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While foundation works are nearing completion, as Al Wakrah Stadium readies to begin emerging from the ground, there is already a structure shooting sky-wards nearby. It is a tower which reaches 10m into the sky and is placed on a surface of 10m x 10m.

Recently installed at the construction site for the Al Wakrah Stadium, the weather station will provide valuable information about temperature, humidity, precipitation intensity and visibility, among other factors.

The cooling systems designed for the stadium, at the proposed host venue for the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™, will automatically adapt its performance in response to local weather conditions using the information provided by the weather station, allowing football to be played year-round even after the tournament has concluded.

The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) has recently finished installation of the first of these weather stations at Al Wakrah Stadium.

The station was developed and installed by the Qatar Mobility Innovations Center (QMIC), which has experience in operating and maintaining national weather stations.

 Dr. Nelson Chilengwe


British mechanical engineer, Dr. Nelson Chilengwe, a cooling expert at the SC who is originally from Zambia, explained that external conditions need to be known by cooling technology designers.

Dr. Chilengwe advised:

We usually get this information from data based on national weather station measurements, like the one at the airport, but for our programme, we wanted to know exactly what the weather is like close to our stadium sites.

The weather station includes several pieces of equipment that offer a number of services, including a sun tracker, sensors for selected gases, solar-powered monitoring of particulate matter, temperature and humidity sensors, among others.

The QMIC, located at the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), will install two further weather stations for the SC at the Al Rayyan and Lusail stadium precincts. After installation, they will start collecting and analysing data for an initial period of three years.

Chilengwe said:

We have just completed installation at Al Wakrah Stadium. The station monitors and collects information 24-hours a day but we have configured the system to record meteorological data every five minutes, while air quality is recorded every 15 minutes.

This information will enable SC experts to measure what the current temperatures are, and optimise the cooling system at the stadium for football to be played year-round even after the tournament has concluded.

Chilengwe added:

So far we have used several years of historical data to predict what the weather conditions are likely to be in 2022. With this equipment we can compare between our predictions and the actual parameters we are measuring on the site.

Engineers take into account external conditions and use that information to determine how much cooling is needed to achieve the required conditions inside the stadium.

“With these localised stations we will be able to determine exactly what the temperature is and automatically control operation  of cooling systems against the external conditions, year-round in Qatar as a legacy element,” said the expert.

Solar panel


Chilengwe clarified that, although it’s not new to have a weather station close to a stadium:

It may be that we’re using it differently because of the range and types of instruments we have. The beauty of our project is that we can collect the data from the three stations and then access it from a centralised system and see the comparisons of the three stations. This can also be then compared against what other national weather stations are reporting.

The SC already used data collected from a small weather station to adjust the cooling system during the operation of the Brazil 2014 Fan Zone at Katara Beach in Doha. Chilengwe was also part of the team that designed and installed cooling technology that allowed the successful delivery of an open-air cooled Fan Zone at Katara.

He said:

We continually tracked external parameters with a small weather station on site and we compared this with the data from the airport weather station. We used the data we were measuring to fine-tune our cooling system.


Trevor Easley, Host Country Security Design, Risk and Assurance Lead, Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, is one of the 50+ industry-elite speakers taking part in our Stadia & Arena Asia Pacific 2015 conference & exhibition, which will focus on sports venue design, build, management, operation, fit-out and technology and is being held at the Singapore Sports Hub this September, 28-30. Check out the website for all the latest speaker, conference and event news:

Qatari culture and heritage in Al Wakrah Stadium design for 2022

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The Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee this week unveiled the new concept design for Al Wakrah Stadium in the proposed southern-most Host City for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General, Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, said:

Today’s announcement constitutes the first in an upcoming series of progress-related events and initiatives as we enter the early phase of delivering the promises we made to FIFA and the international football community during the bid. We are proud to reveal what we believe is a truly unique stadium design and surrounding precinct that will serve the population and act as a social hub for the community of Al Wakrah, and Qatar as a whole, during the 2022 FIFA World Cup and for the years to follow. The stadium reflects what our country stands for from a cultural perspective. It is modern, futuristic and functional. But importantly, it remains true to Qatari heritage with the design and materials inspired by the traditional dhow boat.

AECOM, in association with Zaha Hadid Architects, have developed the design under the guidance of the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee. The stadium will have a capacity of 40,000 and the top-tiers will be modular to allow this to be lowered to 20,000. Thawadi added:

We are at an advanced stage in our planning. Al Wakrah is the first of six stadiums already in the latter stages of the design process. Our committee has issued ten major tenders to the market encompassing project and design managers and stadium-operation consultants. After a rigorous design process, undertaken by the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee, in coordination with its stakeholders, the local construction market will see real work and progress. Works will begin to be visible on stadium sites. In 2014, tenders will be issued for early works, enabling works and main contractors for five stadiums. These stadia will be in different construction stages by the fourth quarter.

On Al Wakrah specifically, early works on the stadium site will begin in January, with the tender for the main contractor issued in the second quarter. Stadium construction will begin in the fourth quarter. All construction contracts for the stadium will be issued in line with the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee’s Workers’ Charter and Standards – developed in consultation with international human rights organisations – which will enforce best practice, in line with the government’s vision for worker welfare, and cement the tournament as a catalyst to the improvement of workers’ welfare within Qatar and the region.

AECOM Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John M. Dionisio said:

AECOM is pleased to play a part in the global launch for the Al Wakrah Stadium Project and congratulates the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee on reaching this important milestone in its delivery programme. We believe the planning and design for the Al Wakrah Stadium and Precinct clearly establishes an international benchmark for sports venues in the region. We are delighted to be involved with the 2022 FIFA World Cup programme and to support the Qatar 2022 Supreme Committee in reaching its vision. This is an exciting time for Qatar, and our global team of forward-thinking sports experts is well equipped to take on the innovative challenges that a project of this calibre will demand.

Zaha Hadid added:

We are excited to be working on Al Wakrah Stadium. The design expresses its context, establishing a relationship with the city and its surrounding landscape.