While construction on the World Cup Stadium in Qatar is set to start in 2013, the development team faces a number of preliminary challenges.
Not only will Qatar need to develop a world-class stadium in which to host the 2022 World Cup, but the country’s winning proposal rests on the fact that it will be delivered as a carbon neutral building.
This alone provides designers and developers with a great challenge. This challenge is compounded significantly by the country’s desert climate, the fact that the Cup takes place in the summer, and the nature of the sporting contest itself.
This carbon neutral building needs air conditioning – one of the highest carbon emitting technologies when used on a large scale.
In order to overcome this challenge, developers have appointed Arup Associates of London to create a cooling system that does not rely on fossil fuels but that is able to maintain a comfortable interior climate for both spectators and players.
Arup have tackled this challenge by developing a Showcase demonstration stadium in London, which co-vice chairman of the Emirates Green Building Council and Arup associate director Jeff Willis attests has a productive and functional zero carbon cooling system.
He describes the stadium as “a six-a-side football pitch sized stadium, with the pitch cooled from solar power” and adds that “it works because the use of the football pitch is intermittent. What you do is you use solar power to store cooling over a period of time in ice storage or similar cryogenic or phase change materials, and then you use it for the three or four hour slot when it is needed.”
While the unique and innovative technology is extraordinary in and of itself, Willis goes on suggest that the truly significant aspect of the development was that it was developed in such a short time frame, under a strict deadline period.
“The most incredible element about the whole thing, which was a fairly new concept, was that the Showcase was designed, built and commissioned to a very short deadline in a very short period, and it worked fine,” he says.
Willis notes that on a day when the temperature reaches 48 degrees Celsius, the interior temperature sits at approximately 22 degrees Celsius, clearly indicating the sheer force of the green cooling system.
While the finishing touches of the official stadium design are still underway, with the Arup associate director suggesting that an operational roof could be implemented to further tackle cooling issues, the most integral element has been tried and tested, ensuring strong headway has already been made in the lead-up to the stadium’s 2015 completion date. Not only will this new green cooling technology allow for the successful completion of this highly anticipated development, but it could possibly open up opportunities for the industry nationwide to implement similar cooling strategies.