The NFL’s Super Bowl LII kicks off on Sunday—but football won’t be the only thing on our mind when the game begins. This year’s championship game will be held in Minneapolis, the northernmost American city to ever host a Super Bowl, at the LEED Gold-certified U.S. Bank Stadium. Designed by American architecture firm HKS, the energy-efficient NFL stadium is home to the Minnesota Vikings, and it offsets 100% of its electricity with renewable energy credits and employs energy-efficient technologies.

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Minneapolis’ snowy winter climate presented a major challenge in designing the 1.8 million-square-foot U.S. Bank Stadium. The sculptural shape of the stadium, which features a jagged form evoking ice formations and Viking longboats, was designed in response to environmental conditions: the asymmetrical steep roofline efficiently sheds snow, while southern exposure is maximized for increased snow melting capability. Inspired by traditional Nordic dwellings, the stadium’s lightweight roof uses a single steel truss and is covered with ETFE—the first ETFE roof in a U.S. stadium—to allow solar thermal heating and natural daylight. It has the added benefit of letting the visitors feel as if they’re sitting outside.

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In addition to translucent ETFE, high-performance glass wraps around part of the stadium to further minimize the need for artificial lighting. Zinc cladding envelops the majority of the building – this material was chosen for its low maintenance and durability. The form of the building optimizes air circulation, which draws captured heat from a “heat reservoir” down to the seating bowl. In the summer, the flow of air risers is reversed to take advantage of the “stack effect”, which ventilates heat at the top of the building while drawing in cool air from below.

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Related: The 50th Super Bowl at Levi’s Stadium will be a net-zero energy game

Heat recovery, air handling units, efficient ventilation, and high-efficiency motors reduced the U.S. Bank Stadium’s energy costs by 16 percent as compared to Minneapolis’ smaller Metrodome, the former home of the Vikings. Lighting was also reduced by 37 percent thanks to the installation of LED sports lighting. The stadium has implemented a sustainability program and is working towards becoming a zero-waste facility. Super Bowl LII will take place Sunday, February 4 at the U.S. Bank Stadium featuring the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles.

+ HKS

Images via HKS

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