This will be the first of two articles that will focus on how Allianz Park is delivering a high class sustainable facility. We will be speaking to Allianz Park’s Stadium Director Gordon Banks, who will be guiding us through how Saracens have implemented a series of innovative programmes at NW4.
The focus of the first article is why Saracens decided to not only deliver a high class venue with high class sporting facilities, but a venue that will be sustainable.
“At Allianz Park the drive for sustainability began with the choice of the site on which to develop the new home for Saracens Rugby club as a venue for world class rugby union, elite athletics and a genuine community hub site for Barnet” explained Stadium Director Gordon Banks.
“The stadium, though in the green belt was in a very poor state of repair due to underinvestment in the facilities over a prolonged period. Our aim has been to regenerate the area; albeit with an element of new build to bring the facilities up to modern standards required for elite and community sport.”
At the heart of the areas regeneration was a conscious effort to deliver a facility that was sustainable, Banks explains;
“The highest level of sustainability in any development can only be achieved when environmental considerations are a guiding principle in every area of the scheme” he says.
“It began with the selection of the site, the design of the building, the selection of materials, the construction process and then, probably most importantly, the occupation and operation of the facility”.
From the outset of the project Saracens worked closely with the London Borough of Barnet to set some challenging environmental targets for the development, including a 25 per cent improvement on the already stringent London Plan Building Regulations for carbon emissions.
Saracens met this target, and have even surpassed the mandatory figure aforementioned, clocking up a 28 per cent improvement in emissions and achieving a BREEAM excellent rating – the first UK sports stadium to do so.
Banks says the wider advantages of this greener approach quickly became evident. “The club and the council both agreed that this project provided us with an opportunity to embrace the surrounding environment and create a uniquely green and sustainable stadium, and maybe the first genuine community stadium that would be accessible to local people everyday,” he says.
“But we were also very aware in the longer term there was a financial saving from being sustainable and acting responsibly, and that by implementing these very high environmental standards at Allianz Park we could influence other local people and organisations to adopt a similar approach..”
Next article; how Saracens have implemented a sustainable plan for Allianz Park, looking at the environmentally friendly measures the club have taken.