Built to disappear: World Cup stadium 974

Built to disappear: World Cup stadium 974

World Cup stadium 974 is one of the seven stadiums Qatar built for the World Cup, that is meant to disappear after the tournament.

The image above is A partial view of the Stadium 974 prior to the start of the World Cup group G soccer match between Serbia and Switzerland, in Doha, Qatar, Qatar, Friday Dec. 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

 



Built to disappear: World Cup stadium 974

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — Of the seven stadiums Qatar built for the World Cup, one will disappear after the tournament.

That’s what the games’ organizers have said about Stadium 974 in Doha — a port-side structure with more than 40,000 seats partially built from recycled shipping containers and steel.

Qatar says the stadium will be fully dismantled after the World Cup and could be shipped to countries that need the infrastructure. Outside experts have praised the design, but say more needs to be known about what happens to the stadium after the event.

“Designing for disassembly is one of the main principles of sustainable building,” said Karim Elgendy, an associate fellow at the London-based Chatham House think tank who previously worked as a climate consultant for the World Cup.

“It allows for the natural restoration of a building site or its reuse for another function,” he said, adding that a number of factors need to considered “before we call a building sustainable.”

Buildings are responsible for nearly 40% of the world’s energy-related carbon emissions. Of that, about 10% comes from “embodied” carbon or the greenhouse gas emissions related to the construction, maintenance and demolition of buildings.

Qatar has faced international criticism for its treatment of low-paid migrant workers who built over $200 billion worth of stadiums, metro lines and other infrastructure for the World Cup. Qatar says the criticism ignores labor reforms enacted in recent years.

Stadium 974, named after Qatar’s international dialing code and the number of containers used to build the stadium, is the only venue that Qatar constructed for the World Cup that isn’t air-conditioned. During a match Friday in which Switzerland defeated Serbia, the air was noticeably more humid and hot than in other venues.

The stadium is hosting only evening matches, when temperatures are cooler.

Fenwick Iribarren Architects, which designed Stadium 974 and two other World Cup stadiums, says the idea was to avoid building a “white elephant,” a stadium that is left unused or underused after the tournament ends, as happened following previous World Cups in South Africa, Brazil and Russia.

Qatar says it has developed plans for the other six stadiums after the games are over. Many will have a number of seats removed.

Qatar has not detailed where the dismounted stadium will go after the tournament or even when it will be taken down. Organizers have said the stadium could be repurposed to build a venue of the same size elsewhere or multiple smaller stadiums.

Where its components go matters because of the emissions implicated by shipping them thousands of kilometers away.

Carbon Market Watch, an environmental watchdog group that investigated Qatar’s World Cup sustainability plans, said whether Stadium 974 has a lower carbon footprint than a permanent one comes down to “how many times, and how far, the stadium is transported and reassembled.”

FIFA and Qatar acknowledge that in a report estimating the stadium’s emissions. If the stadium is reused only once, they estimate its emissions would be lower than a permanent one as long as it is shipped fewer than 7,000 kilometers (about 4,350 miles) away.

If it’s repurposed more than once, it could be shipped farther and still be less polluting than a permanent venue, they said, because of how energy-intensive building multiple new stadiums is.

Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy, the organizing committee for the World Cup, did not respond to a request for more information about plans after the tournament.

The report also didn’t factor in operational emissions — or those produced from running a building — once the stadium is repurposed because standards vary in different countries, FIFA and Qatar said.

“The energy required for dismantling and shipping the building components will obviously need to be estimated,” Elgendy said, “but it is unlikely to outweigh the carbon embodied in the building materials.”

For now, the stadium’s design isn’t lost on spectators. On any game night, fans entering and leaving the stadium take selfies against its modern, industrial facade. The temporary stadium is hosting seven games in total — with the final one on Monday between Brazil and South Korea.

Jhonarel Miñoza, a 42-year-old Qatari resident originally from the Philippines, said she and her sister wanted to see a game in each of the seven stadiums.

Miñoza, an administrative officer who has lived in Qatar for five years, said she had heard about Stadium 974′s unconventional design before the game she attended on Friday.

“I was really eager to know how they built it,” Miñoza said. “When I came inside here, I was just checking how they did that.”

