No Plans to Scrap Air Conditioning for 2022 World Cup

After we blogged about how one of the contractors suggested that air conditioning was too expensive, organisers of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar have said they have no intention of scrapping plans to air-cool the stadiums.

John Barrow of UK architect Populous said at an international football arena conference, earlier this year, that air conditioning was “notoriously unsustainable” and too pricey.

Barrow said how he was now looking at other options, after a pledge to build air conditioned stadiums to beat the scorching heat in Qatar was part of the Gulf state’s winning bid last year.

However, the 2022 World Cup’s communications director, Nasser Al Khater, told Bloomberg, “All our commitments that have been made to FIFA that are in the bid book are still going ahead as planned.

“There’s no plan of scrapping cooling technology whatsoever.”

In comments published by Associated Press, Barrow said that the planned Sports City stadium can be kept cool by traditional Arabic methods for ventilation and shading seats.

Associated Press said that Populous wants to wind towers to create fan-like air movement inside the 47,000-capacity stadium.

“I think you can be more clever. It is about air movement, moisture in the air and it is about temperature at the right time of day,” Barrow said. “If we get it right … that is the way ahead.”

He added, “We are doing away with all the air conditioning kit that is going to cost a fortune to run”

In June, Qatar’s 2022 World Cup Committee’s secretary general, Hassan Al Thawadi, said the first of 12 stadia planned for the tournament would combat the impact of the heat for fans and players, by including a state-of-the-art cooling system. He also said that the first of the stadia would be completed in 2015.

Then in July, it was reported that Populous believed the Sports City Stadium could cost over $2bn to build.

This compares to the $1.28bn it cost to build London’s new Wembley Stadium which is judged as one of the world’s most excellent new stadia.