Qatar Foundation expert highlights importance of learning from green buildings

Sport is a tool that brings people together, regardless of age, interests, language, and ethnicity. Major sporting events hosted in ‘green’ buildings can be used as vehicles to educate the public on the importance of sustainability.

Hamoda Y Youssef
Hamoda Y Youssef

According to Hamoda Y Youssef, Head of Technical Affairs at Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), for a developing nation as multicultural as Qatar, sport is a way of bringing people together, and allowing them to share memorable moments. QGBC is a member of Qatar Foundation.

Sport on its own is a great gathering point, and can serve as a platform for people to interact and engage positively. So to send the message of sustainability through a sporting event or building is very powerful.

The Education City Stadium, which was officially inaugurated earlier this year, is a beacon of education and sustainability to the world, and was the first FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ venue to achieve a five-star Global Sustainability Assessment System certification from the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development.

Education City Stadium

The stadium boasts a range of eco-friendly features, including a ‘passive’ design, which takes advantage of the climate to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the structure. It also utilises sustainable materials, sourcing 85% regionally and 55% locally, while 29% was generated from recycled content. Other key features include low-flow water fixtures, an efficient irrigation system, native and drought-tolerant flora, and energy-efficient LED lighting systems.

Further demonstrating that learning is at the very heart of the stadium, following the conclusion of the World Cup – and as it moves into its legacy phase – 20,000 seats will be donated to support the construction of stadiums in developing countries. The stadium is also set to serve as a hub for social and community engagement by housing two progressive QF schools – Qatar Academy for Science and Technology and Academyati, both part of the QF Pre-University Education.

Youssef said that typically, cities are shaped by the architecture of their iconic buildings – for example, the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

In Qatar, as we are gearing up for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, the stadiums will be our new iconic buildings for the next few years, and even after the event itself.

There will be enormous memories shared within these stadiums, billions of people – even if not actually in Qatar – will experience the matches, Yousef added.

And if you promote these iconic buildings as sustainable, you are delivering a powerful message to the world.

These buildings, according to Youssef, can serve as education tools – not just on the global stage, but also at a grassroots level, where members of the community have the opportunity to engage and learn from them first-hand, and reflect what they learn in their daily lives and actions.

He said that by demonstrating the various sustainable features to visitors, you can educate people on how to utilise different eco-friendly tools within their homes and within their own wider communities, and show how these measures can be scaled accordingly.

This is significant, because if you don’t do that, people will think that only expensive buildings with endless resources can be sustainable.

Youssef refers to this as non-intrusive learning. It’s not a classroom, he says. He suggested using subtle, non-intrusive learning tips and tricks and allow people to learn without feeling overwhelmed, unsettled, or guilty.

For example, within Education City, the QF Student Housing complexes boast dashboards detailing how the buildings are energy efficient, water efficient, and – in some cases – highlighting their air quality. In Oxygen Park, the Qur’anic Botanic Garden has added detailed labels to the plants, including the history of the species.

Explaining how QF’s dedication to promoting environmentally-friendly practices is a reflection of the country as a whole, Youssef says. Qatar has been in the forefront of sustainability in the region for many years.

By embracing these concepts and employing them throughout Education City, QF continues to lead by example. And the Education City Stadium is a continuation of this, taking it to the next level and showing people how sustainability benefits everyone and can be applied everywhere.

For updates on the 2022 World Cup stadiums in Qatar, visit