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New organisation aims to make Qatar 'green capital'

Doha, April 27, 2011

The new Gulf Organisation for Research & Development has outlined its vision to establish Qatar as the Gulf’s ‘capital of green buidlings’.

Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) is the new name of the Barwa and Qatari Diar Research Institute, which was established in 2009 and developed Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS).

This change in the name and identity came to meet the positive developments that Qatar is witnessing in applying and adopting QSAS locally and abroad, said a statement.

Addressing a press conference at the organisation’s new Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) headquarters, GORD founder and chairman Dr Youssef Al-Horr said: 'Today’s launch of the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development  as an non-profit independent organisation brings us closer to achieving our vision of seeing QSAS become the regional standard for sustainable development rating systems.”

Recently, the real estate sector has witnessed the launch of numerous projects from buildings to large urban developments.  Adopting QSAS’s stringent standards provides potential residents of these projects with high-quality and unsacraficed lifestyles, but built with methods that promote sustainable usage of natural resources, he said.

'There are now scores of buildings being built to QSAS Standards, most of which were initiated right after the first Green Building Solutions conference held in March of this year.  Alwakra and Alkhor cities have both decided to revise their urban planning scheme to include QSAS Standards,' the statement said.

Upgrading the plans will provide benefits for both investors and tenants for future developments, and will be similar to other sustainable cities built in other parts of the world.

“The organisation aims to ensure a healthy, rich and diverse environment for present and future generations in support of the environmental pillar of Qatar National Vision 2030,' said Dr Al-Horr.

“Our vision is for Qatar to be the leader in sustainable development, design and construction. The GORD will be one of the driving forces behind this transformation, achieving recognition by the construction industry and real estate sector as an invaluable contributor to the delivery of sustainable development.”

Al-Horr also stated that the coming period, especially after adopting the new Qatar Green building code which coincides with QSAS, will witness the need for an independent entity which asset the governmental and non-governmental projects in a transparent method away from any outside effects.

Considered “the best of the best” sustainable rating system in the world, before QSAS was derived from over 40 national and international rating methods.
Training and qualification

On the training and qualifying level, GORD will provide great opportunities for training professionals in the field of development, building and designing according to QSAS standards. Hundreds of professionals in the building field were qualified so far as QSAS accredited, and GORD is working on building resources of engineers and architects who appreciate the importance of the cultural heritage for the benefit of the present and future generations.

Education and studies
Enhancing its reputation as the Gulf’s pre-eminent sustainable development research and education institution, the GORD is working with a growing number of partners who are eager to adopt QSAS sustainable development standards. Major universities including Kind Fahd University for Oil and Minerals, University of Pennsylvania (USA) and University of Khartoum have introduced QSAS into their curriculum for student engineers and architects.

In addition, Qatari Diar and Barwa Real Estate Company have implemented QSAS as the environmental standard for all future developments and GORD has signed agreements with Kahramaa and Ashghal to develop sustainable buildings that provide a better environment for citizens and residents.

Solar energy
The traditional cooling consumes two thirds of the energy consumed in the house, thus it increases the emissions of harmful carbons. The usage of solar energy for cooling purposes is so important. Using solar energy for heating water is widely used in many countries around the world, but using this kind of energy for cooling is innovative and new for research, in a time where cooling is much needed in summer. Thus, GORD researches will focus on developing cooling system which relies on solar energy to cover the biggest part of cooling demands, and this will lead to reduced use of electrical power, said the statement.

“In Qatar the economic, social, health and environmental benefits of sustainable development are now becoming widely accepted. It is the duty of the GORD to continue educating Qatar’s construction industry and to be at the forefront of finding solutions which are not only environmentally sustainable, but have positive social and economic impacts,” said Dr Al-Horr. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Qatar | Barwa | Green Building | GORD | Gulf Organisation for Research & Development |

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