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Khalifa Stadium arch

Reem Saad / Doha News

Khalifa Stadium arch

The final piece of an arch on Qatar’s Khalifa International Stadium has been put into place, as organizers advance on plans to prepare for the 2022 World Cup.

The 40-year-old stadium is located at the Aspire Zone and is being renovated to meet FIFA regulations.

It used to have one single, iconic arch. During its overhaul, that was removed and replaced with two arches.

Painstaking process

In a statement, tournament organizers said adding the final piece to one of the arches was no small feat. The 22m piece was installed at a height of 120m with a 600 metric ton “mega crane.”

Khalifa Stadium arch

Reem Saad / Doha News

Khalifa Stadium arch

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) added:

“Prior to lifting, the segment was tilted to the required angle at the ground level using a smaller crane.

Other major elements such as bottom, top compression rings and column segments were pre-assembled at site also using smaller crawler cranes.”

To even get the massive pieces used to assemble the top of the arch on site, 18m-long trailers were needed to deliver them and 100 and 250 ton mobile cranes were used to unload them.

The next step will be to add the roof, the stadium’s project manager Mansoor Al-Muhannadi said.

Khalifa Stadium will be handed over the SCDL by the end of this year. In 2022, it is expected to host the quarter-final World Cup matches.

The venue will have capacity for 40,000 spectators and be the first World Cup stadium to be lit solely by LED lighting, according to the SCDL.

It will also house Qatar’s 3-2-1 Olympic and Sport Museum.

Thoughts?

Stadium model

SCDL

Stadium model

As construction on half a dozen 2022 World Cup stadiums gets underway in Qatar, local researchers have started 3D-printing models of the venues to see how they handle different temperatures.

The stadium components are being printed and assembled by scientists at Qatar University (QU)’s College of Engineering.

In a statement, World Cup organizers said the models are being run through a wind tunnel simulation to see how they respond to climate changes.

Wind tunnel

SCDL

Wind tunnel

The goal is to ensure a comfortable stadium environment while being environmentally-friendly and cost-effective, the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SCDL) added.

How it works

According to QU Engineering Prof. Dr. Saud Abdul Aziz Abdu Ghani, laser beams and analytic software track what happens when the models are run through the wind tunnel.

He continued:

“We can see the temperature per tier, add in variants such as sweat produced and amount of spectators, and then run the simulation and see the effect on the temperature inside the stadium.

For the cooling, we want a minimal amount of air to go in, and we want the air inside to stay there. We can change the direction and simulate different wind directions at this facility.”

So far, two stadiums – Al Bayt (Al Khor) and Al Wakrah – have been tested. A model of the upcoming Al Thumama Stadium is now being printed for testing, Abdu Ghani added.

Changes made

Over the past six months, data compiled by QU’s team has helped the SCDL better engineer its stadiums, Yasir Al Jamal, Vice Chairman – Technical Delivery Office said.

He added that in addition to aerodynamic modifications, the research has made it possible to reduce the amount of steel needed for the stadium roofs.

Al Bayt Al Khor stadium

SCDL

Al Bayt Al Khor stadium

“(This) will reduce energy and capital costs, and reduces the effect on the environment. In effect we are minimising the effect on the environment, as well as the cost and the operational cost,” he said.

For their part, QU researchers such as Abdu Ghani said the wind tunnel was also recently used to test the design of an upcoming stadium in Brussels.

“In Qatar we need to keep the cold in the stadiums, but in Belgium the challenge was to keep the rain out. We had to look at different types of rain and see how the spectators would be able to remain dry at all times, including the wind factor,” he said.

He added that aerodynamics testing is “the future” of building design and the wind tunnel was helping Qatar leave its mark in this regard.

Thoughts?

Al Rayyan Stadium rendering

SCDL

Al Rayyan Stadium rendering

The main construction contract for another 2022 World Cup stadium in Qatar was awarded this week to a joint venture of Qatar-based Al Balagh Trading & Contracting and India’s largest construction firm, Larsen & Toubro Ltd.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) said yesterday that the JV will be tasked with rebuilding Al Rayyan Stadium in three year’s time.

In a statement, SCDL secretary-general Hassan Al Thawadi said:

“This marks an important milestone in our progress and preparations. The impact of this stadium and its surrounding precinct will be felt long before the stadium is finished.”

The committee did not immediately respond to questions about the value of the contract. However, Reuters cited an unnamed government official as pegging the price tag at $135 million.

The upcoming 40,000-seat Al Rayyan Stadium has already received a design award this year from a panel of international sports facility experts.

The stadium’s facade is formed from seven patterns representing different aspects of Qatari culture that blend together to form a single design.

The shapes draw on Islamic geometric influences and are similar to the theme seen in the facade of the Burj Qatar building in West Bay/Dafna.

Structures housing hospitality zones, concession areas and other services will be built to resemble sand dunes and will dot the stadium grounds.

The area around the stadium will include a mosque, aquatics center, shaded walkways, cycling and running tracks, outdoor fitness equipment as well as a new branch of sports medicine service provider Aspetar, the SCDL has said.

Construction

Al Rayyan Stadium is being constructed some 20km west of Doha’s city center on the former site of the now-deconstructed Ahmed Bin Ali Stadium.

The old facility was supposed to be refurbished for the World Cup, but was torn down instead to meet FIFA’s technical requirements.

Demolition of Al Rayyan stadium

SCDL

Demolition of Al Rayyan stadium

In addition to demolishing the old facility, construction crews have already been busy excavating at the stadium site in preparation for the main contractors to start work.

By early April, some 210,000 cubic meters of rock and sand had been removed from the area as workers dug down 6m for the foundation, parking areas and new pitch, the SCDL said at the time.

The new Al Rayyan Stadium is scheduled to be completed by 2019, three years before the start of the World Cup.

After the tournament, its capacity will be reduced from 40,000 to 20,000 and the facility will become the new home of the Al-Rayyan Sports Club.

Al Rayyan Stadium design

SCDL

Al Rayyan Stadium design

The stadium is one of at least eight that will be used for the World Cup. Five, including Al Rayyan, are currently under construction and all are scheduled to be completed by 2020.

Earlier this week, the SCDL posted a notice in local newspapers asking construction firms to officially indicate their interest in leading the construction of another World Cup stadium.

SCDL did not immediately respond to a request for more information on that project.

Thoughts?