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I am working on a projecct to make Ireland's largest sports stadium carbon neutral (more info at www.culgreen.ie),

It involves putting in place a state of the art environmental-improvement programme covering the stadium's electricity, waste and water management systems.

It also involves encouraging fans to make carbon saving pledges through the website (it is estimated that fans travelling to games in Croke Park produce carbon emissions of 15,000 tonnes a year)

I'm interested to hear of any other similar sport stadium initiatives,


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  • 3 weeks later...

Just an overview of progress on the Cúl Green (www.culgreen.ie) initiative to make Croke Park (Ireland's largest sports stadium) carbon neutral. Since the launch of Cúl Green in May 2008 and the completion of the energy efficient audit there have been several changes at the stadium.

The first change saw Croke Park switching to a "green electricity" tariff with ESB Independent Energy (ESBIE), meaning that its electricity now comes from a 100% renewable source which has immediately cut its annual carbon emissions by two thirds. This means that all electricity needs at Croke Park; from special pitch maintenance lighting to its 140 square meter stadium screen will come from renewable energy provided by wind farms.

Secondly fans are being encouraged to leave their cars at home when travelling to the stadium – a "Park & Ride" scheme was introduced during the summer with several GAA clubs and it is being run for all major match fixtures and a Public Transport Guide with details of all public transport options for getting to the stadium was published.

Thirdly, recycling initiatives have been developed at the stadium these include large recycling stations, wheelie bins for recycling plastic bottles, cardboard balers and a recyclable compactor. Plans are underway to further develop recycling facilities at the stadium with the introduction of plastic bailing and wet waste composting of food waste.

Fourthly the environmental engineers are currently assessing sources of sustainable energy. They have installed wind monitoring equipment at the stadium to help them decide if wind energy is a realistic option for Croke Park given the wind energy generation technologies currently available.

Finally monitoring systems providing data in real time on a web based interface that will enable the Operations Department at Croke Park to identify and eliminate unnecessary electricity, gas and water consumption. Particular attention is being paid to the identification of night time electricity loads and action is being taken to minimise wastage.

Equally important has been the part played by the fans, there has been an excellent response from the public in supporting the Cúl Green initiative with over 14,000 pledges made so far, amounting to over 1,500 tonnes of carbon saved. Although in its early stages Cúl Green is effectively encouraging people across Ireland to reconsider their energy usage and helping them to form more carbon efficient habits.

For more information visit www.culgreen.ie

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Sounds interesting, would be good to see more detail on the environmental engineering work that is happening in the Croke Park stadium, couldn’t see much about that side of the project at http://www.culgreen.ie

Might be a good case study for other sports stadiums and public buildings ………

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Thanks Marge,

Some detail on the environmental engineering work happening at the stadium below,

Carbon neutrality at Croke Park is being achieved through a state of the art environmental improvement programme covering the stadium’s electricity, waste and water management systems

The project began with an energy audit which looked at Croke Park’s use of electricity, gas and diesel fuel. Interestingly, the floodlights at the stadium are powered by diesel generators and other parts of the stadium can also be switched to the generators during major events. This is mainly because the floodlights were retrofitted to the stadium and the grid in the area and the infrastructure in the stadium itself would not support running them directly off the grid.

Environmental enginneers at the stadium are working on the implementation of a building energy management system - Croke Park is a big place and it would be almost impossible to physically turn off all the lights every night. The management system will allow for the pre-programming of lights to switch on and off when they are required depending on the different events or activities that might be taking place in the stadium. The idea is only to use energy when you need it.

Already completed implementation of the energy monitoring system and now working on the energy management system and reviewing the extensive studies into the possibilities for renewable energy on the site. It looked at solar energy first but ruled this out because of the excessively long payback time. In fact, the payback time associated with it was longer than the equipment itself would have lasted.

It is also looking at wind as well but the option of putting turbines on the roof is ruled out by the floodlights which were added later. The existing structure wouldn’t support wind turbines as well as these. Putting up a large standalone turbine near the stadium is also inappropriate due to the urban setting. But still looking at the optins and have erected four wind monitoring stations around the site and we will look at the data from those before making a decision.

There is one other from of renwable energy which does hold promise-looking at geother mal energy which would use the heat from underneath the pitch.

Finally, there is alternative energy - combined heat and power is also something to look at, this is where the gas used for heating would also be usd to generate electricity on the site.However, we have to be careful that we don’t end up wasting heat or electricity juste to generate the other.

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