Posted on March 03, 2011

Under the patronage of HE Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani the first conference of the Green Building Solutions and Exhibition Doha, 2011 kicked off here on Wednesday.

The conference concentrates on sustainable development in green building and giving Qatar a prominent position in the region in this field. The conference brings together more than 500 experts from Qatar and the world to present their local and international knowledge and expertise on sustainability through workshops introducing Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) to them.

Addressing the opening session, Assistant Undersecretary for laboratory standardization and the Ministry of Environment Dr. Mohammed bin Saif al kuwari thanked the Prime Minister of the State of Qatar, His Excellency Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al Thani, for his patronage of this event: "I would like also to thank and express our appreciation to our brothers at the Barwa & Qatari Diar Research Institute for the continuation of their bright march in directing society in the Gulf countries to implement foundations and principles of green building starting from establishing the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) through to organizing this conference and exhibition to discuss and discover the solutions of green building in the region. We hope this seminar will effectively contribute in developing construction and improving its quality effects and orienting it towards green constructions which are friendly to the environment not only in the State of Qatar but also in the Gulf Region in general."

In the State of Qatar, the Ministry of Environment represented by the sector of Laboratories Affairs and Standardization hosts the headquarters of the Unified Gulf Construction Code. The first forum of this Code was held in Qatar during October 2010, and the first meeting of the project Unified Gulf Construction Code will be held on 21th and 22nd of this month, with the participation of Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the Qatar Green Building Code will be the most interesting Gulf Codes which will be elaborated.

The State of Qatar is distinguished in the Gulf region in its adoption of standards for buildings which are compatible with the foundations of green building, and we consider Qatar as the first Gulf state where the adoption of special obligatory requirements for buildings take into account the following principles:
1- Saving and guidance of energy consumption, and orientation towards usage of renewal energy.
2- Saving and guidance of water consumption, and orientation towards benefiting and reusing waste water and reducing remnants.
3- Improving elements of the indoor building environment, in such a way that the foundations and principles of public health are achieved, and improving its effect on the external environment such as unwanted emissions.
4- Taking into account the characteristics of the national culture and supporting the national resources and economy in the Gulf.

And there will be application of these requirements as a first stage on each of the following buildings:
1- All the public and governmental buildings, mosques and schools.
2- Commercial buildings and towers whose built up area exceeds ten thousand square meters.
3- Residential compounds whose built up area exceed twenty thousand square meters.

Al Kuwari further said ,''Our ambition in the State of Qatar is that the requirements of green buildings comprise all types of buildings, new and old, as well as including all phases of construction starting from the selection of environmentally appropriate locations, the stages of design, execution, operation and maintenance until it finishes with the stages of re-establishment, demolition and reuse of waste, in order to improve the health, environmental and economic conditions, taking into account the social and cultural characteristics, and in order to ensure that waste reduction and the negative effects on human beings and all elements of the surrounding environment.

A comprehensive deployment plan has started in 2010 and will end in 2020   and during this time all installation and construction works in the State of Qatar achieve the requirements of green construction, he said and emphasized the need to create incentives for citizens and investors so they move towards a green society, including exploring ways and means to reduce the capital cost in addition to reducing operating costs of buildings, which is considered the main impetus behind decision-making in the construction industry.

As we direct this seminar in the need for consensus on social and cultural characteristics of this region which we can adopt within the requirements and characteristics of green buildings. We, in the Laboratories Affairs and Standardization at the Ministry of the Environment, cautiously look forward to the outcome of this honorable conference for recommendations to be considered by national committees and converted into laws and regulations to be approved by the State of Qatar and subsequently to be adopted throughout the GCC in collaboration with our brothers in the standardization and specifications organizations in the Arab Gulf Cooperation Countries.

