One way to find an exciting football match in Germany, Poland, Romania and anywhere around the world would be to follow the construction trucks carrying polycarbonate sheets to the construction of both new and old stadiums.
The flexibility, light weight, ruggedness and translucency of polycarbonate roofing sheets make them the first choice of architects seeking to roof large expanses without costly and complex substructures. The high amount of light transmitted through the polycarbonate sheets, which are produced both in solid and multiwall polycarbonate varieties, add light and openness to the spectator seating areas and to the playing field, benefitting the fans, players and even the turf.
It is not just the freedom and eye-catching designs that make polycarbonate sheets an attractive choice for architects. The low weight of the sheets means quicker and easier on-site installation, translating into significant cost-savings. The sheets also provide excellent impact resistance, are shatter-proof, and offer superior resistance to temperature and thermoforming. Polycarbonate sheets have low flammability and comply with several international classification standards.
In Bremen, Germany, the renovation of the Weser Stadium included adding 2,270 m² of polycarbonate roofing, with an additional twist: silicon solar cells integrated between two polycarbonate sheets. This innovative design was possible because polycarbonate sheeting is 60% lighter than glass, allowing the silicon cells to be easily integrated into the large overhanging roof of the Weser Stadium.
The Rhein-Neckar Arena in Sinsheim, Germany, is integrated into the surrounding hills of the Kraichgau region. The 8,500 square meters of plastic membrane and polycarbonate roofing sheets encircle a white steel ring in the centre. Despite the structure’s size the roof looks light, like a cloud floating over the stadium.
Transparent roof stops the snow, lets the grass grow
The 2012 UEFA European Football Championship will take place in Poland and Ukraine. In the Legia Warschau Arena and the PGE Arena in Gdansk, high-tech polycarbonate sheets have been used to create a dramatic plastic roofing design. The Legia Warschau Arena used polycarbonate sheets for its 5,000 square meter plastic roofing installation because of its ability to withstand the high maximum load requirements – an indispensible characteristic in this region of cold winters, high winds, and large amounts of snow. The completely transparent plastic roofing allows real turf to grow in natural light gives and open and fresh feeling to the stadium.
For the PGE Arena more than 45,000 square meters of polycarbonate sheets were used for the roofing over the stands and the outer shell of the stadium – a first in stadium design. In addition, each plastic sheet was coloured in one of six different shades ranging from white to amber, to reflect the local motto of amber being “the gold of the Baltic Sea”. Only polycarbonate sheets could meet these architectural and technical challenges.
Folding roof adapts rain or shine
In Romania’s capital the new Lia Manoliu National Stadium has an eye-catching convertible polycarbonate roofing structure, evoking elements of the well-known Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The oval Lia Manoliu National Stadium with its 5,000 square meter roof will be the venue for the final game of the UEFA Europa League Final 2012. As Romania’s new National Stadium it will also serve as a venue for a variety of events. For this reason the planners had to reconcile maximum flexibility and optimal functionality with attractive design and, of course, economic feasibility for this multi-use structure. As at the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, the folding plastic roof, located centrally above the playing field, can be closed within 20 minutes, thus allowing games and other events to be held in any weather. With their high transparency, the solid polycarbonate sheets offer optimum protection from bad weather, and sufficient light for healthy turf growth.
Football stadiums all over the world are fans of polycarbonate sheeting, demonstrating that this versatile materials works well in diverse climates and for a wide range of construction methods. Like football, polycarbonate sheets are a worldwide phenomenon.