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QATAR 2 SHOWCASE STADIUM


Qatar’s demonstration mini-stadium will be monitored to assess how the technologies used will perform in desert conditions. Applications include armour-like PVC scales covering the steel frame (far left) and extensive use of photovoltiac sheets (left)


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t was a surprise for some when Qatar’s bid to host the 2022 football World Cup was successful. In the desert state’s hot and humid summers, temperatures


typically average 44C, but the thermometer can nudge 50C. The football world governing body, FIFA,


has even warned of a risk of heat stress for players in conditions above 24C wet bulb globe temperature (WBGT), which measures humidity, solar and wind factors as well as temperature. But Qatar is used to dealing with the heat, and one of the reasons for its successful bid can be found in the desert, on the outskirts of the capital, Doha, in the form of a miniature stadium. Constructed in just four months, the 500-seat Qatar Showcase stadium was built to demonstrate that a harsh desert climate need not be a barrier to hosting the World Cup. When a delegation from FIFA visited the little circular stadium, the temperature was a scorching 44C outside; yet inside, on the stadium’s fi ve-a-side pitch, it was a very pleasant 23C WBGT. The signifi cance of the Showcase stadium


in the desert state’s bid success is not simply that it was air conditioned: the country’s


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Al Sadd stadium already has a successful air conditioned pitch and stands. FIFA’s remit to Qatar was ‘to achieve the fi rst carbon- neutral World Cup’. And so, according to its designers, the Showcase stadium stands as an example of a zero carbon development. ‘This zero carbon, environmentally


friendly, mini-stadium demonstrates that it is possible to provide comfort for football matches in the heat of the desert,’ explains Mike Beaven, head of building services and environmental engineering at Arup Associates, the stadium’s designer. In addition to ‘showcasing’ these technologies, the stadium’s other main purpose is to provide a facility to monitor the performance of the technologies under desert conditions. It is an important undertaking because Qatar has plans to incorporate low carbon technologies into the giant football stadiums planned for the World Cup. The three major components that will be investigated in the design of the stadium are: passive energy-saving architecture, solar-thermal cooling, and grid- connected, photovoltaic-generated electricity. The stadium’s architecture plays a critical role in ensuring comfortable conditions


The Showcase stadium is important because Qatar has plans to incorporate low carbon technologies into the giant football stadiums planned for the World Cup


July 2011 CIBSE Journal


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