Posted on April 20, 2016

The Public Works Authority in cooperation with the Gulf Organization for Research and Development Group (GORD) announced that Ashghal projects had been awarded the 3 stars Global Sustainability Assessment System "GSAS" certification in design and construction. The announcement took place on Tuesday 19 April 2016 and was attended by H.E. Eng. Nasser bin Ali Al Mawlawi, President of Ashghal, Mr. Lahdan Sager Al Mohanadi, Director of Buildings Affairs, and Dr. Yousef Mohammed Al Horr, GORD’s Founding Chairman, in addition to a number of Ashghal’s and GORD’s directors and officials.

This fruitful cooperation and partnership between the Ashghal and GORD represents the keenness of both parties to implement the “Global Sustainability Assessment System” "GSAS" standards in all the public buildings in Qatar, specifically in educational buildings including schools and kindergartens and health buildings, like primary healthcare centres and hospitals, in addition to Awqaf and mosques projects. This cooperation also aims to support the achievement of Qatar National Vision 2030 to promote sustainability standards in the urban environment in the country.

In this occasion, H.E. Eng. Nasser bin Ali Mawlawi, President of Ashghal said: "We are proud of this achievement and it takes real commitment to the Global Sustainability Assessment System standards to achieve the 3 stars certificate in the design and construction. This would lead us to build public, educational and health buildings that would be leading examples of sustainable buildings locally and globally in accordance with the global criteria for evaluating sustainability.

In his turn, Dr. Yousef Mohammad Al Horr, Chairman of the Gulf Organization of Research and Development said: "We are proud to collaborate with the Ashghal to drive forward sustainability development in the construction industry in Qatar and to accomplish this achievement in the field of public, educational and health buildings for the first time in the Middle East. This achievement will support the Qatar National Vision 2030, and will shape our vision of a healthy and sustainable environment for the citizens and residents of the State of Qatar”.

It is worth mentioning that almost 100 projects which being implemented by Ashghal, with a total area of more than half a million square meters, will be evaluated by GSAS on the level of performance equivalent to 3-star.

These projects are distributed as follows:

  • 43 schools and kindergartens: 23 of them are complete whilst 20 are undergoing design and construction.
  • 19 Health Center and Hospital: 4 of them are whilst 15 are undergoing design and construction.
  • 27 Mosque all projects, the design on all mosques has been completed, they are currently under construction
  • A number of administrative and specialized installations that are still under design or construction.

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Ashghal’s Approach to Sustainable Design:

Design professionals of different engineering disciplines joined efforts to develop establishments that can achieve a mix of environmental, economic, and social objectives. The process aims to achieve high performance schools that are fundamentally different from conventional practice. To ensure effectiveness, this process requires significant commitment and professionalism and shall:

  • Meet energy and environmental performance criteria and minimize the negative impact of construction work;
  • Compel with the design directives to avoid depletion of natural and exhaustible resources;
  • Encourage recycling, reduce waste and optimize resource use;
  • Incorporate interdisciplinary collaboration throughout the design and construction process;
  • Document high performance materials and techniques in the building to perform maintenance and repairs in accordance with the original design intent;
  • Optimize design choices through simulations, models, and other design tools;
  • Integrate all significant building design decisions and strategies;
  • Maximize student performance by maintaining high standards of air quality and increasing the use of daylight.

The GSAS system is based on strengthening the application of sustainability criteria and the requirements of green building in design and construction for educational facilities such as schools, colleges and universities facilities as well as health facilities including clinics, health care centers, hospitals and emergency services and accidents. As is the “MSG" system of mosque construction. Recent studies indicate that the interior design general environment of a building affect the educational level of performance of students and can effectively contribute to raising the level of productivity and efficiency for employees of faculty and administrators alike.

Accordingly, the interior design and quality of the environment in health facilities contribute effectively on the level of comfort and health improvements of patients and raise the level of productivity and efficiency for employees of medical and administrative staff alike. GORD continues to review and audit Ashgal project graphics and designs in addition to visiting the project sites and ensuring that the principles and standards of sustainability are implemented according to the GSAS system, this will ultimately create an economic, health and environmental benefits for state of Qatar and its residence.

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Sustainability Highlights in Ashghal’s Projects:

Energy

Educational facilities is designed to reduce energy consumption by 25% compared to existing schools to combat climate change and reduce air pollution through Implementation of passive design strategies responding to local climatic conditions through:

  • Using high insulation materials for roof and façade.
  • Recesses and shading to reduce heat gains.
  • Selections of efficient building systems
  • Installing energy saving HVAC system with high SEER and heat recovery module.
  • Designing lighting layout & levels according to best practices for energy saving.

Site

Chosen to mitigate environmental impact due to land through:

  • Providing shaded canopies for cooling car parking areas.
  • Reducing heat island effect by using light colored paints for walls to reflect away heat.

Water

Designed to reduce water consumption of occupants through:

  • Efficient water saving fixtures.
  • Economic dual flush toilets.
  • Landscape design includes Native/ Adaptive plants species with low water demand for irrigation.
  • Using Drip irrigation strategy to minimize water consumption and wastage

Indoor Environment

Designed to improve indoor environment for human comfort and health through:

  • Efficient HVAC systems to maintain indoor air quality and ventilation standards according to best practices and regulations.
  • Optimizing the exposure of daylight for interior spaces in order to provide occupants with access to external views and reduce the need for artificial lighting.
  • Facilitating natural ventilation by providing operable windows in conjunction with mechanically ventilated systems.
  • Ensuring adequate illuminance levels for visual performance and comfort.
  • Providing all potential contamination areas as chemistry labs with sufficient ventilation and exhausts to outdoors.
  • Using self-closing doors and deck to deck partitions for maintaining indoor chemical and pollutants sources.

Materials

Chosen to mitigate environmental impact due to material through:

  • Supporting the national economy by utilizing construction expenditure to benefit national economy.
  • Using regional and local materials in order to reduce transportation needs, and to support the national economy.
  • Using materials with high recycled contents and having the most optimal design for ease of materials disassembly and reuse or recycling.

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