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29 Jan 2018

Western Sydney stadium is climate-proof

Cricket and tennis are two major sports Australians love to play during summertime. However, as extreme sunlight and high temperature intensify, they prompt sporting sectors and the government to reconsider the design of sports stadiums. Whether the stadiums are climate-adaptable or not, this affects sportsmen and audiences greatly. The Final Ashes test played at the Sydney Cricket Ground but the cricket teams had a hard time adjusting to the hot temperature. Many news articles from the Australian Open reported that tennis players and spectators suffered from scorching heat. This is the perfect time to question the NSW government on whether sports venues are climate-proofed sufficiently for the future in face of global warming, since massive sums have already been spent rebuilding key stadiums across Sydney. In 2016, The Climate Council published a report on how extreme hot temperatures negatively harm human health. Urban planning and building design policies should also keep adapting to the extreme heat. The International Cricket Council (ICC) is unable to offer a clear policy which safeguards players in extreme heat. Most sports administrations also tend to focus more on players welfare and that of field officials rather than the health of sportsmen. On the other hand, the audience also suffer from the extreme heat. Back in the 2014 Australian Open, both tennis players and the audience endured a temperature of over 41ºC. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), the world's leading rating system for green building, is being drawn out. LEED certification gives a skeleton to test the sustainability of a building's design, construction, function, management and operation according to its cycle of life. A retractable roof allows air flow to cut down sunlight and is a key consideration when redesigning the sports stadium. Most importantly, the reflective roof coating works effectively to reduce more than 70 per cent of heat from the sun. Following LEED, the Western Sydney Stadium is the first stadium to rebuild, thus meeting the benchmark of LEED in Sydney. The planning minister was responsible for evaluating and approving the reconstruction of the stadium, as the reconstruction was considered a State Significant Development under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979. The NSW government stated that the new stadium will strive to meet the Gold LEED energy and environment level. In North America, LEED is used widely with at least 30 certified stadiums.
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