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AP World Cup coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/world-cup and https://twitter.com/AP_Sport

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Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation to be generalised throughout the Middle East and North African regions of heavy urbanisation.  

The above image is of Place Pasteur, Beirut

 


French-Lebanese architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

AFP
Lina Ghotmeh has pegged her career on sustainable construction.

The French-Lebanese architect wants to see her industry transformed by drastically reducing the use of concrete — a major CO2 contributor — using more local materials and reusing existing buildings and materials.

“We need to change our value system,” the 42-year-old told AFP last month.

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

Lina Ghotmeh wants to reduce the use of concrete in building / © AFP

The aim is to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction industry and create buildings that can better resist the impacts of climate change.

But it’s not an easy battle.

The industry accounts for almost 40 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.

Ghotmeh, who designed the Estonian National Museum and taught at Yale University, doesn’t advocate for fewer buildings — she knows that’s an unrealistic goal in a world with a growing population.

“That would be like saying ‘stop eating,'” she said.

– ‘Don’t demolish’ –

Instead, we should “keep what already exists, don’t demolish,” but refurbish and retrofit old buildings in a sustainable way where possible.

Building a new detached house consumes 40 times more resources than renovating an existing property, and for a new apartment complex that rises to 80 times more, according to the French Agency for Ecological Transition (Ademe).

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

RTL

Lina Ghotmeh’s ‘Stone Garden’ in Beirut uses traditional building techniques / © AFP/File

And where new constructions are needed, local materials and design should be used in a way that incorporates natural surroundings and saves energy.

Ghotmeh used more than 500,000 bricks made from local dirt for a new Hermes building in France, expected to open early next year.

The bricks also regulate the building’s temperature and reduce energy needs.

The building will produce as much energy as it consumes, by being made energy efficient and using geothermal power.

– ‘Circular thinking’ –

Architects must, early in the project process, “think in a circular way,” Ghotmeh said, choosing reusable organic or natural materials like wood, hemp, linen or stone.

This shouldn’t stymie the design process either, she insists.

“In Canada, we build wooden towers, in Japan too. It’s a material that is quite capable of being used for tall buildings,” added Ghotmeh, who will build a wooden tower in Paris in 2023.

Another key approach is to build lighter, using less material and fewer toxins.

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

RTL

Transforming the concrete jungle / © AFP

And then there’s concrete, the main material in so many modern buildings and perhaps the most challenging to move away from.

“We must drastically reduce the use of concrete”, she said, insisting it should only be used for essential purposes, such as foundations and building in earthquake-prone areas.

Some 14 billion cubic metres of concrete are used every year, according to the Global Cement and Concrete Association.

It emits more CO2 than the aviation industry, largely because of the intense heat required to make it.

Alternatives to concrete already exist, such as stone, or making cement — a component of concrete — from calcium carbonate. There are also pushes for low-carbon cement made from iron and steel industry waste.

– Beirut inspiration –

Building more sustainably often comes with a higher price tag — it costs more to double or triple glaze windows and properly insulate a house — but the long-term payoff is lower energy costs.

For Ghotmeh, it’s an imperative investment in our future.

It was her birthplace of Beirut that inspired her to become an architect, spurring a desire to rebuild the so-called “collapsed city” ravaged by war.

Architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation

RTL

The wall of Ghotmeh’s ‘Stone Garden’ / © AFP/File

In 2020, she completed the “Stone Garden” apartment tower in the city, built with concrete covered with a combed coating, a technique often used by local craftsmen. She used concrete in the construction because of earthquake risks.

The building was strong enough to survive the port explosion in 2020 that destroyed a large part of the city.

And the city continues to inspire her today, even when it comes to climate sustainability.

“Since there is practically only an hour of electricity per day, all the buildings have solar panels now. There is a kind of energy independence which is beginning to take place, by force,” she said.

“Does it take a catastrophe like the one in Lebanon to make this transition?”

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Breakthrough – or Another Empty Climate Promise

Breakthrough – or Another Empty Climate Promise

Is it a Breakthrough – or Another Empty Climate Promise from COP27? Wonders Adil Najam of Boston University.

