Qatar ’22 architect wants to scrap expensive air conditioning plan

Brooks Peck

One of the promises used to justify Qatar as a viable host of the 2022 World Cup was that all the glitzy new stadiums built specifically for the event would be air conditioned to protect the participants and spectators from the 110-plus degree summer heat while maintaining a zero carbon footprint. Local scientists even proposed solar-powered artificial clouds that would hover over the grounds and cost $500,000 each.

Well surprise, surprise -- the company hired to build the air conditioning prototype that was used to sell Qatar's successful bid now says it won't work.

From the AP:

Leading firm Populous, which is designing the Sports City stadium in Doha, is trying to persuade Qatari organizers to scrap plans to have air conditioning at the venue.

Populous director John Barrow said the system is too expensive and "notoriously unsustainable" for the environment when used on a large scale.

"I think you can be more clever. It is about air movement, moisture in the air and it is about temperature at the right time of day," Barrow told delegates at the International Football Arena conference. "If we get it right … that is the way ahead."

Yes, it's even too expensive for Qatar. So what now?

Instead, he is proposing wind towers that suck up hot air to create fan-like air movement inside the 47,000-capacity stadium.

Wind towers! If you thought the Jabulani was bad, wait till you see a football that's getting whipped around the (un-air conditioned) pitch by wind towers.

Qatar's next little switcharoo: Instead of building all those expensive stadiums for the matches, they'll just have them play out in the desert. Fans can bring their own beach chairs.