Qatar's Green Plan for a 2022 World Cup Stadium: Is It Really as Eco-friendly as It Looks?

qatar world cup stadium design image

Artist's rendering of the 'Lusail Iconic Stadium' for Qatar. Image: Foster + Partners.
Qatar is touting its eco-friendly design for a new football stadium as a key component of the country's 2022 World Cup bid. In designs released by architects Foster + Partners, the building certainly looks cool and has a lot of the right qualifications -- energy efficient, close to transit, partially solar-powered. But critics say there's one big problem with the stadium: It shouldn't be built at all.According to designboom, the 86,250-capacity "Lusail Iconic Stadium" is "designed to be highly energy efficient and capable of performing in extreme summer climatic conditions" -- key for a country where summer temperatures average more than 104 degrees Fahrenheit. The plan incorporates direct connections to a new metro line and solar-collector canopies over parking and service areas that "will produce energy for the stadium when it is in use, as well as generating power for neighboring buildings."

Sounds good, right? Not so fast...

Football in One of the Planet's Hottest Places
As the Middle East environmental blog Green Prophet points out, creating an environment that allows people to watch and play sports in one of the hottest places on the planet will require a lot of energy. Mark Fenwick, one of the architects involved with the project, admitted as much, saying: "Certainly the most important challenge for stadium design in the Middle East has to do with the need to cool the interior environment to an acceptable level, especially in the summer months."

If the parking-lot solar panels can generate all the energy that's required, great. But it seems like it might be a lot greener if the bid goes to a place where the climate is a bit more hospitable all on its own.

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