 

 

COP27’s ‘loss and damage’ fund for developing countries could be a breakthrough – or another empty climate promise

 

By Adil Najam, Boston University (Picture above)

 

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry closes COP27 in the early hours of Nov. 19, 2022.
Christophe Gateau/picture alliance via Getty Images

 

Developing nations were justifiably jubilant at the close of COP27 as negotiators from wealthy countries around the world agreed for the first time to establish a dedicated “loss and damage” fund for vulnerable countries harmed by climate change.

It was an important and hard fought acknowledgment of the damage – and of who bears at least some responsibility for the cost.

But the fund might not materialize in the way that developing countries hope.

I study global environmental policy and have been following climate negotiations from their inception at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Here’s what’s in the agreement reached at COP27, the United Nations climate talks in Egypt in November 2022, and why it holds much promise but very few commitments.

3 key questions

All decisions at these U.N. climate conferences – always – are promissory notes. And the legacy of climate negotiations is one of promises not kept.

This promise, welcome as it is, is particularly vague and unconvincing, even by U.N. standards.

Essentially, the agreement only begins the process of establishing a fund. The implementable decision is to set up a “transitional committee,” which is tasked with making recommendations for the world to consider at the 2023 climate conference, COP28, in Dubai.

Importantly for wealthy countries, the text avoids terms like “liability” and “compensation.” Those had been red lines for the United States. The most important operational questions were also left to 2023. Three, in particular, are likely to hound the next COP.

1) Who will pay into this new fund?

Developed countries have made it very clear that the fund will be voluntary and should not be restricted only to developed country contributions. Given that the much-trumpeted US$100 billion a year that wealthy nations promised in 2015 to provide for developing nations has not yet materialized, believing that rich countries will be pouring their heart into this new venture seems to be yet another triumph of hope over experience.

2) The fund will be new, but will it be additional?

It is not at all clear if money in the fund will be “new” money or simply aid already committed for other issues and shifted to the fund. In fact, the COP27 language could easily be read as favoring arrangements that “complement and include” existing sources rather than new and additional financing.

3) Who would receive support from the fund?

As climate disasters increase all over the world, we could tragically get into disasters competing with disasters – is my drought more urgent than your flood? – unless explicit principles of climate justice and the polluter pays principle are clearly established.

Why now?

Acknowledgment that countries whose excessive emissions have been causing climate change have a responsibility to pay for damages imposed on poorer nations has been a perennial demand of developing countries in climate negotiations. In fact, a paragraph on “loss and damage” was also included in the 2015 Paris Agreement signed at COP21.

What COP27 at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, has done is to ensure that the idea of loss and damage will be a central feature of all future climate negotiations. That is big.

Seasoned observers left Sharm el-Sheikh wondering how developing countries were able to push the loss and damage agenda so successfully at COP27 when it has been so firmly resisted by large emitter countries like the United States for so long.

The logic of climate justice has always been impeccable: The countries that have contributed most to creating the problem are a near mirror opposite of those who face the most imminent risk of climatic loss and damage. So, what changed?

At least three things made COP27 the perfect time for this issue to ripen.

First, an unrelenting series of climate disasters have erased all doubts that we are now firmly in what I have been calling the “age of adaptation.” Climate impacts are no longer just a threat for tomorrow; they are a reality to be dealt with today.

Second, the devastating floods this summer that inundated a third of my home country of Pakistan provided the world with an immediate and extremely visual sense of what climate impacts can look like, particularly for the most vulnerable people. They affected 33 million people are expected to cost over $16 billion.

The floods, in addition to a spate of other recent climate calamities, provided developing countries – which happened to be represented at COP27 by an energized Pakistan as the chair of the “G-77 plus China,” a coalition of more than 170 developing countries – with the motivation and the authority to push a loss and damage agenda more vigorously than ever before.

Young people from many countries shout and wave signs reading 'pay up for loss and damage' at a small outdoor protest.
Activists from developing nations pressed for a loss and damage fund during the COP27 U.N. climate conference, the first held in Africa.
AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Finally, it is possible that COP-fatigue also played a role. Industrialized countries – particularly the U.S. and members of the European Union, which have traditionally blocked discussions of loss and damage – remain distracted by Russia’s war in Ukraine and the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and seemed to show less immediate resistance than in the past.

