Indoor air quality and monitoring in sports arenas and stadiums
Altogether, the pandemic, rising reports on pollution levels and daily ozone readings by weather channels has raised awareness around environmental air quality. This is especially true for indoor air quality as the recent pandemic led to the discovery of the pathogen and its ability to spread through air spaces. The concern is significant, and as such, publicly trafficked amenities and venues have recognized the need for proper ventilation and maintaining high standards around indoor air quality. The measures have been extensive and have resulted in comprehensive infrastructure and building systems changes to ensure that air quality is maintained for health purposes and the public wellbeing.
A study conducted by the National Institute of Health found that air pollutants reduce the physical activity of professional soccer players. Soccer players are considered among the most cardio-fit of all athletes and represent men and women with the highest VO2 max levels, or the ability to metabolize oxygen for use throughout the cardiovascular and muscular systems. Air Pollutants Reduce the Physical Activity of Professional Soccer Players – PMC (nih.gov) The study found that worsening of just one parameter of air pollution resulted in a significant reduction in athletic performance.
Furthermore, the study indicated that inhalation of high concentrations of air pollutants can cause more harm to athletes who undertake intensive training than to the public who are significantly increasing their respiration rates Athletes are strongly impacted, where the study specifically determined that increased lung ventilation during exercise caused more air to be inhaled, bypassing nasal filtration systems where pollutants, and especially gaseous pollutants were transported deep into the respiratory tract. As a result, the presence of oxidative stress within the lungs has been documented.
Football stadiums can also be a source of air pollution. In numbers, for every 10,000 spectators that attend an NFL match, there is a 0.3% increase in AQI (Air Quality Index). The Effect of Air Pollution on Football Players – Barça Innovation Hub (barcainnovationhub.com)
In addition, Stadiums and their activities use significant electrical power and generating that power increases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. As pollution levels have reached an all-time high, measurable data concerning the state of indoor air quality has been made available for the benefit of all.
Now a push for digital transformation and more sustainable practices and strategies will include performance measures on indoor air quality, among other ESG metrics within public sports arenas and athletic facilities. Going forward, buildings and athletic facilities will begin offering more transparent reporting on carbon emissions and other measures that indicate air quality and pollution reduction efforts. Technologies such as AtmosAir have been deployed throughout professional stadium arenas and other athletic venues to support safety, health, and wellness among all participants, ticket holders, and athletes
U.S. Bank Stadium has adopted AtmosAir Solutions as a partner in bringing people safely back together for football and other events hosted at the stadium. The stadium is fitted with a clear three-layered ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) roof to flex the space and make it available for concerts and other events hosted outside of Viking football. AtmosAir adds another level of safety to a carefully thought-out fan experience while also protecting employees and athletes and development plans by making sure the air is clear of pathogens for the entire1.75 million square foot facility. AtmosAir also participated in enabling U.S. Bank stadium in 2019 to become the first professional sports stadium to earn LEED platinum certification for reducing energy consumption by incorporating IAQ solutions within the arc performance platform.
AtmosAir typically works with third party certification for providing metrics on air quality and energy reduction savings. For example, AtmosAir and energy laboratory EMSL tested the air quality in Anschut’s Entertainment Group’s Staples Center’s Lexus Club, a private dining room located inside the Staples Center (now Crypto Stadium). AEG/Staples Center engineering originally wanted a baseline measurement of contaminant levels with the air handling and filter systems operating as installed, and later with AtmosAir bi-polar ionization systems working in the same airspace, using reduced outside air. The results of deploying Atmos were:
Air quality, especially gaseous elements, VOCs and TVOC, improved significantly from baseline measurements to measurements taken with AtmosAir systems installed and outside air reduced:
Energy Savings: 21%
PM10 Reduction: 25%
VOCs Reduction: 90%
Test results for AHU-6 equated to a savings of roughly 127 kWh or about $16.51 every 48 hours.
AtmosAir is currently installed in the entire Crypto.com (formerly Staples) arena.
While AtmosAir has taken on the world’s largest and most well-known stadiums and sports arenas, venues of every size are recognizing the need for maintaining a new standard in air quality for their athletes, fans, and employees. The Nashville Soccer Club recently designated AtmosAir technology for air purification and to monitor indoor air quality for its training and practice facilities.
With new standards for sustainability in construction projects, partnerships with new technologies such as AtmosAir’s bipolar ionization will provide a means to increase the availability of higher quality, healthier, and breathable air for spectators, athletes, and employees alike.