Arenas of Green
By TBY | Qatar | Nov 15, 2017
Qatar's Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy has announced that the stadiums to be built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be constructed in accordance with the green principles of sustainability.
Qatar is home to the fastest-growing construction market in all of the GCC, which is a notable feat considering the GCC houses the massive wealth of Saudi Arabia and the hyper-infrastructure present in the UAE. As a countrywide initiative that has been on the rise in Qatar and has characterized the current construction boom, the advent of projects focused on sustainability have dominated industry discussions. Unsurprisingly, sustainable environmental development is a cornerstone in the Qatar National Vision 2030 as well, lending increased legitimacy and vocal governmental support to this important ideal.
The call from Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy to construct green stadiums comes after FIFA’s official endorsement of the use of the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) for the 2022 World Cup. The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy is a government organization created and specifically tasked with delivering all the plans related to Qatar’s World Cup outing. The official endorsement was delivered at the Green Expo Forum, which took place in Doha in November 2016. Speaking on the matter at the Expo was the Supreme Committee Secretary General Hassan Al Thawadi, who remarked, “We would like to sincerely thank the Gulf Organization for Research and Development for leading the way with the development of GSAS, which is an important milestone on the path toward hosting a sustainable FIFA World Cup and provides a model for other host countries to follow.” Qatar is taking this green initiative for the 2022 World Cup seriously and has started a unique and ambitious project that will use treated water from sewage plants and recycled water in an effort to grow the grass needed for the various pitches in each of the stadiums. Thus, the culture of sustainability has permeated the planning of this event so much that it has even affected the methodology behind the water supply used to grow the grass for the 2022 World Cup, which is more green and eco-friendly than using traditional watering efforts in Qatar’s desert-like climate.
Qatar’s decision to implement and establish the concept of sustainability in its World Cup stadiums has carried with it knowledge and technology that can also be transferred to new public and private sector developments in the future. The work in Qatar is now focused on creating a green building index, which is seen as a major step in developing progressive standards for the construction industry for sustainability in buildings. This index will provide construction companies with vital information pertaining to the country’s unique standards for what it considers to be a green or sustainable development. Once developers understand the requirements behind what is needed, they can work to promulgate an ethos of green buildings across the entire sector. This is a move that can invite sweeping changes, as large scale developments also require the input of public works, as well as water and energy providers who can use these initiatives to implement new recycling methods and adopt a cleaner environmental footprint.
The green stadium push should not be looked at as an issue in isolation, for it is part of a larger countrywide movement of sustainability. The Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) was created in 2009 upon a decree from HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, who is a member of the Qatar Foundation. The QGBC provides leadership and encourages collaboration in conducting environmentally sustainable practices for the design and development of green buildings in Qatar. To encourage further achievements in green developments, QGBC held the Qatar Sustainability Award 2016 to reward significant contributions in this field. In addition, chief among its efforts are outreach programs for members of the business community and the citizenry designed to foster a culture of sustainability among the people of Qatar.