Doha: Khalifa International Stadium – the first completed 2022 FIFA World Cup tournament venue – has received a major sustainability certification.
The 40,000 capacity venue has become the first in the world to be awarded a four-star rating from the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), which is administered by Qatar-based Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD).
Qatar’s national stadium officially reopened in May this year after undergoing an extensive redevelopment, which was overseen by the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), Qatar’s 2022 FIFA World Cup organising body, and Aspire Zone Foundation. The official four-star certification follows a provisional award announced in June 2016.
Khalifa, which has been fitted with innovative and energy-efficient cooling technology, officially received the rating during the second annual Sustainability Summit in Doha, which was organised by GORD and sponsored by the SC.
Bodour Al Meer, the SC’s Sustainability & Environmental Manager, described the award as a “major achievement”.
“We are very proud to receive the four-star certification – this is a major achievement for Qatar, the SC and Aspire Zone Foundation as we strive to meet our ambitious sustainability targets in the lead-up to 2022 and beyond,” said Al Meer.
Meanwhile, Engineer Mansoor Saleh B. Al Muhannadi, Project Manager, Aspire Zone Foundation, is proud of Khalifa’s ongoing journey as Qatar’s national stadium.
“Khalifa International Stadium will continue to be a major sporting landmark in Qatar and the region. The inauguration in May will live long in the memory and we look forward to more exciting events being held here, not least the 2019 World Athletics Championships and the 2022 FIFA World Cup.”
FIFA’s Federico Addiechi praised Qatar’s commitment to sustainability and said world football’s governing body would continue to work closely with the SC and GORD.
“It’s great to see that Qatar’s first stadium has successfully received certification so far in advance of the tournament,” said Addiechi, FIFA’s Head of Sustainability & Diversity. “Also, the fact that such a sophisticated certification system exists and is being widely used in Qatar is very promising.
“Stadiums are at the heart of a FIFA World Cup, making them the focus for the sustainable management of the event.”
Addiechi went on to praise the blossoming relationship between FIFA, the SC and GORD.
“We’re extremely happy with the cooperation between FIFA, the SC and GORD. The collaboration will not stop with the certification process – there is so much in the pipeline, which will all be covered in the joint 2022 FIFA World Cup Sustainability Strategy, to be launched in 2018.”
GORD Founding Chairman Dr Yousef Alhorr described Khalifa earning the four-star certification as a “proud story”.
“GORD is proud to be the pioneer for the GSAS scheme, which was launched in 2014,” said Alhorr.
“It is immensely satisfying to see that sustainability is at the heart of Qatar’s stadiums. The tournament venues being developed are among the most sustainable in the world.
“My heartfelt thanks go to FIFA, for endorsing GSAS, and the SC for accepting and enforcing GSAS so rigorously. This is a proud story which will be told to future generations.”
In order to obtain GSAS certification, developers must employ leading sustainability practices in the design, construction and operation to minimise the building’s ecological footprint. The GSAS standard includes eight assessment categories: energy, water, indoor environment, cultural and economics, site, urban connectivity, materials, and management and operations.
Khalifa’s cooling technology uses an energy recovery system in order to reduce energy consumption. In addition, the venue features energy-efficient lighting systems and plumbing fixtures.
Regarding urban connectivity, Khalifa is located close to public transport and other popular facilities, such as Aspire Zone and Villagio Mall. Recycled materials account for 25% of the redevelopment, while others were sourced regionally where possible. Khalifa also has strong legacy credentials – as well as hosting the 2019 World Athletics Championships and 2022 FIFA World Cup, it will be the home of Qatar’s national team after 2022.