Qatar’s Lusail Stadium achieves five-star sustainability rating

Qatar’s Lusail Stadium achieves five-star sustainability rating
Delegates of the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy posing with GSAS certificates at the Lusail Stadium. (Qatar News Agency)
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Updated 16 August 2022

Qatar’s Lusail Stadium achieves five-star sustainability rating

Qatar’s Lusail Stadium achieves five-star sustainability rating
  • Achieving a high rating is challenging, as it requires a project to adhere to environmental sustainability standards which include 50 sub-criteria.

DOHA: FIFA World Cup final venue Lusail Stadium has achieved a five-star rating under the Global Sustainability Assessment System, the Qatar News Agency reported.  

The rating system is administered by the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development.

The 80,000-person capacity venue has several environmentally friendly features, including water-saving systems.

The roof is made from PTFE, a material that protects the stadium from warm winds and keeps out dust. This sustainability feature allows enough light for the pitch to grow while providing shade to reduce the burden on the stadium's air conditioning.

Its design, inspired by the interplay of light and shadow, is based on the fanar lantern to depict the Arab and Islamic world's golden age of art and craftsmanship.

Lusail received a five-star GSAS Design & Build rating and a Class A* GSAS Construction Management rating.

The certificates were presented to executives from the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy at a special event on Monday.

They included deputy director general Ghanim Al-Kuwari, sustainability executive director Bodour Al-Meer, and sustainability communications manager Jassim Al-Jaidah.

“This recognition from GORD is an important part of our FIFA World Cup journey,” said Al-Kuwari. “Sustainability has been central to our plans from the start as we are determined to develop venues that boost local communities here in Qatar long after the tournament. We are very proud to receive these awards and pay tribute to everyone involved in the construction of Lusail Stadium, an incredible venue that will host the biggest international football match on the planet, the FIFA World Cup final later this year."

Al-Meer said achieving these ratings was a testament to the hard work of the project team to prioritize sustainability features from the design phase through to construction and operation.

“In addition to the roof, the project site has conserved 40 percent more water than conventional stadium developments thanks to efficient fixtures and leak detection systems,” he said.

GORD founding chairman Dr. Yousef Alhorr said Lusail Stadium had set a “new precedent” in environmental excellence, guided by the SC's sustainability strategy, by meeting the “exacting” GSAS standards.

“We congratulate the SC for advancing climate action by successfully translating green building principles into impactful practices. This is testament to the strong commitment to sustainability which has been apparent from before ground was broken at Lusail and other venues,” he said.

The chairman said Qatar’s hosting of the World Cup was a milestone as all of its stadiums would be designed, built, and operated in line with the highest sustainability standards, as well as obtaining a certificate from a neutral party to abide by these standards.

The two-stage process of obtaining sustainability certificates took time and effort, Alhorr said.

The first stage was the evaluation process, which included field visits throughout the project’s estimated seven to eight-year lifespan to ensure the building specifications aligned with the construction.

The second stage was the review of thousands of documents by the office to ensure the accuracy of the information and the credibility of adherence to the required standards.

Obtaining the highest classifications was challenging as it required the project to adhere to environmental sustainability standards which entailed 50 sub-criteria, Alhorr added.

The sub-criteria were organized into eight major axes: Energy efficiency, water consumption, environmentally friendly materials, location, urban communication, indoor and outdoor environment, and operating practices.

Lusail Stadium project manager Tamim Al-Abed said the stadium's receipt of two sustainability certificates confirmed the committee's efforts to implement World Cup projects sustainably, adding that Qatar had delivered on its promises to adhere to strict sustainability standards throughout all stages of stadium construction.

He said the most important criteria that contributed to Lusail Stadium receiving the certificates were the selection of building materials, operating equipment, and cooling devices in the stadium in an energy-efficient manner, transferring exports sustainably, and monitoring and controlling waste, electricity consumption, dust and noise during the construction period.

He also said the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 would be a green tournament because it considered sustainability requirements at all stages of project implementation, beginning with design and ending with project delivery and operation.

Lusail Stadium will host 10 matches, beginning with Argentina against Saudi Arabia on Nov. 22 and concluding with the final on Dec. 18, which is also Qatar National Day.

It will house several civic facilities for the local community after the tournaments.

Any seats removed from the venue could be donated to countries without adequate sporting infrastructure.

The eight stadiums hosting matches during the World Cup have also achieved a minimum four-star rating under GSAS.


