Emergency lighting: bringing the World Cup to light

25th July 2022
Sheryl Miles

In the lead-up to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Qatar has built nine new stadiums and renovated three, with the 12 venues divided among seven host cities.

Located on the shores of the Gulf, looking across to Doha's West Bay skyline, the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium is one of the 12 new stadiums, a spectacular venue for matches up to the quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar. 

Constructed using shipping containers, removable seats and other modular ‘building block’, not only does this innovative 40,000-seat venue have a remarkable design, but it is also zero-carbon emitting and climate-controlled and will be entirely dismantled and repurposed after the World Cup.

Its parts will be used in other sporting or non-sporting projects, setting a new standard in sustainability and introducing new ideas in tournament legacy planning.

With the venue's temporary nature and clever modular design in mind, fewer building materials were required compared to traditional stadium buildings, in order to help keep construction costs down. 

Reliable Emergency Lighting 

When plans for the stadium began in 2020, Mackwell was involved right from the start alongside its partner, Archilum Lighting, Mackwell’s Dubai-based expert in lighting solutions. Together, Archilum and Mackwell designed and created all emergency lighting layouts for the stadium as well as its emergency lighting product specification.  

Stadiums are notoriously complicated to specify when it comes to emergency lighting. This is why Archilum closely partnered with Mackwell, a UK manufacturer, innovator and global specialist in the field of safety-critical solutions to help with the design and specification of the stadium’s emergency lighting.  

Archilum, with the guidance of Mackwell, completely designed all emergency lighting layout and wiring and placed the right luminaires for each of the different areas in line with all LUX calculations to ensure compliant installation, optimising the use of space throughout the building. 

Delivering Optimal Output 

Compliance is the number one factor in any emergency lighting deployment, and the Ras Abu Aboud Stadium was no exception. As all of Mackwell’s luminaires are carrying the Kitemark approval from BSI, Mackwell delivered emergency lighting that wasn’t only capable of meeting Qatar Civil Defence’s requirements, but also able to provide the best possible performance within the space.  

Appointing the Qatar branch of NVC International, a seven-year partner of Mackwell’s, to deploy the products locally, Mackwell delivered emergency lighting for the entire structure.

Stadiums are complex. They have concourses, VIP areas, changing rooms and of course, stands. Everything within the stadium requires emergency lighting and Mackwell had the right product that fit the different requirements for all of the various applications.  

As part of the deployment, Mackwell also used SmartCharge technology within the emergency products providing energy-efficient charging maintenance, reduced operating temperatures and optimum service life of NiMH batteries. Through Mackwell’s SmartCharge technology, the power consumption of emergency modules is typically reduced by up to two-thirds and with operating temperatures being reduced by up to 10°C, the service life of batteries is also extended. 

The Final Product 

Mackwell provided over 4,000 different luminaires for the project, ranging across eight different product families that catered to the specific requirements of all areas within the Ras Abu Aboud stadium. From emergency luminaires to exit signs, all installations were equipped with interfaces to other building management systems – ensuring that facility management teams would not have to manually test any emergency lighting throughout the entire building.

As well as offering this interface, the overall deployment came with the added benefit of providing an equally aesthetic and compliant emergency lighting system to help ensure the safety of both visitors and workers alike. 

Having started the initial emergency lighting layout designs back in September 2020, all installations were finalised and complete in Q1 2022, well ahead of the kick-off for the World Cup in November of the same year. 

John Chen, Sales Manager, NVC International, said: “Mackwell and New Vision China have a long-term business relationship. The product design for Ras Abu Aboud Stadium itself is very good and matches the project specification. We are looking forward to further business with Mackwell.” 

Fazal Mahmood, CEO at Archilum, said: “Mackwell has been a brilliant partner throughout this project. Right from the very beginning, when drawings were first being created, we relied on Mackwell to help us specify the emergency lighting throughout the entire stadium. From there, the company has provided an incredible service – not only in helping us meet compliance requirements but in delivering a premium product range that is both cost-effective and high performing.”

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