Monday, July 5, 2010

Green Point Stadium: Illumination

“It is practically impossible to switch on 360 floodlights, each producing 215 000 lumens of light, without people noticing. But apart from the inevitable complaints from some local residents, there was an overwhelmingly positive response to this important development” GIBB-A multidisciplinary engineering firm in  charge of the lighting of the Green Point Stadium.
Welcome to the Green Point Stadium locally known as the Cape Town stadium. With a seating capacity of 68000 fans, it stands as a marvelous work of engineering. As you approach the stadium one thing that most people can’t help noticing is the wonderful lighting system, whether at night in the reflection of the sun in the luminaries during the day. The illumination at the Cape Town stadium has been engineered to meet all FIFA standards, but with lamps ranging from 1kW to 3kW, these presents a nasty heavy load to the transformers feeding them and it is because of this that FIFA requires floodlighting be powered by uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) in South Africa and so a rotary UPS, engineered by BKS, was installed to fulfill this function.

Stadium Statistics
Location         Cape Town, South Africa
Coordinates    33°54'12.46?S 18°24'40.15?E
Broke ground  26 March 2007
Opened           14 December 2009
Owner            City of Cape Town
Operator         SAIL/Stade de France
Surface           Grass
Construction cost    R 4.4 billion
(USD $ 600 million
£ 415 million)
Architect           GMP Architects, Louis Karol Architects, Point Architects
General Contractor    Murray and Roberts/ WBHO
Capacity           64,100 (FIFA)
56,000 (Legacy) (football)
Tenants             Ajax Cape Town

Information from GIBB
The lighting installation at the Cape Town Stadium in Green Point is a noteworthy achievement. The team from Gibb, a multi-disciplinary engineering and science consulting company, literally "beamed" with pride recently at the test switch-on of the 360 floodlights at Cape Town's brand new Green Point Stadium, now officially named Cape Town Stadium. An image of the illuminated stadium brought to mind a massive, glowing spaceship, with its glass ceiling – a first in the world – enhancing the almost unearthly spectacle.
Dennis Forster, project leader at the Cape Town office, told those present that when all the floodlights had been correctly aimed and switched on, there would be an average uniform horizontal illumination on the field of over 3800 lux.

Normal daylight is approx 10 000 lux, so this level of lighting is significant. The FIFA lighting standards, designed to meet HDTV requirements to ensure enough light for super-zoom and slow-motion filming in high definition, have been raised since the 2006 FIFA world cup in Germany. The City of Cape Town successfully tested all of the floodlights on 27 October 2009.
The company's structural, electrical, civil and transportation engineering divisions are part of the professional engineering joint venture teams responsible for work on the stadium. In total, over 50 professional firms were involved in the design of the venue. There were four firms in the JV responsible for the stadium's electrical and electronic engineering, led by BKS. Gibb's electrical engineering responsibility included the event floodlighting, the roof lighting, external façade lighting and podium deck, stair and turnstile lighting as well as the illumination of the surrounding stadium precinct and Green Point Common.
It is practically impossible to switch on 360 floodlights, each producing 215 000 lumens of light, without people noticing. But apart from the inevitable complaints from some local residents, there was an overwhelmingly positive response to this important development.
The lighting installations were designed to, as far as possible, utilize energy-efficient sources. These included metal halide, fluorescent and LED technologies. In total, the lighting installations consume more than.1 MW of electricity during operation, the bulk of which – over 720 kW of electricity – will be used by the event floodlighting in order to meet. FIFA's specifications for the illumination of internationally televised football matches. The floodlights are all mounted on the inner perimeter of the stadium roof. The technical reflectors and technology in the floodlights mean that there is no glare and minimal light pollution. Unfortunately, it is impossible to remove the light which is reflected up off the playing surface. The sheer amount of light plus the reflection creates a glow above the stadium. FIFA has introduced a requirement that floodlighting be powered by uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) in South Africa and so a rotary UPS, engineered by BKS, was installed to fulfill this function. It was successfully tested with the full floodlight load. The other lighting components, some of which will be in everyday use, include an indirect lighting system in the roof. This provides a pleasant glow to illuminate the stands by reflecting light off the inside of the glass roof. This concept was proposed by GMP Architects, a German member of the Stadium Architects JV, with technical assistance from Conceptlicht. The roof glass was chosen and specified so as to ensure the best possible optical characteristics. Decorative façade LED illumination was used to frame the spaces between the upper seating levels and the roof, while narrow-beam floodlights and light poles illuminate the podium and areas around the stadium, with 10 W LED downlighters illuminating the turnstiles. Much work was done to translate the lighting concept and installation details into a practicable and maintainable solution. This involved numerous night-time lighting mock-ups to fine-tune the lighting solutions and equipment. Public roads around the stadium are illuminated to the city's public lighting standards. Areas in which there will be a mix of pedestrians, such as the permanent and temporary parking areas, will utilize higher levels of illumination for reasons of public safety. Gibb is also responsible for the engineering of the floodlighting in the secondary sports fields on Green Point Common but, due to the work required to meet FIFA standards, some of the installations are only due for construction after the football event is over.
The lighting designs included approximately 3700 light fittings and dozens of kilometres of electrical conductors. Individual lamp ratings ranged from less than 1 W for some of the LEDs to 2 kW floodlight lamps. The total construction value of lighting and electrical installations was close to
R40-million. By the end of 2009 there had been no significant construction budget overruns.
The contract completion and handover date for the Cape Town Stadium was 15 December 2009 and at least three major events were scheduled for the stadium prior to the FIFA 2010 World Cup. During the preliminaries the stadium was to be operationally tested and fine-tuned. A total of eight World Cup matches, including quarter-final and semi-final matches, were allocated to the 68 000-seat stadium.
Contact Dennis Forster, Gibb, Tel 021 469-9100, and

