Every Sunday, thousands of fans pack NFL stadiums across the U.S. to cheer on their favorite teams. For those in attendance, the focus is on the exhilarating game being played on the field. But, all around them, infrastructure systems built with precast concrete products work to make the experience possible. Although many these products are out-of-sight, they play a key role in the build-out of efficient and effective environmental homes for NFL teams.
Levi’s Stadium – San Francisco 49ers
For the San Francisco 49ers, a major consideration for Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., was how to handle the facility’s expansive parking lots. Stormwater runoff in parking lots can contain litter as well as petrochemical pollutants from vehicles. Because Levi’s Stadium was built on a high water table near the San Tomas Aquino Creek, it was important to find a way to prevent chemicals from leaching into the environment.
To address the problem, project manager GHD Engineering specified a biofiltration system. The system, encompassing an area of 14,000 square feet, works by removing rainwater from the surface and collecting it into a series of large precast concrete basins. When the runoff enters the biofiltration cell, it is naturally filtered and collected into a pipe that joins a storm-drain system. Pollutants that remain in the cell are then broken down by microbes. This helps keep the area clean and easy to maintain. The result is an effective means of protecting the environment that also keeps the stadium enjoyable for fans.
U.S. Bank Stadium – Minnesota Vikings
In Minneapolis, the Minnesota Vikings faced a similar problem. The team’s new, $975 million stadium needed a solution to manage its own stormwater runoff. The rate control and stormwater treatment requirements for the city of Minneapolis state that stormwater runoff volume must not exceed the 2-, 10- and 100-year storm event flow rates. Additionally, the logistics of the site called for a shallow cover for the project’s own system.
The solution was a 4.5-foot-tall precast concrete stormwater system. The modular nature of the system maximized the filtration surface area while keeping the footprint customizable. It works by capturing stormwater in drains around the site. The water then drains into the stormwater system, where it is treated by an underground sand filter. After being treated, it flows into the city sewer. Thanks in part to precast’s ease of installation, the stadium was completed six weeks ahead of schedule.
By employing precast products, both stadiums boast an effective, environmentally conscious approach to stormwater management. So the next time you are in the stands watching your favorite team score a touchdown, you can also consider the precast elements that are making your experience possible.