Cooling technology will still be installed in the FIFA 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar - despite the tournament being moved to winter.
FIFA last month announced that the prestigious football tournament will take place in November and December 2022 to avoid temperatures of up to 50C in the summer months.
But Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy senior design management engineer Abdulaziz Ali Al-Mawlawi said that the date shift would not affect the design of the cooling techniques or systems for the stadiums.
“It will be the same system, as we are not only designing for the World Cup, we are designing the stadium to be used during the summer times to get the benefit for the future,” he said on a visit to London this week.
Al-Mawlawi said not all the energy for the stadiums could be produced on site or by photovoltaic cells or wind farms and that the remaining power would be created by generators and energy centres.
With seven years until the tournament starts, Al-Mawlawi said the Supreme Committee was currently working on eight stadiums and that a decision on the final number of venues would be made by FIFA the end of this year.
“We have already decided on the locations, should FIFA say that we need the additional ones,” said Al-Mawlawi
Five of the stadiums are currently under construction: Khalifa International Stadium and Qatar Stadium in Doha; Al-bayt Stadium in Al-Khor; Al-Wakrah Stadium in Al-Wakrah; and Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Al Rayyan.
“All the stadiums are being constructed in parallel so we have different teams running each of the stadiums,” said Al-Mawlawi.
“We went through a similar situation in 2006 when we hosted the Asian Games, the demand was really high in the construction areas and related issues so I think the nation is familiar with this construction and the surrounding countries are going to support Qatar for all materials and construction stuff.”
One of the most significant challenges on the projects was to get the pitches to grow, but he added that they were overcoming this trialling artificial lights.
“We are going through many challenges while we are designing these stadiums - one of them is the turf because of the shading and the cover, but we are overcoming these challenges by different scenarios and artificial lighting to these parts of the stadiums.”
Human rights charity Amnesty International made claims in 2013 of exploitation on construction projects in Qatar. But Al-Mawlawi said that this was not an issue on the stadium construction sites. He said all contractors had to sign up to a human rights charter, which was embedded in their contracts.
“To bring up the standards for the region, especially for Qatar, we have a set of standards which are really high and we are having these standards in the contracts,” he said. “The contract will not be awarded until they agree to these standards and provide these standards for the workers.”
Al-Mawlawi said the worst accident on one of the stadium projects was a broken ankle from a trip in a car park and that so far it had 10.5M hours ofconstruction without loss of time.
After the tournament the plan is for all the stadiums to be reduced in size so as not to leave “white elephants”, he said. To do this the upper tiers have been designed to be lightweight and demountable so they can be removed and rebuilt elsewhere. The roofs for the stadiums will stay at the same height and shape.
“The upper tier will be removed and donated to developing countries so they will have their training facilities or football facilities,” he said.
“After removing the upper tier, we will end up with a big platform and we will use this space for legacy components, for example for Al-Wakrah we are looking for some of the sports federation to be relocated here and others will have sports hospitals.”