Vienna venue sustainable energy initiatives



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Ernst-Happel-Stadium would like to be most energy efficient stadium Image: Ernst-Happel-Stadium, Shalom, GFDL

The City of Vienna is helping the Ernst-Happel-Stadium in Vienna, Austria, to switch to sustainable energy.

‘City of Vienna’ stated that come 2024, a photovoltaic (PV) system will be installed on the roof to make the stadium self-sufficient in electricity production the whole year through. Once this is facilitated, it will make the above facility the first stadium in Europe to be self-sufficient in energy production.

The Ernst-Happel-Stadium, known as Praterstadion until 1992, sometimes also called Wiener-Stadium, is a football stadium in Leopoldstadt, the second district of Austria’s capital Vienna. With 50,865 seats, it is the largest stadium in Austria. It was built between 1929 and 1931 for the second Workers’ Olympiad and was designed by the German architect Otto Ernst Schweizer. The stadium was renamed in honor of the Austrian footballer Ernst Happel following his death in 1992.

‘City of Vienna’ further stated that the City Councilor for Sports Peter Hacker commissioned a study which revealed that the PV roof will be in a mint condition up to mid-2060s.

Informed Hacker, “The structural analysis of the remaining parts of the building is progressing well and the report will be available around the turn of the year. Work will soon begin to make the stadium self-sufficient in power production. We will also take fans’ views into consideration in this regard.”

Said Sandra Hofmann, Managing Director of the Wiener Sportstätten Betriebsgesellschaft (Vienna Sports Facility Operating Company), “The planned PV system in the Happel Stadium will be one of the largest rooftop systems in Vienna. We will achieve an annual yield of 4,377 MWh – around 800 MWh more than the amount of energy currently required in the stadium. In the future, heating and hot water will be supplied from geothermal probes (liquid-filled tubes installed in a borehole) and collectors as well as from groundwater.”

Regarding plans to close the roof, Hofmann said that this would be conceivable as part of a mobile solution – “We are engaging in meaningful discussions with the Federal Monuments Office.”

The training ground will also be upgraded and six huge pitches (four natural grass and two artificial turfs) will be laid. New light-emitting diode (LED) floodlight systems will be set up in the training grounds.

As part of the sports facility development plan ‘Sport.Vienna.2030’, the City has invested 150 million euros in improving its sports facilities in recent years – work on the multifunctional Sport Arena Vienna will begin – a stone’s throw from the above facility – by 2025, and the renovation of three of the six circular halls has been completed, the stadium pool has an additional 50 m pool and a mobile roof, and 25 club sports facilities have also been renovated.

Anatol Richter, Head of MA 51 – Sport Vienna (Vienna Sports Department), informed about the future stadium projects that are going to be brought to fruition by 2026 – including the renovation of the round halls in Favoriten (Vienna district) and in Rennbahnweg (Metro Station in Vienna) as well as over 30 other sports-related projects – “Sustainability will be the common thread which will bind all our future sports venue projects – ‘Green’ facilities and saving on energy and making the arenas self-sufficient in energy production.”

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