Egypt’s population hits 104 million with a child born every 19 seconds

Egypt’s population hits 104 million with a child born every 19 seconds
Updated 02 October 2022

Egypt’s population hits 104 million with a child born every 19 seconds

Egypt’s population hits 104 million with a child born every 19 seconds

CAIRO: Egypt’s population has reached 104 million after an increase by one million people in 221 days, revealed the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).
Over seven months and 11 days, the country recorded a newborn every 19 seconds, with the population increasing by 4,525 people per day. Meanwhile, 1,566 deaths were recorded.
Earlier in February, the domestic population reached 103 million with an increase of one million people over seven months and 22 days, recording an average of 1,858 deaths daily.


Putin discusses bilateral relations with king of Bahrain 

Putin discusses bilateral relations with king of Bahrain 
Updated 02 October 2022

Putin discusses bilateral relations with king of Bahrain 

Putin discusses bilateral relations with king of Bahrain 

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a telephone on Friday with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa discussing bilateral relations between their two countries, state news agency BNA reported. 

The two leaders discussed efforts to achieve lasting peace “that would guarantee the interests and national security of all countries”, the report said. 

The King and the Russian President underlined the importance of continued coordination and adherence to the OPEC+ Group’s decisions.

King Hamad emphasized the importance of activating channels of dialogue, negotiations and peaceful solutions to reach peace and development for all.


Turkish minister says deadly gun attack was ‘America-based’

Turkish minister says deadly gun attack was ‘America-based’
Updated 02 October 2022

Turkish minister says deadly gun attack was ‘America-based’

Turkish minister says deadly gun attack was ‘America-based’
  • Two suspected Kurdish militants opened fire on security force lodgings in the Mediterranean province of Mersin late on Monday, killing one officer and wounding a second officer and a civilian

ISTANBUL: Turkey’s interior minister on Saturday described a gun attack that killed a police officer in the country’s south as an “America-based” operation.

Two suspected Kurdish militants opened fire on security force lodgings in the Mediterranean province of Mersin late on Monday, killing one officer and wounding a second officer and a civilian. The female attackers, who Turkish authorities said were affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, later killed themselves by detonating suicide bombs.

“This action is an America-based action,” Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu told ruling party officials in the Black Sea province of Giresun, according to the private Demiroren news agency and other outlets.

Soylu also said US authorities had requested the serial numbers of the firearms used in the attack from the Turkish police, without specifying which US agency made the request.

Turkish government officials have previously accused Washington of supporting the PKK by arming and training the group’s Syrian branch, known as the YPG.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the 38-year on-off conflict between the PKK and the Turkish state. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU. The US does not recognize the YPG, which helped combat the Daesh group in Syria, as a terrorist entity.

Soylu last year alleged American involvement in a failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016 that killed more than 250 people.


Israeli forces kill Palestinian teenager in West Bank

Israeli forces kill Palestinian teenager in West Bank
Updated 02 October 2022

Israeli forces kill Palestinian teenager in West Bank

Israeli forces kill Palestinian teenager in West Bank
  • The shooting happened in Azariyah, a village just outside of Jerusalem, and marked the latest violence in what has become the deadliest year in the West Bank since 2015

JERUSALEM: Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank after a group of youths smashed a hole through the Israeli separation barrier and began throwing objects at police.

The shooting happened in Azariyah, a village just outside of Jerusalem, and marked the latest violence in what has become the deadliest year in the West Bank since 2015.

Amateur video shared on social media showed a group of masked youths gathered in front of the towering concrete barrier and chanting slogans as they forced their way through a gate.

“Walk forward our popular fans,” they chanted. “A hole in the separation wall, a patrol explodes.”

Israel’s paramilitary border police said forces shot a protester who attempted to throw a firebomb at them as they came to disperse a demonstration.

It said demonstrators threw stones and explosives at them.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the dead youth as 18-year-old Fayez Damdoum.

Israel built the barrier some 20 years ago in what it said was a security measure meant to prevent attackers from entering Israel.

But the barrier frequently dips into the West Bank, carving off nearly 10 percent of its territory.

The Palestinians view the structure as an illegal land grab and symbol of Israel’s 55-year military occupation of the territory.

Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.

Some 700,000 Israeli settlers now live in the two areas, which the Palestinians claim for a future state.

Saturday’s killing came at a time of heightened tensions. Israel has been carrying out stepped-up military activity in the West Bank, mostly in the northern cities of Jenin and Nablus, following a series of deadly Palestinian attacks inside Israel last spring.


