From the Al Bayt to London’s Olympic stadium, the design behind sustainable projects

Buildings, railroads, bridges and roads: the future works that protect the environment

A hidden thread joins Doha’s Al Bayt stadium, which hosted some of the 2022 Football World Cup games, and London’s Olympic Stadium, home of the most important events of the 2012 Olympics. Ten years and thousands of kilometers apart, these two projects were inspired by the same principle, that of sustainable design.

Sustainability applied to the great infrastructure works right from the design phase, and later during construction, is a central theme of modern engineering. A theme that large groups like Webuild, which erected the Al Bayt stadium, leverage strategically to rewrite the way infrastructure is conceived and realized.

While London’s Olympic stadium, with its 80,000 seats, is the lightest ever constructed thanks to the use of sustainable and recyclable materials, starting with its cloth roof, the Al Bayt reproduces a beduin tent and was designed to be in part disassembled after the games, reducing to a minimum its environmental impact. Two buildings, therefore, that tell the tale of how sustainable and circular design can exercise virtuously its influence even on large and complex structures such as stadiums, bridges, roads, tunnels and railroads.

The reduction of damaging emissions, the use of green and recyclable materials, the recycling of the water used on the work site and then by the building erected, the attention to sustainability in the construction phases, are all factors that contribute to the transition towards a circular economy

The great examples of sustainable design

The Al Bayt Stadium and London’s Olympic park are but two examples of how sustainable design impacted the building or great projects conceived for hosting global events and tens of thousands of people.

From Asia’s modern skyscrapers, designed to heat and cool their interiors by using geothermal energy and heat pumps, to buildings made entirely of wood that are popping up more and more in Northern Europe and North America, there are many examples of sustainable design.

In addition to Qatar’s Al Bayt stadium, the Webuild group in the last few years has realized a number of projects inspired by this new concept. In Athens, the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center has given the city a modern and green structure. Designed by the architect Renzo Piano, the building garnered the Platinum certification of the LEED program precisely because of its unique energy saving design.  In Milan Webuild is completing the Centro Direzionale ENI, the headquarters of the Italian energy company, built with a number of innovations that allow considerable savings in energy and water and help sustainability. And in Riyadh, the subway’s line 3, part of one of the largest subway networks in the world, boasts the construction of two stations that adopted the LEED Leadership standard. From one project to the other, from one latitude to the next, cities are renewing themselves, especially the more modern ones, offering the world a new way of conceiving how we may live together in the future.

The future of infrastructure is green

Today more than ever, cities have become a huge magnet for human beings. In 2030 two thirds of the world’s population will live in urban centers, thus favoring the birth of larger and more widespread megacities. Cina is an example of how the world is destined to transform itself in the coming years, with vast metropolises bordering with each other, infinite urban conglomerates that require, to ensure a good quality of life, modern and sustainable infrastructure. Joining large cities with fast, low-pollution trains is, for example, one of the imperatives that will crop up in the next few years, just as continuing the massive process of urban renewal by building green buildings and common areas for social interactions. In the Unites States, the Energy Policy Act aims to renovate government buildings to cut energy consumption by 30%.

Following this route is the only possible way to reach the objectives that many countries have set for themselves, that is, reaching zero carbon emissions by 2050. It is a difficult goal to reach, but the attempt finds a solid ally in sustainable infrastructures, the essential tools to improving people’s quality of life without endangering the environment.