Forest Green Rovers' Eco Park Stadium, United Kingdom

Forest Green Eco Park

Forest Green Rovers' Eco Park stadium, planned in Stroud, Gloucestershire, UK, is touted to become the world's first stadium to be entirely made from timber.

The project is part of the £100m ($125.5m) Eco Park development proposed by green energy specialist Ecotricity.

Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, the stadium will have a capacity of 5,000 with potential for future expansion. The design for the stadium was chosen following an international competition conducted by Ecotricity.

Approval for the project is pending from the Stroud District Council. Construction is expected to commence in 2017, if approved, while completion is scheduled for 2019.

The Eco Park project is expected to create approximately 4,000 jobs and contribute £300m ($376m) to the local economy.

Forest Green Rovers' Eco Park master plan

Ecotricity's Eco Park development aims to retain the existing meadow landscape of the 100-acre site and develop complementary facilities. One half of the park will feature sporting facilities including the stadium, training pitches, multidisciplinary facilities and a sports science hub.

The other half of the development will include a business park featuring sustainably built commercial spaces and office buildings. Other facilities planned to be developed as part of the park include a nature reserve, a transportation hub and restoration of the Stroudwater canal.

New Eco Park timber stadium design

The new stadium will be made completely from sustainably sourced wood, including the structure, roof and the louvered cladding. The proximity of each of the stadium's structural elements has been calculated to ensure that the seating terraces and the floor slab can be made from wood instead of concrete or steel. Use of timber for the elements also helps to reduce the amount of concrete and steel required for the foundation.

The green stadium will feature a cantilevered roof with its upper part being covered with a transparent membrane-cladding. The membrane helps in turf growth and reduces shadows for players and spectators. It also reduces the visual impact of the stadium in the surrounding landscape when viewed from a distance.

The stadium pitch is also designed to provide clear views of the entire field of play to spectators.

"The Eco Park project is expected to create approximately 4,000 jobs and contribute £300m ($376m) to the local economy."

The stadium will initially accommodate 5,000, which can be expanded to 10,000 in later phases without major construction works.

Electricity required for the stadium will be supplied through sustainable energy sources, making it more carbon neutral.

Materials used in Eco Park stadium

Ecotricity's brief for the design of the stadium required a highly sustainable design that matched its image as a green company. Sustainable alternatives were required since roughly three-quarters of the lifetime carbon impact of buildings such as stadiums comes from their building materials.

Zaha Hadid Architects chose timber as a building material for the stadium as it is a natural material and has low carbon content. Timber was also chosen because of its high durability, recyclability and sustainability.

Non-reflective materials, muted colours and natural textures will be used throughout the stadium to enable it to blend into the surroundings.

Contractors involved with Forest Green Rovers' Eco Park stadium

schlaich bergermann and Max Fordham collaborated with Zaha Hadid Architects to design the stadium. Land Use Consultants provided ecological and landscape design services for the project.