Work on to install innovative new roof at Khalifa International Stadium

Posted on 8th December 2016

Work is on to install an innovative new roof at the historic Khalifa International Stadium, the first proposed host venue for the 2022 Fifa World Cup Qatar, which will provide more shade to the stands and pitch, while also letting enough sunlight through to the turf for natural growth of the grass.


The ‘big lift’ operation of the roof is completed and the installation of the roof membrane is currently ongoing and will continue until early January, with completion of the stadium renovation planned for the first quarter of 2017, said a statement from The Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC).

The main components of the roof membrane have been manufactured in Japan and US. A 44,000-sq-m membrane made of two materials is being used to achieve Fifa requirements regarding sunlight over the pitch at the Khalifa stadium.

An intricate net of German and Italian-made steel tension cables weighing 4,000 tonnes has been put up to hold the 92 panels that will make up the roof. Both ETFE (ethylene tetrafluoroethylene) and PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) panels were shipped from Japan and US to Mexico for cutting and welding patterns.

Mansoor Al Muhannadi, project manager for Khalifa International Stadium at Aspire Zone Foundation, said: "We are very pleased with the progress on site, from the exterior parts to the forthcoming installation of the new roof structure. It will be a proud moment for everyone in the team when the construction is completed for the first proposed host venue and this is what the team on site is working towards on a daily basis."

Qatar’s historic stadium is undergoing a comprehensive renovation to meet requirements and standards for Fifa World Cup stadiums, which includes adding a new building to the east wing, construction of an Olympic sports museum and building a single roof to cover the whole seating area.

After the renovation, the stadium will seat more than 40,000 spectators and will be completely cooled, including the field of play, all seats and concourses.

“When we did the shadow analysis, we noticed a portion of the southern side of the field of play wouldn’t get any sunlight if we used only PTFE. Meanwhile, ETFE is a more transparent material that allows more than 80 per cent of sunlight to go into the turf,” explained Al Muhannadi.

Meanwhile, Mohemed Ahmed, SC project manager for Khalifa International Stadium and Al Bayt Stadium – Al Khor City, said: "The design of the roof is a fantastic idea from an engineering perspective. ETFE is a material that is now becoming popular for this type of use and it was also used for the Allianz Arena in Munich."

“The majority of the ring is assembled on the ground and later pulled up in what we call the big lift. The inner ring is being connected to the two arches using tension cables. This activity is now completed. And the inner roof structure starts receiving the actual roof membrane,” he added.

According to Ahmed, the external cladding and first LED screens are also coming up around the exterior of Khalifa International Stadium, according to Tradearabia news report.

The installation of LED screens has been taking place on the entrance wing of the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum, which will form a part of the renovated stadium, while cladding can be seen going up all around the venue as it moves towards the completion stage, he stated.

A total of more than five million man-hours have been worked on site without any lost time, with site safety a top priority across all construction activities taking place at Khalifa International Stadium and all SC programme sites, he added.

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