Sport on holiday? While for some this amounts at most to a game of beach tennis or a couple of lengths of the hotel pool, for a growing number of people sport is the focal point of their annual holidays. From skiing to hiking, cycle touring to canoe trips – there are many...
2nd Kassel Sports Symposium on Timber Structures for Sporting Applications organized by the Landessportbund Hessen e.V. (Hessian Sports Association)
New approaches and prospects for sustainable sports ground construction in the International Year of Forests in the Kassel Stadium on 16 November 2011
To date, the forest is still a vitally important source of raw materials as well as part of our cultural identity and also provides multiple benefits to people from other continents. Therefore, wood is simply indispensable to our society and industry: we build with wood, use it as a fuel source for heating or make paper out of it to write on. In addition, we use our forests as important local recreation areas in our leisure time for sports and other activities. Besides, forests absorb carbon dioxide, store water and carbon and produce the all-important gas: oxygen. Forest area is therefore an indispensable part of our ecosystem. That is exactly why it is so important to protect the forest. Tree clearing, excessive use as well as monoculture plantations have again and again been detrimental to the forest over the past few centuries. For about thirty years now, Germany has therefore striven for nature-orientated forestry to preserve the forest’s natural balance as well as possible.
The Landessportbund Hessen e.V. (Hessian Sports Association) had made it its task to take up this very idea and to show how wood can be put to a wide variety of uses in sports ground construction. After a short opening address delivered by Kassel Mayor Jürgen Kaiser, Horst Delp (Landessportbund Hessen e.V.) and others, the symposium started with a lecture given by Michael Gerst (Landesbetrieb Hessen-Forst) on forestry for sustainable construction. Mr Gerst informed the audience about various influencing factors in timber production and raw wood exhaustion. He made the point that wood is so suitable for sustainable sports ground construction because the circuit of fuel wood use ensured long-term climate protection. Wood has few side waste products and can almost completely be processed in different ways. Dipl.-Ing. Norbert Quast (Kompetenzzentrum Hessen Rohstoffe (HeRo) e.V./ Hessian Centre of Excellence for Raw Materials) used the example of the accident at the ice rink in Bad Reichenhall to go into details in his lecture titled “Why build with wood? Potentials for the use of timber structures for sporting applications”. He gave several reasons for the technical and human failure that led to the roof collapsing under the weight of snow in 2006. Aside from structural miscalculations, poor maintenance and deviation from standard construction, incorrect wood glueing was also to blame for the structural instability. Today, new techniques enable the use of extremely safe and weather-resistant timber building systems, which can prevent construction defects through prefabricated elements (external manufacturing control and precise prefabrication). This also results in significant economic benefits, gained in particular from fast assembly and good insulation (heating cost savings). Karl-Friedrich Schuppert (TSG Sprockhövel e.V.) presented the new construction of the GUFIT club house in Sprockhövel in compliance with the Passive House Standard, using it as a practical example. The club house was planned and for the most part built by the club itself after a demand analysis and meets the most exacting energy standard to heat the rooms and the water. Further examples of passive houses can also be found in urban areas. Further example, passive houses were built in Frankfurt on the Main within the framework of multi-purpose halls and functional buildings. Ulrich Kohlendahl (Hochbauamt Stadt Frankfurt am Main/ Municipal Building Department of the City of Frankfurt on the Main) summed up his lecture by stating that despite staff shortage and a limited budget and given a high construction volume, high-quality, cost-effective and in particular sustainable results can be achieved by using the modular construction system. Construction time and costs are kept within reasonable limits. Besides, passive house designs are both cost-effective and energy-efficient, require little maintenance and are flexible. The event was concluded with a lecture given by French entrepreneur Samuel Guillermard (smc2-construction) on textile roofing of timber-frame outdoor sports facilities. Admittedly, this is a very special construction method and has mainly been applied in large-scale projects (for example at the 2010 Football World Cup at the Berlin Olympic Stadium). Nevertheless, textiles can be easily processed in combination with wood, are easy to clean, are very durable and let natural light shine through.
Sports ground construction presents many opportunities for sustainable construction and wood enables sustainable construction, protects our environment and can be implemented at a reasonable price. The Hessian Sports Association is looking for further projects that have been implemented in a climate-friendly manner. A good time to present yourself and your project.