Stadion Opolski’s design altered to create green leader for Poland

Images: City of Opole

Odra Opole’s new stadium, which is currently in development, is set to become a sustainability leader in Poland after its design was adjusted so that it becomes largely independent of conventional energy sources.

The second tier Liga I football club is due to move into its new home during the second half of 2024, with a contract signed between Zakładem Komunalnym and construction engineering company Mirbud in December 2021 to deliver Stadion Opolski.

The City of Opole has now announced that the global increase in energy prices has forced the investor behind the construction of the stadium to order changes in its documentation, with a view to providing a long-term reduction in its operating costs.

The ‘green stadium’ project has been prepared and implemented by the main contractor, Mirbud, together with SMG Śląsk, a leader in the development of ecological installation systems. Photovoltaic panels with a capacity of about 280 kW will be installed on the roof of the west, east and south stands. The entire system will be complemented by heat pumps and aggregates with cogeneration function.

The City said the adapted design solutions were selected taking into account the specificity of the facility and the variable cycle of its work, as the demand for energy is highest on match days and when the undersoil heating system is needed. 

Analysis of recent years and temperatures in Opole showed that the power supplied in the originally designed solution was too high. If necessary, the stadium will be able to additionally use energy from a generator or from the local network. 

The concept has been created in accordance with the UEFA guidelines for sustainable sports infrastructure, emphasising the facility’s low-emissions, climate positive claims and energy efficiency.

Photovoltaic systems have been installed at the likes of Wrocław’s Tarczyński Arena and Chorzów’s Stadion Śląski, but Stadion Opolski is set to be the first Polish venue to utilise such technology on a wider scale.

The City has said the changes to the design will add a further PLN10m (£1.94m/€2.25m/$2.46m) to its price tag, which is set to be over PLN200m. However, this investment is expected to be paid off in around five to six years, after which the annual operating cost of the stadium is set to be around PLN2m per year.

Patryk Stasiak, president of Zakładu Komunalnego, said: “The design of the Opole stadium is constantly analysed. We use the vast knowledge of the main contractor, Mirbud, one of the leaders in the construction sector in Poland, which has extensive experience in the construction of this type of sports facility. Its position and credibility is evidenced by the PLN5.5bn order book with which the company entered the year 2023.

“What is most gratifying is that part of the energy needed to power the stadium will come from renewable sources, which will significantly reduce its maintenance costs. We must bear in mind the rapid and drastic increase in the price of energy resources. 

“Most likely, this trend will not change, therefore the purpose of the modifications introduced in the stadium design is to reduce the consumption of fuels and energy and, consequently… reduce the costs of operating the facility.”