Smart building technology and innovative electrification solutions have made the once traditional Generali Arena at FK Austria Vienna a modern sporting showcase for connected, safe and energy efficient spaces.
ABB was appointed to transform the Generali Arena, originally built in 1925, into an intelligent, future proofed venue that incorporates the latest in smart building technology and energy efficient power distribution, so that it is more intuitive to control and better suited to the needs of visitors.
These IoT solutions are part of the unified, cross-industry digital offering, ABB Ability, which extends from device to edge to cloud and combines deep domain expertise with unmatched proficiency in web-enabled connectivity to optimize operational performance and efficiency.
This is also the first sustainable football venue in Austria. It was retrofitted in co-operation with the Austrian Sustainable Building Council, who helped with planning the design and implementation, which includes a photovoltaic system on the roof of the north stand.
Oliver Iltisberger, managing director of ABB’s Smart Buildings business line said: “Our mission is to write the future of safe, smart and sustainable electrification and the transformation of the Generali Arena is a fantastic representation of that vision brought to life.
“We were delighted to work with FK Austria and the Austrian Sustainable Building Council to deliver a stadium which embraces the latest in smart building technology to create an intelligent, welcoming space, that is easy and efficient to control but also lessens its impact on the environment.”
The stadium’s entire electrification value chain - from medium-voltage distribution to each individual socket - has been raised to an advanced level. Solution highlights include:
- ABB’s SafePlus (10kV) compact switchgear provides safe power distribution in the arena. This maintenance-free medium-voltage system is completely gas-insulated and encloses all live parts with a steel capsule, which optimizes both reliability and personal safety.
- For more power in the electrical system, ABB provided two 1000 kVA dry transformers, which comply with the latest energy efficiency standards of the European Union. Instead of oil, the transformers use a vacuum casting resin technology developed by ABB for enhanced cooling. This minimizes the risk of fire and is ideal for the likes of stadiums, offshore drilling rigs or other confined spaces.
- Extra safety and energy savings have also been achieved with the inclusion of ABB components such as the Emax 2 circuit-breakers and InLine II fuse switch-disconnectors.
- To ensure highly reliable low-voltage mains distribution, 21 ABB TriLine-E series switch cabinets were installed. The modularly expandable system ensures low operating costs with high reliability and long maintenance intervals.
- ABB i-bus KNX system for the control of intelligent buildings, allows all components of lighting, shading, heating, air conditioning and ventilation in the stadium to be networked and work together bidirectionally. Combined with integrated load management, this means maximum energy savings are achieved.
- ABB 2gang DALI (digital addressable lighting interface) gateways are also used for lighting control so that the complete floodlight system is now integrated into the KNX system and can be controlled from an easy to use App.
Improved visitor experience
- For an enhanced visitor experience, ABB installed a comprehensive range of intelligent and energy-saving building control solutions. Highlights include Busch-Presence Detectors for light and climate control, which have a broad and sensitive detection range. allowing the much-improved VIP areas to be controlled via integrated Busch-SmartTouch panels.
- For an extra personal touch, light switches in the VIP area and other strategic points around the stadium have been designed in the club’s famous violet colors and fans can even purchase them in the club shop to install at home.
After two years of construction, the 24-time national champions have now delivered a new intelligent and sustainable football stadium, which has boosted the club’s profile and made competing with local rivals Rapid Vienna much easier.
Alexander Munda from the stadium said: "We wanted to set a new benchmark for stadium modernity and comfort with our new Generali-Arena. In order to achieve this ambitious goal, we needed to work with the best companies in all areas. In ABB, we found an ideal partner in terms of building technology and infrastructure. The feedback from our fans, VIP guests and employees who come into contact with ABB's solutions is extremely positive. ABB has installed its new and innovative technologies throughout the stadium, making the Generali-Arena what it is today: the most modern and beautiful stadium in Austria."
ABB’s connected safety and energy efficiency initiatives, coupled with expanding seating capacity to 17,500 and plans to redesign the training ground and build a new regional youth center, means it now meets the standard of an UEFA four-star arena, which even permits the staging of Champions League semi-finals.
Costing some €42 million to re-build, the north stand holds 4,100 spectators and includes 28 VIP boxes, two sky boxes and two boxes for dignitaries, plus an underground car park for 370 VIPs. The east stand holds 5,050 spectators and houses the fan shop, museum and a restaurant, while the west stand seats 5,600 spectators.