Posted on March 04, 2011

The Barwa & Qatari Diar Research Institute (BQDRI) and University of Khartoum (Sudan) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to cooperate in the field of teaching and implementing the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) in the university curriculum and contribute in the field of research and development of environmental issues of common interest.

The MoU was signed by Dr. Gamal Mahmoud Hamid, Dean of Faculty of Architecture at University Of Khartoum and Dr. Yousef Al-Horr, BQDRI's Founder and Chairman in the company of senior management from both organizations.

“Without doubt QSAS is the MENA’s most advanced and sustainable development solution. By creating a system that addresses sustainability goals specific to the region – and also meets the toughest international standards - QSAS is the perfect solution to the region’s need to establish a single, consistent standard for sustainable development in the construction industry,” said Dr. Al-Horr.

“Our partnership with University Of Khartoum, one of the leading educational institutions in North Africa, will advance the adoption, implementation and development of QSAS in the Arab speaking world.” Added Dr. Al-Horr.

“By introducing QSAS in our curriculum, University of Khartoum is educating Sudan’s architects and engineers of the future to adopt a sustainability ratings assessment system that reduces energy consumption and maintains the economic and environmental balance for the benefit of Sudan and the surrounding countries,” says Dr. Gamal.

Under the terms of the MoU, QSAS will be integrated into the teaching and academic research curriculum at University of Khartoum, supporting student education and research projects with scientific results being shared between both parties.

“Our vision is for the Middle East and North Africa region to lead the world in the field of sustainable development, design and construction. The BQDRI remains committed to sharing our knowledge and research across the region to ensure QSAS is adopted as the sustainable development standard of the future,” added Dr. Al-Horr.

Developed by the BQDRI in co-operation with experts and researchers from the T.C. Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, QSAS focuses on local needs and implements the best practices taking into consideration the region’s social, economic, environmental and cultural conditions that are different from other parts of the world.

Issues such as resource smoothing, power consumption, scarcity of water and cultural identity are at the core of QSAS and are interpreted in a way which meets the needs of the GCC climate and environment.

Based on proven green building guidelines, a rigorous sustainability rating system and challenging water and energy standards, QSAS integrates best practice from 40 global assessment systems to create the ‘best of the best’ green building benchmark at various types of commercial buildings, hotels & light industrial facilities for the entire region.

QSAS criteria are divided into eight categories - Urban Connectivity, Site, Energy, Water, Materials, Indoor Environment, Cultural & Economic Value, Management & Operations - each with a direct impact on environmental stress mitigation.

“Among the many unique QSAS advantages is that the system learns and benefits from other global sustainability rating systems, using the best assessments rated by performance, quantity survey, and flexibility of the assessment system to overcome the weak points in other international systems,” advised Dr. Al-Horr.