Concurrently with Project Qatar 2013, a conference was held on Wednesday 8 May at Doha Intercontinental Hotel to discuss Qatar’s mega projects in the green and sustainability sector. More than 100 exhibitors participating in Project Qatar were present at the conference.
According to the organizers, this sustainability conference was intended to pave the way to one of the biggest sustainability shows and conferences in the Middle East, the Green Building Expo 2014 (GBE) organized jointly by the Gulf Organization for Research & Development (GORD) and IFP Qatar.
During the conference, Dr. Yousef Al Horr, Founding Chairman of GORD, highlighted the reasons and the ethics that led to establish the organization. Dr. Al Horr explained about the role that GORD aims to play in the green and sustainability sector, by saying “Within the 2030 Qatar National Vision, the country aims to answer today’s needs while sustaining those of the future. In order to meet future demands, adoption of renewable energies and green solutions is vital. Accordingly, the Gulf Organization for Research & Development aims at building an association of local, regional and international partnerships between governments, industry professionals and stakeholders, to ensure that sustainability in the built environment is the central pillar of the region’s long-term goals”.
Talking about the much anticipated Green Building Expo, Dr. Al Horr said “The exhibition is a platform for stakeholders in the built environment to share knowledge, exchange ideas, learn about latest technologies and do business. GORD organizes the expo in collaboration with IFP Qatar (International Fairs & Promotions)and it will be the region’s biggest conference and exhibition for sustainable solutions in the built environment which will take place January 28 to 30 at the Doha Exhibition Center. The three-day expo will gather over 100 exhibitors and more than 500 delegates on a global platform for construction, infrastructure, engineering, education and research institutions to exchange products and ideas in the sustainability sphere to collaboratively address the specific needs of the region.”
Representatives of Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) and Qatar’s Future City, Lusail, also provided in depth briefings on needs and opportunities surrounding mega projects launched by Ashghal and the Lusail City company.
A J Colletti, Building Affairs Advisor at Ashghal, revealed the scores of projects that will be realized under Ashghal’s umbrella. He mentioned the number of hospitals, parks, schools and health centers that should be constructed according to the sustainability guidelines put by the specialized authorities like GORD and Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC).
One of Qatar’s most acclaimed upcoming sustainable urban planning projects is the $33 billion Lusail City, a residential and commercial development with two marinas on the east coast of Qatar that will be executed in several phases over the next 10 years to include schools, a mosque, medical, sports, entertainment and cultural facilities, shopping centers and 25,000 residential units.
Magdy Youssef, Director Lusail Administration Complex from Lusail City Company, briefed about the precondition that any project should follow in the Lusail premises. Youssef said that the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) developed by GORD, is a sustainability rating scheme for the construction of any project in Lusail. “The primary objective of GSAS is to create a sustainable built environment that minimizes ecological impact while addressing the specific regional needs and environment of the country,” he said.
The development of the GSAS was based on a comprehensive review of combined best practices employed by a mix of established international and regional rating schemes like BREEAM and LEED (140 systems). The review was then developed specifically according to the region’s requirements and cultural background to meet Qatar and the GCC’s needs.
At the end of the conference, the attendees were reminded that for any construction company to operate in Qatar, it should follow the green and sustainability rules of the country. And the Green Building Expo 2014 (GBE) becomes a must attend event to anyone who wants to get familiar to the environment of the green and sustainable technology and market in Qatar.