About IIHF  I  EN  I  RU  I  DE  I  FR

Building Material and Structural Considerations

Ice rinks have different features than regular buildings, due to high temperature differences between inside and outside, and humidity issues caused by special "indoor climate zones". Air tightness is the key feature of the building envelope in ice arenas. Large windows on the façade should be avoided due to high energy costs in cooling the "indoor climate".


There are a number of options for building materials for the main structure of the ice rink. The most common materials and their features are:



Pros: Long span length (ceiling beams), easy global availability, Existing pre-fabricated systems, low costs

Cons: Corrodes easily, poor fire protections, high maintenance



Pros: long span length (ceiling beams), non-corroding, existing pre-fabricated systems, fire protection
Cons: poor availability some countries, high cost, high maintenance, short lifespan (decay)


Reinforced Concrete:

Pros: High global availability, non-corroding, existing pre-fabricated systems, high fire protection
Cons: High cost, short span length of beams, poor acoustics and high echo, low flexibility in uses


Mixed Combination of Materials:

Pros: Long span length, good fire protection, existence of pre-fabricated systems, low cost
Cons: Possible high corrosion, high decay, possible maintenance issues

IIHF - Building Material and Structural Considerations

Ice Rink Sizing Options:


IIHF Rulebook:
56 – 61 meters X 26 to 30 meters

For IIHF International Competitions:
58 – 60 meters X 28 – 30 meters

North American ice rinks:
200 ft X 85 ft


  • Nowadays, most international rinks are minimum 28 m X 58 m
  • Additional practice rinks can be downsized to 56 m X 26 m
  • This will save space, energy, maintenance costs
  • Savings are approximately 10 – 15% over a larger ice rink.

IIHF  I  Brandschenkestrasse 50  I  CH-8027 Zürich  I  + 41 44 562 22 00  I  office@iihf.com  I  © Photos by HHOF-IIHF Images