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For Qatari residents: Do you prefer a summer or winter World Cup 2022?




Strengthening the ability to drive eco-viability

Written by  Author |   Tue, 24 May 2016 06:06

 

With Qatar currently holding the record for the highest carbon emissions per capita in the world and while construction is growing at an unprecedented rate in Qatar, changing the entire landscape, authorities in the country are showing great determination to introduce green or sustainable standards as these structures have proven they can substantially reduce or eliminate negative environmental impacts through high-performance, market leading design, construction and operations practices. 
 
Sustainable standards that are set for environment-friendly buildings which reduce consumption of water and energy, reduce carbon dioxide emissions and enhance recycling, are set to be released in two phases -- voluntary standards and mandatory standards -- which will be implemented when new buildings are built.
 
Sustainable development has been identified as one of the top priorities in Qatar’s National Development Strategy. In 2009, the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) was established to promote sustainable growth and development in Qatar through cost efficient and environment-friendly building practices. As one of the 30 members of the LEED roundtable, the Qatar Green Building Council aims to support the overall health and sustainability of the environment, the people, and economic security in Qatar for generations to come.
 
Actually, the call to go green in Qatar has come from the highest authority in the country, The Emir. In response to the Emir’s call, BARWA and Qatari Diar, the biggest and leading real estate companies in Qatar, have launched the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System “QSAS”, which was later revamped and re-launched under a new name GSAS (Global Sustainability Assessment System). GSAS was developed by Qatari Diar’s Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD) in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania. The original QSAS melded criteria tailored to Qatar with established green benchmarking systems, creating a performance-based scheme customized to the unique requirements of this rapidly developing Gulf state. GSAS is considered one of the most comprehensive sustainability assessment systems worldwide, based on regional environmental and cultural data.
 
Similar to LEED and BREEAM, the two most widely recognized environmental assessment Methodologies, GSAS covers a series of sustainable categories; each measures aspects of a project’s environmental impact. All three rate different project types: commercial, neighborhoods, schools, residential. QSAS goes a step further with categories for large-scale projects currently emergent within the GCC such as mosques, hotels, sports venues and railways.
 
GSAS consists of six certification levels across eight categories, which measure a project’s environmental impact and lifespan. Certified projects need to achieve a score greater than zero, and they are ranked on a star system, with six stars representing the highest level of certification. Mandatory requirements include water and power efficiencies, solid waste and wastewater reduction, and improved indoor environments. While the system focuses on sustainability, GORD developers have stressed that it is also linked to human health and safety,
from construction workers to end users.
 
Accordingly, Qatar’s three biggest public developers BARWA, Qatari Diar and Ashghal (Public Work Authorities) have demonstrated through this initiative their full commitment and ability to contribute towards accomplishing the objectives of Qatar Vision 2030, in terms of sustainable development and to lead the Qatari sustainable construction sector according to the most advanced sustainable development concepts. 
 
GSAS was quickly adopted into the environmental design curriculum at Qatar University and King Fahd University, and its requirements were integrated into the Qatar Construction Specifications.  This means that upcoming designers are systematically trained in GSAS, and mandatory compliance by developers is simpler to achieve as the system is now codified in national building specs.
 
These eco-friendly techniques are already incorporated in high-profile projects including Msheireb Downtown Doha (MDD) and World Cup stadia. According to Green Qatar 2022 plan, Qatar will provide stadiums with zero-carbon cooling equipment. The structures are set to exploit the extreme environmental conditions in Qatar by channeling the sunlight to generate a large portion of the stadiums power using solar technology. Using innovative climate control technology, temperatures within the stadiums are set to stay below 28°C, despite the nation’s fierce heat, making the 2022 FIFA World Cup the first ever cooled outdoor sporting event. 
 
The 12 suggested stadiums will feature two solar energy systems that will work together to ensure a carbon-neutral comfortable environment for all teams, media and spectators. The first system will use a photovoltaic array to convert the sun’s rays into electricity that will be used to power all the systems at the stadiums and training sites. The second system, a solar-thermal system, will use heat collected from the sun to generate heated water. The hot water will be channeled to hot water tanks for immediate use or for storage for evening matches. The water will then be channeled to an absorption chiller and the chiller will convert the hot water into chilled water. This chilled water can also be stored, and will supply the HVAC systems from the ice storage tanks.
 
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WhyQatar Magazine is an environmentally conscious publication
October / 10 / 2014
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