Sport faces construction challenge from climate change

Sport faces construction challenge from climate change

A report has revealed how different sports could be affected by climate change, potentially posing a major construction challenge.

The Climate Coalition has produced a report highlighting how current trends in climate change could hit a range of different sports. 

With the Winter Olympics looming, it noted only six of the last 19 venues for the Games will be cold enough to have snow in place by the end of the century. 

However, it is not just snow-deprived winter sports that could suffer, as the report warns rising sea levels and increased summer rainfall could lead to famous golf courses like St Andrews becoming flooded and more playing time lost in cricket, the latter being of the greatest importance as it is a sport that stops for rain.

If the report's findings are correct, the situation could give the construction industry a double challenge. Firstly, across the built environment as a whole, eco-friendly buildings can help slow or even reverse the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, such as by being carbon neutral or even carbon positive. This would have benefits way beyond sport. 

Additionally, the design of sporting venues could also be altered to deal with a changing climate. 

This could include building in large drainage areas where water can run off and soak away into the ground in times of heavy rain, preventing pitches and buildings from getting flooded. 

Another step could be the use of retractable roofs, such as those at Wimbledon and the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. 

Even cricket can be played under a roof, as demonstrated in Australia by the Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League. They play home fixtures under the roof of the Etihad Stadium in the city's docklands.  

Many sports venues already have measures in place to enhance sustainability, including renewable energy installations like solar panels and wind turbines, as well as rainwater capture.

The greenest stadium of all may be the planned new home for League Two side Forest Green Rovers, an all-wooden stadium that will further the club's mission statement.

Forest Green are owned by Ecotricity founder Dale Vince, whose commitment to sustainability includes the club having all-vegan catering and running a fleet of electric vehicles.