Stadium Roof Design with Palram Polycarbonate Daylighting

Posted in Construction & Architecture
Stadium Roof Design with Palram Polycarbonate Daylighting

The construction of covered stadiums has surged in the past two decades. In stadiums around the world, from small recreational sport venues to national sports centers, it is becoming less acceptable to leave spectators exposed to the elements. As stadium roofs became more common, so did solutions for providing natural light in stadium bowls.

Stadiums and other large structures can benefit from daylighting with translucent roofing materials. Polycarbonate, among those materials, is the most popular in stadium construction due to its aesthetic properties, durability, flexibility, high transparency, and ease of installation. Numerous stadiums, including FIFA World Cup venues, Olympic stadiums, and other mega sports complexes, have been covered with Palram polycarbonate daylight systems.

Arena Castelão, Fortaleza, Brazil, venue for the 2014 FIFA World Cup

What is the importance of daylighting in stadium design?

A Healthy Lawn

If natural grass is used for the pitch, light is a necessity for its growth and health. Photosynthetic Active Radiation (PAR) is necessary for grass to grow. Plants use solar radiation between 400 and 700 nanometers for photosynthesis. It roughly corresponds to the range of light visible to the human eye. Since polycarbonate roofing sheets are permeable to the entire PAR range, they are commonly used as a cover material on the inner ring of a roof, above the pitch. To control light transmission and diffusion, polycarbonate roofing sheets can be treated with special additives. In order to provide high light transmission and even light dispersion on stadium roofs, Palram recommends an embossed finish.    

Solar radiation transmission of different cover materials

A Healthier Spectator Environment

Natural daylight has been proven to have a positive effect on people in environments such as medical, educational, and retail. When natural light is available, people tend to be healthier, more productive, and most importantly, happier. Natural lighting is a strong trend in architecture today, and stadium design is no exception. 

Polycarbonate roof at Aviva Stadium, Dublin, Ireland


Why use artificial lighting when there is so much natural light? Using a translucent roof, stadium operators don’t really need artificial lighting during daylight hours. Energy savings benefit the stadium owners as well as the environment.

ANZ Stadium, Sydney, Australia, venue for the 2000 Olympic Games

An engineered large span roofing system for sports stadiums

SUNTUF Stadia is a highly robust and durable polycarbonate panel system designed and tested to withstand demanding engineering challenges. With SUNTUF Stadia, less structural support is required, and the system’s crest fixing system reduces leakage. In addition to allowing for thermal expansion and contraction, the panel’s design is ideal for elliptical or pie-shaped roofs, such as the inner ring of a stadium.