest Green Rovers club is chaired by Dale Vince, the owner of Ecotricity, a firm specializing in green energy. According to Vince, reducing the environmental footprint of the construction was of high importance. Thus, a wooden structure was selected. “The really standout thing about this stadium is that it’s going to be entirely made of wood the first time that will have been done anywhere in the world.
The importance of using wood is not only that it’s a naturally occurring material, it has very low carbon content – 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 carbon content of any stadium in the world,” Vince stated.