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Greener Than Grass

As part of its 2022 FIFA World Cup hosting duties, Qatar will build nine new stadiums and renovate three more, with the 12 total venues divided among seven host cities. As part of its bid, Qatar is planning for all 12 stadiums to be zero-carbon emitting and climate controlled. As of July 2015, Qatar has confirmed the sites of eight stadiums, which is the minimum to host the 64 World Cup matches as per FIFA rules. While great challenges already exist in the completion of these stadiums, Qatar has put a strict emphasis on the environmental friendless of these sporting venues. As such, authorities have gone to great lengths to collaborate with designers to ensure the their stadiums are as green as possible.

Al Khor stadium is one of the first of the venues to be on course for completion. In July 2015, the $850 million contract for construction was awarded to Italian firm Salini Impregilo Group, along with its joint venture partners Galfar Al Misnad and Cimolai. The contract includes the construction, operation, and maintenance of the stadium in Al Khor. As part of the contract awarded by Aspire Zone Foundation, the deal includes almost $800 million for the construction and the remaining for the operation and maintenance of the facility. The stadium is set to have a maximum capacity of 70,000 seats and an overall area of 200,000sqm. When finished, the stadium will resemble a traditional tent used by nomads around the region, which fits into Qatar’s continued commitment to emphasizing cultural heritage within the country. The stadium is also set to be very environmentally friendly in such a way as to model the historical legacy of previous generations who lived in similar types of tents. The stadium and precinct will incorporate green building materials that minimize embedded carbon and incorporate energy usage best practices. The stadium will also be targeting Global Sustainability Assessment (GSAS) certifications. Upon the World Cup’s completion, the stadium can be partially deconstructed due to its modular construction, which will allow the total seating capacity to be reduced by 32,000. The plan is to send to these extra seating pieces to developing countries to use in their national stadiums.

The Education City Stadium is one of the iconic host venues for the World Cup that is set to embody research, education, and health—key tenants of the Qatar National Vision 2030—in its design and architecture. Qatar Foundation’s Education City Stadium is designed in the form of a jagged diamond, which is planned in such a way that it will glitter during the day and glow during the night. The 45,000-seat stadium will house classrooms, conference rooms, and health clubs in addition to its sporting facilities. Importantly, the Education City Stadium’s location is in the heart of Qatar Foundation’s mega-campus, consisting of many international universities and research centers. As such, upon its completion, it will be used exclusively to further the educational objectives of the country while also emphasizing sports activities. ASTAD Project Management is the project manager for the stadium with RFA Fenwick Iribarren Architechts serving as the lead design consultant. One of the key characteristics of this stadium is that the photovoltaic and reflective technologies embedded into the stadium’s roof will produce renewable energy that will be used for electricity and hot water generation. Moreover, at least 20% of the materials used for the project will come from sustainable sources while 50% of all wood-based materials will be procured from sources with sustainable forest management practices. Of these, 20% of all materials will be sourced regionally. Following the World Cup’s completion, the stadium’s capacity will be reduced to 25,000 seats and its modular units will be sent to developing nations.

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