The High Cost of Lighting Up The Stadium
It costs about R350 000, excluding VAT, to electrify the Cape Town Stadium each month.
This was revealed in the first bill received by the city's 2010 team, which details costs incurred since September 11.
The amount due for the period between September and March 23 is R2 835 627, but the city says it is only responsible for charges incurred after mid-December, when the contractor handed over the stadium.
This amounts to R1 549 000 and is now due, the city says.
All electricity charges incurred before the completion of the contract are part of the capital cost of building the stadium and are the responsibility of the contractor, according to the city.
City spokesman Pieter Cronje said the city would be responsible for the operating cost of the stadium - including electricity - until it is handed over to the operator, Sail Stadefrance, in November.
While acknowledging that the electricity charges were high, Cronje said they had been budgeted for.
The bill shows that the stadium is an energy-guzzler, with R272 000 worth of electricity used in the September-October billing period, R352 000 in November, R312 000 in December and R308 000 in January.Consumption jumped sharply in February and March, with bills of R460 000 and R480 000 respectively. The bill included charges for R300 000 VAT and a R350 000 security deposit.
But 2010 director Dave Hugo said the high electricity charges would not be the norm.
"(The first months' electricity charges) is not a true reflection of the actual cost," Hugo said.
A significant part of the high charges were incurred as a result of demand charges - a premium paid for using large amounts of energy and imposed to discourage industry from having energy-use peaks.
"It is anticipated that (future) electricity consumption will be less than what is incurred during the test phase," Hugo said.

The operator would seek to lower energy costs by "flattening" peaks.
Hugo said work was also still being carried out on reconfiguring some electric circuits so the use of power could be minimised.
The strips of lighting that follow the contours of the stadium were constructed from LED lights and therefore used very little current.


  1. Sound like an absolutely outstanding job of illumination, very well done.

  2. Green Point in South Africa is actually a neighborhood of Cape Town in SA. It is located in the central-west side of the business area. Furthermore, it is the residential site where business people live. This area is opened to the gay and lesbian community in Cape Town. Since it is a modern area, many apartments and blocks have been build in the last few years here.

    The Somerset Road is the main transportation route and it has attracted around it many restaurants, boutiques and cafés but also night clubs. One important attraction here it is the Cape Town Stadium which was constructed in the Green Point for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Green Point properties have gained another dimension and perception since this event took place. Prices have gone up and entertainment has really evolved in the last decade.

    Mark from Electrical Engineering