Contractors must keep up with technological advances to drive the industry forward, says Autodesk senior vice chairman Jim Lynch.
Globally, the built environment footprint is expected to double in size by 2060. For that to happen in line with net zero targets, technology is going to be critical to improving the way construction is carried out.
Jim Lynch, Vice President & General Manager, Autodesk Construction Solutions.
Autodesk senior vice chairman Jim Lynch puts it simply: “The industry has to find a better way to build and digital is going to play – and is already playing – a huge role in that.”
For technology to advance our construction techniques, digital literacy is going to be required in all practices and, ideally, through all phases of construction.
“The bare minimum is that contractors use digital technology on the job site for collaboration,” says Lynch.
“Ideally, they should use digital technology during the pre-construction process. Moving on from there they should use it to drive operations and maintenance, then take that project information from design out to a digital twin, where they can use that technology to provide management capabilities for the owner.”
To make this a reality, technology must be easy to deploy and adopt, according to Lynch. “If using and deploying technology is going to need weeks of training where you’re taking workers off the job, that’s not going to work,” he explains.
However, Lynch believes the onus is on contractors to invest more in improving their digital literacy if they are falling behind.
“You have to build up that digital muscle,” he says. “And I think, by and large, contractors really do understand that they have to take those first steps around collaboration, then extend those steps into using more digital during the planning process and then continue on from there.”
He believes that today’s contractors are embracing technology faster than ever, not only because of the competition, but also because of the expectations of clients and the government. He points to the UK’s Building Safety Act, which became law in April 2022, as a driver.
“That is really all about data; it is ensuring that owners, contractors and designers all play a role in making sure that digital information is created, captured and stored throughout the entire process.”
Lynch believes a big challenge is going to be attracting the workforce to build all the future projects – but that digital could play a part in drawing people in. “I think the use of digital technologies to drive better outcomes in construction will be intriguing to the younger generation,” he says.
“How to apply technology to the construction process, especially when you think about augmented reality and virtual reality applications, will drive a greater interest in the workforce.”
He adds that the industry has made great progress in its use of technology in recent decades. “But I think we’ve only scratched the surface,” he says. “I think the best is really yet to come.”
The 2022 Football World Cup looks more like Sustainability game-changers have been the host country’s top priority. It undertook for reasons specific to the government to opt for the latest sustainability philosophy throughout its decade-long development of the games’ required infrastructure.
Sustainability game-changers at World Cup
The International Federation of Football Associations (FIFA) said that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has been a game changer in terms of organising a sustainable tournament. Many innovations will have a lasting influence on the way similar events are planned and delivered in the future.
FIFA said in a report today that a special and comprehensive program for energy and water management has been employed in the stadiums for this edition of the World Cup, which adopts efficient designs, constructions and operations, noting that all stadiums are 30% more energy efficient and consume less water than international benchmarks (ASHRAE 90.1), and recycled water vapor from cooling systems in stadiums is used to irrigate the surrounding stadium landscape, 90 % of temporary diesel generators were replaced by electric sub-stations providing greener grid power and reducing air pollution, and all five energy centers at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 stadiums have GSAS Seasonal Energy Efficiency certification.
The report stated that all future FIFA World Cups will continue to use this sustainability program as the blueprint for ensuring maximum operational efficiency.
For this edition of the FIFA World Cup, a fleet of 311 eco-friendly hybrid and electric vehicles and 10 electric buses have been provided by sponsors Hyundai and Kia for use as ground transport of teams, officials and VIPs at the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. This marks the first time that EVs have been deployed in such numbers to service event organizers, a precedent which is sure to be followed as FIFA continues to emphasize the need for clean mobility.
The report stated that ecological imperative to avoid, reduce, re-use and recycle has also been a defining policy of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 from the early planning stages, reflecting the organizers’ leadership and commitment to divert all tournament waste from landfill, including tournament-wide recycling of plastic, aluminum, cardboard, paper and glass and composting of waste food and compostable tableware at all stadiums, training camps, and other official sites, all uniforms for workforce staff and 20,000 volunteers were made from recycled materials, and distributed in bags converted from signage and stadium dressing from previous events.