Importantly, for now, developing countries got what they wanted: a fund for loss and damage. And developed countries were able to avoid what they have always been unwilling to give: any concrete funding commitments or any acknowledgment of responsibility for reparations.

Both can go home and declare victory. But not for long.

Is it just a ‘placebo fund’?

Real as the jubilation is for developing countries, it is also tempered. And rightly so.

For developing countries, there is a real danger that this turns out to be another “placebo fund,” to use Oxford University researcher Benito Müller’s term – an agreed-to funding arrangement without any agreed-to funding commitments.

In 2001, for example, developing countries had been delighted when three funds were established: a climate fund to support least developed countries, a Special Climate Change Fund, and an Adaptation Fund. None ever reached the promised scale.

Writing prior to COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009, Müller boldly declared that developing countries would never again “settle for more ‘placebo funds’.” I very much hopes he has not been proven wrong at Sharm el-Sheikh.The Conversation

Adil Najam, Professor of International Relations, Boston University

Read the original article.

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The Conversation

Investment plans within concept of ‘smart’ cities, villages

Investment plans within concept of ‘smart’ cities, villages

The COP27 delivered partial success in an agreement on a fund for those vulnerable countries; however, it still needs to provide an understanding of the most basic requirements for stopping the current climate breakdown. That is mainly to slash the burning of fossil fuels as promptly as possible.  In the meantime, life carries on. Like in the story that follows, it is not building better with less at this conjecture and not about decarbonising all active ingredients but, like Azerbaijan sharing investment plans within the concept of ‘smart’ cities and villages.


Azerbaijan shares investment plans within concept of ‘smart’ cities, villages

The image above is of TRAVEL TRIANGLE

BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 21. Azerbaijan cooperates with the world’s leading companies in the building of ‘smart’ cities and villages, Azerbaijani Minister of Digital Development and Transport Rashad Nabiyev said on November 21 during an international conference on ‘smart’ cities and villages, being held in Baku, Trend reports.

According to Nabiyev, the concepts of ‘smart’ cities and villages contribute to the efficient use of water and other natural resources.

“In the next five years, $2.5 trillion will be invested in these concepts. Azerbaijan has been working in this direction since 2020. Our ministry has studied the experience of leading countries when elaborating on the concepts. Within the framework of the ‘Online Azerbaijan’ concept, large-scale work is being carried out to integrate state systems, switch to ‘cloud’ technologies and other work,” the minister noted.

Besides, Nabiyev noted that the effectiveness of the concept of ‘smart’ cities and villages may differ depending on the region.

“When implementing these projects, we take into account the factor of development of local companies and their localization,” he said.

The minister pointed out that over the past two years, 472,000 households in Azerbaijan have been provided with fiber-optic communication, and by 2024 even the most remote villages will be provided with it.

Speaking about the development of these projects, Nabiyev said that more attention should be paid to ensuring the security of information systems.

“In the next three years, 932 highly qualified specialists in the field of cybersecurity will be trained in Azerbaijan,” he added.

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Building better with less: how we can decarbonize . . .

Building better with less: how we can decarbonize . . .

When we see cranes in the sky and new buildings coming up, we think about growth and prosperity, new homes for people to live in, schools and hospitals for citizens’ basic needs, and places for leisure and community bonding. But constructing these buildings is responsible for 30 percent of the built environment’s overall emissions. With the world building the equivalent of one New York city every month to accommodate the growing population, we need all hands on deck to decarbonize one of the hardest-to-abate sectors.

The good news is that green building is possible today. Traditional concrete doesn’t have the best reputation environmentally — and rightly so — but green concrete is a game changer. Concrete is the world’s most-popular building material and innovating to make it low-carbon is already helping build greener cities. Some types of green concrete get there through the extensive use of alternative materials and fuels. Some get there by incorporating construction and demolition waste. Today, we encourage customers all over the world to opt for our concrete and cement with up to 90 percent fewer CO2 emissions and no compromise on performance. Building better with less is now a reality, not just a pipedream.