Concluding Saif al kuwari expressed thanks to all brothers and sisters, organizers and participants and attendees and we hope that everyone will do their best to find appropriate and distinctive solutions in such a way that they contribute to the propagation and realization of sustainable establishments in the Gulf region.
For his part, the CEO of Qatar Diar Group Eng.Mohamed Al Hadfah , also addressed the opening session and welcomed the generous guests to this outstanding forum, with its activities that aims to find a common ground for the exchange of opinions and views among specialists and decision-makers, about the best ways to promote sustainable building practices.
The held conference and exhibition on green building solutions in its first version came about from a generous initiative from the Barwa and Qatari Diar Research Institute, at a time where all nations were calling for the creation of sustainable communities. Communities that meet the needs of present generations at the same time provide ways to ensure fulfillment of the needs of the future generations.

This is done through the optimum utilization of resources and capabilities available, with an effective and balanced urban development, environmentally, socially and economically to ensure sustainable development. Inspired by the Qatar's 2030 National Vision, which aims to transform Qatar into an entity capable of achieving sustainability in its comprehensive sense.

The planning and urban development sector worked hard on and rigorously sought over the past years and in collaboration with the most prestigious houses of global experience to develop the national framework for urban development, which is designed to create a living environment that provides the best to all segments of society. We believe that the Comprehensive Urban Plan project will undoubtedly create an integrated system of plans, policies and physical requirements of the state, its municipalities and its major and subordinate cities. Also, such plans and policies will drive the urban development in Qatar in the next twenty years to come, he told the participants.

Elaborating he said that the State of Qatar, as a result of the high rate of growth in the last decade has faced the challenges of planning are well known to the specialists such as yourselves. For example, the large increase in human population caused a pressuring factor on the infrastructure and service alike. Also note that the construction boom that took place was accompanied by many environmental challenges that we have not enough time to list today.
In this regard, the Comprehensive Urban Plan works to achieve a set of strategic goals that as a whole, paints the picture of the ideal model of sustainable development desired. It is those objectives to enhance communication through the development of multiple use urban centers.

Second, providing services to those centers with modern means of transport in various forms and manifestations. Third, the development of the public services in all metropolitan areas and cities fairly and without discrimination, and providing open public spaces and facilities in all urban areas. Fourth, promoting social interactions and interdependence among people through the creation of residential areas consistent with the pattern of life for Qataris without neglecting the big slide of expatriates of various nationalities. Fifth, the creation of a personal characteristic of the Doha-based values and norms prevailing locally.  And last but not least, focusing on the protection of natural resources through the development process to ensure the avoidance of the negative impacts of urbanization on environment.

The issue of achieving sustainable development in its various aspects imposes with no doubt the combined efforts of all governmental institutions and non-governmental organizations, in order to translate these goals into policies, strategic tools and practical programs that lead us to our target. We would like in this regard, to thank the Barwa and Qatari Diar Research Institute, for its wonderful initiative that imparted on the development of Qatar Sustainability Assessment System, which has become all praise to God, one of the most comprehensive systems at the global level through its evidence that impose the adoption of the (green buildings) concept in all types of buildings typologies and also through the guide to city planning and urban development known as (QSAS Neighborhoods).

The latter mentioned is considered an integrated system to assess the extent to which any town or city has complied with the strategic objectives referred to above adopted by Qatar National Master Plan. The Institute worked under an ongoing guidance of experts in urban planning sector to include the largest possible degree of sustainability criteria emphasized in QNMP, and to make sure of complete harmonization between QSAS neighborhood scheme and QNMP guidelines. Our organizations, the UPDA and BQDRI are in the process of studying the integration more closely and in a form that serves the developmental objectives of the State of Qatar, hoping to reach a common formula in the near future.

In conclusion, I cannot stress enough our assurance to you that our support is unlimited in your constructive journey, and we hope to fold your conference records with recommendations and constructive decisions sketching the route for a new journey its ultimate goal is sustainable development. I also hope that the initiative of Barwa and Qatari Diar Research Institute is set as a model reflecting the participation of the private sector with trends and programs of the public sector to achieve the aspirations of the citizens and residence of this generous country.

source: QNA