The report emphasised that inclusiveness was a game-changer, thanks to an expansive range of features which have helped make it more accessible for disabled fans through mobility assistance, accessible transport, parking, facilities and five ticket types for disabled people and people with limited mobility, audio-descriptive commentary in English, and for the first time Arabic, for blind and partially sighted people to enjoy matches in the live stadium atmosphere.
For the first time at a FIFA World Cup, sensory rooms for people with sensory access requirements to allow them to attend a match without becoming overwhelmed by the sounds and stimuli of match day.
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
By Suman Naishadham
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.
The multi-colored shipping containers are used as building blocks for Stadium 974 and also to house facilities such as restrooms in the interior of the structure. Like giant Lego blocks, the bright red, yellow and blue corrugated steel boxes appear suspended between layers of steel. The design gives the stadium an industrial feel.
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.
A view of the Stadium 974 during the World Cup group G soccer match between Brazil and Switzerland, in Doha, Qatar, Monday, Nov. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)
“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.”
French-Lebanese architect seeks pro-climate construction transformation
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.
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).
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.
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?”
A visiting official says that hosting success sets new standards for future mega sporting events. The Qatar World Cup is the first edition of the significant soccer tournament ever held during December, and in the Middle East.
Qatar invested significantly in the mega-event, including revamping its national infrastructure. The sought-after ‘soft power’ implications start slowly but surely to show as the games unfold.
On the other hand, sustainable development requires, per the UN an integrated approach that takes into consideration environmental concerns along with economic development but, above all sustainability in the future. Will all those built-up infrastructures be of some use?
Qatar’s hosting success sets new standards for future mega sporting events: Bosnian Deputy PM
DOHA: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina HE Dr Bisera Turkovic said that Qatar did an amazing work to welcome the world during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and succeeded in establishing an incredible and excellent infrastructure, indicating that the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 has set new standards for future sporting mega-events.
In her remarks to Qatar News Agency, Her Excellency pointed out that Qatar’s hosting of such a global event will inspire generations of young people to come to embrace each other and create a more tolerant world.
Her Excellency said: “The whole world was watching the Al Bayt stadium for the opening ceremony. I am happy that I was present as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, from the Western Balkans and a European country. The opening was a great global event for the first time to be held in an Arab country. Qatar has emerged into a modern, prosperous state, whose citizens enjoy opportunities and security, thanks to the wise leadership of HH the Amir, following the footsteps of HH the Father Amir.”
HE stressed the need to develop the culture of tolerance and respect, as highlighted during the World Cup opening ceremony, saying: “This is the first World Cup taking place in an Arab country and in a Middle Eastern country. It is a great chance for people to get to know a different culture and to learn about one great religion in the world.”
“The more we know the better chance we have for progress and stability in the world. Qatar offers open hand to all who want to come and witness what the Qatari nation achieved in such a short period of time offering unity of basic values and appreciation for difference with full respect of their own culture and religion,” Her Excellency added.
HE Dr. Bisera Turkovic indicated that previous World Cup hosting countries were not subjected to smear campaigns as Qatar was, saying: “Other countries did not receive such scrutiny when hosting global sporting events, even though those countries had many more things that could be criticized.”
Her Excellency explained that Qatar once again stresses that there is more that can unite people rather than divide them, and as sports are a healthy part of societies, it should remain clear from political influence, struggle to dominate, and imposition of bad habits such as alcohol and drugs.
The Bosnian official expressed her happiness that a Bosnian folklore group was present to take part in the world cup festivities at Katara Cultural Village for this truly global event.
HE Deputy Prime Minister pointed out that there are strong fields of cooperation between Bosnia and the State of Qatar, including political, economic, and cultural cooperation that is based on friendship and fraternity. This has been maintained through the exchange of visits between officials of the two countries at the highest levels and documented by the signing of many agreements and bilateral cooperation protocols. Her Excellency expressed her hope to see economic cooperation expansion during the coming period in all sectors.
Her Excellency added that the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been working hard to attract public and private investment from Qatar through having more connectivity between the two countries, enabling direct flights with Qatar Airways, and increasing rights and security for Qataris in ownership of the real estate in Bosnia.
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