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

Driving Carbon Neutral

Written by  Author |   Tue, 20 December 2016 14:14


Addressing the 8th Edition of Hotelier Summit Middle East held in Doha, Meshal Al Shamari, Director of Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) said that the country will have the highest number of green / carbon-neutral buildings in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 2030. 

He said this goal is part of efforts towards reducing carbon footprints and achieving sustainable development in Qatar and the region.

In Qatar, currently there are 220 LEED registered projects and many more in the registration process. This number is increasing at a very promising rate. More than 100 buildings alone being developed under Qatar Foundation and Msheireb Properties are LEED certified. The entire Lusail Smart City, which will house over 300,000 people, is to be GSAS (Global Sustainability Assessment System) certified. 

“The efforts to achieve sustainable and green building developments are accelerating at a high pace compared to other countries in the region. In under 10 years, we have the second highest number of green buildings in the MENA region after the UAE today,” added Al Shamari.

Al Shamari noted that the green building specifications have now been adopted by many organizations in Qatar as a mandatory requirement. Large organizations that have met these mandatory requirements for their projects include Ashghal (Public Works Authority), municipality projects and Qatar Foundation (QF) projects. Al Shamari said that the green building challenge is now in the hands of the private sector, but the upcoming regulatory framework is expected to make it mandatory for private buildings as well.
Al Shamari highlighted that 10 years ago the development of green buildings used to be relatively more expensive, but now most of the materials used in buildings are being replaced by green and environmentally-friendly alternatives.

Citing an example, he said that the use conventional lighting systems has been prohibited by the local utility distributor, Kahramaa, who have made it a requirement to use LED lighting solutions. Also, the new regulations regarding insulation, air-conditioning systems, water taps and other systems are required to comply with the green building specifications. He added: “I believe that over the next few years the use of traditional materials will continue to diminish at an increasing rate and will eventually disappear from the GCC market.”

Qatar has different rating systems for buildings, which include LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), a third-party certification program for green building, and GSAS. The Director of QGBC also explained that the focus now is on promoting “passive buildings” that produce surplus power (using solar panels). Such buildings will not only be self-reliant in terms of power, but will also have surplus electricity that can be transferred to grids.

“We did a pilot project, ‘passive house’, in collaboration with Kahramaa and Barwa (a real estate giant) and constructed two buildings with stringent sustainability requirements. It was a successful experiment. And during last winter, it produced surplus power which was feeding to the grid.”
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October / 10 / 2014
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