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Big international sporting events such as Olympic and Paralympic Games and the FIFA World Cup presents a great opportunity for hosting nations to showcase their engineering innovation, creativity and technologies used in building the stadia and other infrastructure necessary for the event. The events usually leave a long lasting legacy in relation to sustainable construction. As Qatar prepares to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup, it has the greatest opportunity to create a sustainable construction legacy and inspire the whole world in terms of creating sustainable infrastructure. There is a lot to be learnt from the legacy left by the London 2012 Olympics. The country will spend approximately $100 billion to build infrastructure for hosting the event (We Build Value, 2018). After the world cup, the stadia and infrastructure will be used differently to promote sustainability in the construction industry. Innovation and venue adaptability are some of the major elements that will be used to demonstrate sustainable construction across the Gulf States after the 2022 FIFA World cup.
Most of the stadiums and infrastructure built for the event will be used for the same or similar purposes with some modifications after the event. Majority of stadiums will be used for hosting events such as sports, national functions, social functions, political rallies, etc. Some of the stadiums will be reused to create new sporting facilities while others will be used by the local communities as parks. Other surrounding sustainable infrastructure such as hotels, restaurants and residential buildings will be used for the same purpose. Transport systems, including rail, metro and light rail systems, will be used to facilitate easy, fast and safe movement of people and goods in the region and reduce carbon footprint. In the process all, users will continue benefiting and learning from their sustainable features and benefits.
Qatar lies in a hot desert geography and this will put a lot of pressure on energy resources. However, the hot climate provides an opportunity to harness solar energy and create a cool micro-climate during the event. Air conditioning systems in all the stadia to be used for the event will be carbon neutral and powered by solar energy (The Peninsula Qatar, 2018). After the event, these stadia will be used as learning centres to demonstrate how micro-climates can be created in different parts of the world using renewable and natural resources. Instead of burning fossil fuels to power air conditioning systems in buildings and stadiums, renewable energy can be used to drive the mechanical systems used for creating the desired thermal comfort and indoor environments (Sofotasiou, et al., 2015). Even though Qatar is rich in fossil fuels, it will demonstrate how alternative or renewable energy can be used to power energy-intensive cooling systems/technologies thus promoting sustainable construction.
cto less developed countries that do not have stadium infrastructure (Hayajneh, 2017). Ras Abu Aboud Stadium is also being constructed using modified shipping containers that will be dismantled and repurposed or transferred to a new location where they can be used to make smaller cultural and sports venues (Spaen, 2017). Use of modular construction is an innovative and sustainable approach that will inspire stadium architects and developers all over the world. It reduces the amount of building materials needed, generates less wastes and minimizes carbon footprint of the stadium. Therefore these stadia will be used to demonstrate how modular design can be used to promote sustainability in the construction industry by eliminating wastes and ensuring that every component built can be reused. The modular upper tiers have been designed for reuse after the event without affecting the structural integrity of the main stadiums.
Not all the stadia are new but some, such as Khalifa International Stadium, are undergoing major facelifts to meet the required FIFA standards. This is an innovative way of minimizing exploitation of natural resources thus promoting sustainability. Upgrading existing stadiums will definitely save natural resources, costs and money, and conserve the environment. The infrastructure that has been built around the stadiums to host the games will also continue attracting people to the sites after the World Cup. These include sporting facilities, shops, hotels, health clinics, etc. (Oxford Business Group, 2018).
The sustainable legacy provided by the London 2012 Olympics has inspired many stakeholders in the construction industry worldwide. The legacy has prompted development of sustainable procurement codes, standards, guidelines and requirements. Some of the lessons learnt include procurement strategies, venue adaptability, supply chain, innovation, supply chain, leadership, building cycle and effective management. These lessons and strategies are being used in construction projects for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games and can also be applied in the construction of facilities and infrastructure to be used in 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Qatar is expected to leave a great legacy in terms of innovation and venue adaptability, which are key elements that will promote sustainable construction in Gulf States and other parts of the world. These elements will restore and conserve natural resources, protect and enhance ecosystems and biodiversity, improve water and air quality, reduce waste streams and minimize carbon footprint.
Dezeen, 2017. Qatar's Shipping-Container Football Stadium can be Taken apart and Reassembled after the Match. [Online] Available at: https://www.dezeen.com/2017/12/07/qatar-2022-fifa-world-cup-shipping-container-stadium-football-fenwick-iribarren-architects-doha/[Accessed 25 October 2018].
Hayajneh, A., 2017. Football and Sustainability in the Desert, Qatar 2022 Green World Cup’s Stadiums: Legal Perspective. European Journal of Social Sciences, 55(4), pp. 475-493.
Oxford Business Group, 2018. Infrastructure plans for 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. [Online] Available at: https://oxfordbusinessgroup.com/analysis/world-cup-fever-plans-international-football-tournament-are-under-way[Accessed 25 October 2018].
Sofotasiou, P., Hughes, B. & Calautit, J., 2015. Qatar 2022: Facing the FIFA World Cup Climatic and Legacy Challenges. Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 14, pp. 16-30.
Spaen, B., 2017. One of Qatar's World Cup Stadiums will be Made from Shipping Containers. [Online] Available at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/11/one-of-qatars-world-cup-stadiums-will-be-made-from-shipping-containers[Accessed 25 October 2018].
The Peninsula Qatar, 2018. 2022 World Cup: A Showcase of Sustainability in Qatar. [Online] Available at: https://thepeninsulaqatar.com/article/20/07/2018/2022-World-Cup-A-showcase-of-sustainability-in-Qatar[Accessed 25 October 2018].
We Build Value, 2018. Qatar: $100 Billion on World Cup Infrastructure. [Online] Available at: https://www.webuildvalue.com/en/global-economy-sustainability/qatar-100-billion-on-world-cup-infrastructure.html#[Accessed 25 October 2018].
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