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QF stadium built on bedrock

Qatar Foundation Stadium excavations reveal that the structure is being built on rock solid foundations

The stadium is designed to represent a diamond sparkling in the desert.
The stadium is designed to represent a diamond sparkling in the desert.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar Foundation Stadium is being built on solid bedrock, according to recent excavations. 

The stadium has excavations comprising 1.37 million cubic metres of solid rock, or the equivalent of about 550 full-size Olympic swimming pools of rock material being removed.

Thirty-two excavators completed the excavation which reached a depth of 17 metres, resulting in the pitch being built at around five-six metres below ground level.

This design feature is influenced by findings conducted by Spanish stadium designers Fenwick Iribarren Architects, which revealed that by sinking the stadium several metres into the ground, wind effect is diminished and natural cooling is maximised through the ‘bowl cooling effect’.

The global cooling research findings was supported by British engineering firm ARUP, The Peninsula reports.

“The cooling plant for the stadium will also be underground to lessen the effect on the surrounding community, hidden at around 16-and-a-half metres below the surface,” said Eid Al Qahtani, ProjectManager, Competition Venues, Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy.

The rocks were found to originate under water, forming a layer known as the middle-Eocene epoch.

“This is an extraordinary find for a stadium construction site, as usually this type of rock is found in deeper tunnelling works, conducted by the likes of Qatar Rail,” said Al Qahtani

Of the thousands of tonnes of rock excavated, much will be utilised on other projects.
“Part of the rocks was also utilised by the nearby golf course under construction, while the remainder was sent to be reused on projects,” Al Qahtani explained.

The construction site has passed the 1.5 million man hours milestone without any lost time accidents, (LTI) and the site is now preparing for the vertical construction of the 40,000-seat stadium.

As with all legacy stadia post-tournament, it will be reduced to 25,000 seats with the excess seating sent to developing countries.

After completion in 2019, the stadium and precinct, including an indoor arena, tennis courts and an indoor swimming pool, will be used by the student community at Education City, affording a comfortable environment for sporting activities all year round.

The surrounding area also includes a Metro station within walking distance to the facility.


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Construction Week - Issue 759
Feb 22, 2020