36 dead after Iran police shoot at protesters, IRGC spymaster killed 

36 dead after Iran police shoot at protesters, IRGC spymaster killed 
Updated 02 October 2022

36 dead after Iran police shoot at protesters, IRGC spymaster killed 

36 dead after Iran police shoot at protesters, IRGC spymaster killed 
  • Protests broke out in Iran's Sistan and Balochistan province after the rape of a 15-year-old Baloch girl, allegedly by a local military commander
  • Amid global outcry, students in Iranian cities protest against crackdown since Mahsa Amini’s death

QUETTA, Pakistan: Communication services were down in the southeastern Iranian city of Zahedan on Saturday after a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander was killed in clashes.

Protests broke out in the capital of the Sistan and Balochistan province bordering Pakistan on Friday after the rape of a 15-year-old Baloch girl, allegedly by a local military commander, caused public outrage.

Ali Mousavi, IRGC intelligence chief of Sistan and Balochistan, was shot during the confrontation with protesters. The IRGC-affiliated Tasnim News Agency reported that Mousavi was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Mousavi’s killing was claimed by the Jaish Al-Adl militant group, which says it is fighting for the independence of Sistan and Balochistan and greater rights for Baloch people, who are the main ethnic group in the province.

Footage emerging from Zahedan showed people carrying dead and wounded protesters amid heavy gunfire. The provincial administration said 19 people had died in the clashes. Local news agency Haal-e Vash reported the number of deaths to be at least 36, with dozens more wounded.

Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency, had a different version of the violence. It reported that armed separatists attacked a police station in Zahedan, killing 19 people, including four IRGC members.

IRNA quoted Hossein Modaresi, the provincial governor, as saying 19 people were killed. The outlet said 32 Guard members, including volunteer Basiji forces, were also wounded in the clashes.

IRNA on Saturday identified the dead as Hamidreza Hashemi, a Revolutionary Guard colonel; Mohammad Amin Azarshokr, a Guard member; Mohamad Amin Arefi, a Basiji, or volunteer force with the IRG; and Saeed Borhan Rigi, also a Basiji.

The death of the provincial IRGC intelligence chief is a major escalation in the anti-government demonstrations that began in mid-September, triggered by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while she was being held in custody by the Iranian morality police for wearing her headscarf “inappropriately.”

Thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets over the last two weeks to protest the death of Mahsa Amini. The protesters have vented their anger over the treatment of women and wider repression in the Islamic Republic. The nationwide demonstrations rapidly escalated into calls for the overthrow of the clerical establishment that has ruled Iran since its 1979 Islamic revolution.

The protests have drawn supporters from various ethnic groups, including Kurdish opposition movements in the northwest that operate along the border with neighboring Iraq. Amini was an Iranian Kurd and the protests first erupted in Kurdish areas.

Iranian state TV has reported that at least 41 protesters and police have been killed since the demonstrations began Sept. 17. An Associated Press count of official statements by authorities tallied at least 14 dead, with more than 1,500 demonstrators arrested.

Also on Friday, Iran said it had arrested nine foreigners linked to the protests, which authorities have blamed on hostile foreign entities, without providing evidence.

It has been difficult to gauge the extent of the protests, particularly outside of Tehran. Iranian media have only sporadically covered the demonstrations.

Students demonstrated in Tehran and other Iranian cities on Saturday against the ongoing crackdown. 

Iranians based abroad and their supporters gathered in cities around the world in solidarity.

“Woman, life, freedom” and “Death to the dictator”, they chanted in the streets of Amini’s hometown of Saqqez, in Kurdistan province.

Riot police massed at major road junctions across the capital, as students demonstrated in Enghelab (Revolution) Square near Tehran University in the city centre to press for the release of arrested students.

Police clashed with the protesters who were chanting slogans and arrested some of them.

Video footage shared by the Oslo-based Iran Human Rights group also showed student protests in other cities, including second city Mashhad and Karaj, west of the capital.

The protesters were seen chanting and women having removed their headscarves.

Demonstrations of support were called in 159 cities across the globe — from Auckland to New York and Seoul to Zurich, the Iranians for Justice and Human Rights group said. In Rome, at a rally of about 1,000 people, a half dozen women cut their hair in solidarity.

Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, meanwhile, reminded Iran’s armed forces of their duty to people’s lives and rights, the foreign-based opposition Telegram channel Kaleme reported.

Mousavi’s Green Movement challenged Iran’s disputed 2009 presidential election in unrest at a level unseen since its 1979 Islamic Revolution before being crushed by authorities.

“Obviously your capability that was awarded to you is for defending people, not suppression people, defending oppressed, not serving powerful people and oppressors,” he said.

(With AP)