Concrete is the world’s most-popular building material and innovating to make it low-carbon is already helping build greener cities.

Using smart design can also help build better with less. For example, 3D concrete printing can reduce material use by up to 80 percent, thus reducing its carbon footprint with no compromise on performance. We’ve deployed 3D concrete printing solutions in Africa to build affordable, quality housing and schools. At home in Switzerland, we’re partnering with the Block Research Group and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to create innovative solutions such as a new lightweight floor system that reduces material use by 50 percent and embodied CO2 by up to 80 percent.

With concrete being infinitely recyclable, we can have truly circular cities by using construction and demolition to build new from old without taking any more precious virgin resources from our planet. In Zurich, for example, it’s not an option, it’s a must. The Swiss city requires recycled concrete to be used in the construction of public buildings (the concrete needs to contain at least 25 percent recycled demolition waste in order to be classified as recycled). Earlier this year we achieved a circularity breakthrough at our cement plant in Altkirch, France: we produced the world’s first clinker, the main component of cement that undergoes the carbon-intensive calcination process, made entirely of recycled minerals — and we’re already scaling it to our other plants in Europe. But we’re not stopping there because next, in the very near future, we will produce 100 percent recycled cement and then 100 percent recycled concrete with the final objective of constructing the world’s first building with 100 percent recycled materials. Imagine if every new building was made from 50 percent of an old one. That means 50 percent fewer materials drawn from nature and less CO2 emissions. We already have the solutions to make this a reality.

We will produce 100 percent recycled cement and then 100 percent recycled concrete with the final objective of constructing the world’s first building with 100 percent recycled materials.

Finally, as energy security and energy poverty become a more pressing issue than ever before, concrete is one of the most versatile materials used in buildings for temperature regulation because it absorbs, stores and releases energy efficiently — something called thermal concrete activation. We’re already seeing ‘cool schools’ popping up in Austria leveraging this simple yet highly-effective technology: the Lieselotte Hansen-Schmidt educational campus in Seestadt is carbon-free thanks to a combination of concrete core activation, heat pumps, geothermal probes and solar energy. If we start using green concrete for these ‘batteries’, we’ll have a real win-win and no one will ever have to choose between eat or heat.

Many regions already require buildings to deliver sustainable outcomes through regulation and incentives. And although zero-carbon buildings must undoubtedly become the standard in the future, we should not wait for ‘zero’ because all practical steps available today should be used to drastically reduce the whole-life carbon footprint of buildings. Smart design methods, low-carbon materials, and energy-efficient systems are practical methods available to the market today and align with pathways such as the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings framework, which requires halving emissions by 2030.

To get there, it’s essential to ensure that we have an effective, fair and reliable carbon-pricing mechanism that establishes a level playing field on carbon costs between domestic manufacturers and imports. This forms the central pillar of the low-carbon business case and is fundamental to our ability to invest on a large scale in the deployment of low-carbon technologies and products.

To create and accelerate demand for such products and technologies will require a regulatory environment and building standards/codes that incentivize greater and faster market uptake of low-carbon products by integrating sustainability performance into building codes, public procurement and product standards, alongside traditional criteria such as safety, performance, durability and affordability.

Additionally, no single solution will be perfectly scalable everywhere due to geographic, technological and legislative conditions. This means we need a flexible yet unequivocal regulatory framework that recognizes all carbon-capture technologies in carbon accounting and verification mechanisms as carbon mitigation avenues for hard-to-abate sectors.

A massive shift to sustainable construction could be accelerated by adapting standards, green procurement and building codes.

The paradigm shift to sustainable construction has not yet fully happened, although we are seeing tremendous activity in individual cases among designers as well as certain contractors and owners. A massive shift to sustainable construction could be accelerated by adapting standards, green procurement and building codes, and we are optimistic about that. Given the complexity of this shift, no single organization can get there alone. We all have a role to play. Public authorities can evolve building norms and regulations to make material recycling mandatory. Building owners and infrastructure developers can put their procurement to work to specify more recycled materials. Companies can innovate to develop new technologies, from recycling to digital material management. It’s up to all of us to empower circular, decarbonized cities.

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