Sustainable building certification for stadiums and permanent offices
Sustainable building

Sustainable stadiums and offices

Delivering GSAS sustainable building certification for all the FIFA World Cup 2022™ stadium sites and permanent tournament organiser offices based on the applicable standards for design & build, renovation, construction management and operation.

FIFA requirements for sustainable stadiums

As per FIFA requirements, all FIFA World Cup™ stadiums are designed and built following sustainable building standards. This is helping to minimise resource requirements as well as any negative environmental impacts from construction and operation of tournament sites.

This requirement is achieved by applying the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) standard. This standard guides the creation of a sustainable built environment that minimises ecological impacts and resource consumption.

For the previous editions in Brazil and Russia, FIFA World Cup stadiums also achieved sustainable building certification. The stadiums in Qatar are going even further by pursuing two additional types of certification, namely for construction management and operations.

The following minimum certification standards are being applied for all FIFA World Cup 2022™ stadiums:

GSAS Design & Build
Certification Requirement: 4 Stars (maximum = 5 Stars)
GSAS Construction Management
Certification requirement: Class A (maximum = Class A*)
GSAS Operations
Certification requirement: Gold (Platinum and Diamond supersede Gold)

Achieving and in many cases exceeding these three certification requirements is an enormous feat that is unprecedented for any previous FIFA World Cup™.

Achieving GSAS certification

To achieve the required GSAS certification, the design and construction teams implemented innovative sustainability initiatives such as:

Energy conservation

selection, installation and commissioning of efficient lighting, cooling and ventilation systems. For example, the pioneering cooling technology developed in Qatar requires the stadiums be cooled only a few hours before the match and prevents hot air creeping into the venue to further reduce energy consumption. In addition, cooling can be restricted to specific areas being used – further reducing energy consumption.

Water efficiency

installation of low-flow fixtures, leak detection systems as well as recycled-water irrigation systems for landscaping, alongside effective monitoring of water use.

Waste minimisation, use of re-used and recyclable construction materials, and

space planning and installation of waste receptacles to allow for separation, storage and removal of a number of waste streams as well as the re-use of construction materials. Stadium 974, for example, is made from approximately 1,000 modular shipping containers, which will be repurposed into a range of sporting facilities after the tournament, highlighting another innovative solution employed in FIFA World Cup stadium construction for the first time.

Occupant comfort

maintaining good indoor air quality through selection of low-toxicity materials, controlling ventilation and temperature to balance energy use with comfortable surroundings, considering factors such as acoustics, ventilation and natural light.

Minimisation of the environmental impact of construction

dust control using recycled water, noise and vibration control, minimisation of erosion, reduction of water use, waste recycling, and more. This also considers wider issues such as urban connectivity and the development of infrastructure that enables environmentally-friendly transport.

Overall, the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ stadiums are 30 percent more energy efficient and use 40 percent less water than international benchmarks (ASHRAE 90.1 and International Plumbing Code, respectively).

Sustainable operations of stadiums

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ stadiums are obtaining more than just design certification. The stadiums will showcase the very latest advancements in operation and cooling efficiency, as well as the implementation of innovative plans to ensure the legacy use of the tournament infrastructure. Further information about each of the stadiums, including their unique design features, can be found in our Sustainable Stadiums document as well as our stadiums landing page.

With most of the construction work now complete, preparation towards GSAS Operations certification is now underway for stadiums. This includes setting up policies and procedures, providing training to the facility management teams as well as onsite audits. Al Janoub Stadium was awarded a gold standard GSAS certification for operational performance in April 2022 – making it the first FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ stadium to be awarded all three GSAS certifications.

We also achieved certification of Al Bidda Tower, where the SC and Q22 offices are located. This building became the first office tower in Qatar to receive the GSAS Operations certificate – awarded Platinum certification – which is the second highest rating possible.