Msheireb Downtown project
QATAR, the world’s fastest growing economy, is setting a global benchmark in sustainable urban development with its $5.5 billion Msheireb Downtown project to regenerate the centre of its capital, Doha. The project eschews the concrete and glass towers and huge carbon footprints that have been the hallmark of Middle East construction, in favour of techniques and materials which comply with local environment and climate.
That’s the message that the project’s developer, Msheireb Properties, is taking to EXPO REAL, the International Trade Fair for Commercial Property and Investment, being held in Munich in October this year. “Msheireb Properties’ new architectural language is guiding the regeneration of downtown Doha, in a way that respects Qatar’s heritage, utilises its environment and desert climate, and responds to the evolving social and cultural needs of today’s residents of Doha. The methodology employed in creating this new architectural vernacular may be adapted and applied to other developments around the world,” said Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi, CEO of Msheireb Properties.
Msheireb Properties’ unique stand will showcase artifacts, images, interactive displays and traditional elements outlining Qatar’s glorious past, present and ambitious plans for the future. The stand also featured a traditional Qatari majlis as well as the exhibition's largest scale model on display.
Displaying Qatar’s distinct architecture and rich heritage through past-and-future themed zones; the Past showcases old Qatari building tools and daily use materials; while the Future section houses samples of the unique Qatari stone that will be used to clad the external entrance of the National Archive; as well as display few Architectural Drawings/ Books.
Msheireb Properties’ successful international unveiling of its Msheireb Downtown in Europe’s biggest commercial property trade fair last year, under its former name of Dohaland, created a significant buzz about Qatar and cemented its position as a pioneer of sustainable and culturally sensitive developments.
“Once again, we look forward to share the significant progress we have made over the past year with all those participating in EXPO REAL,” said Eng. Al Mohannadi. “With sustainability being a focal point of the event this year, and given the pioneering work we are currently undertaking in this field, we believe that we have a significant contribution to make in terms of sharing our knowledge and experience with the industry.”
According to John Rose, Development Director of Msheireb Properties, Msheireb Downtown marks the beginning of the reversal of Qatar’s high energy consumption, and the company has set itself an aggressive target of requiring buildings to use 32 per cent less energy than normal buildings.
Innovations, some with their roots in techniques once commonplace in Arabian Gulf towns and villages, include orienting Msheireb Downtown’s streets to capture cooling breezes from the Gulf and shield pedestrian routes from the hot sun; incorporating solar panels in the building to heat 75 per cent of all domestic hot water for occupants; extensive recycling of waste water and a sophisticated public transport system to eliminate the need for cars.
Msheireb Downtown has selected the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certifications for Neighborhood Development and Building Design and Construction. The aim is for LEED average Gold, a very high level of achievement, across the project, and, when approximately 75 buildings are LEED Certified, Msheireb Downtown will have the highest concentration of LEED certified buildings in the world.
The entire site will also be a LEED Certified Neighborhood Development (ND) demonstrating all the environmental and social objectives of a holistic new neighbourhood.
Work on the mixed-use project began last year and will open in five phases through 2016.
EXPO REAL, the International Trade Fair for Commercial Property and Investment, has been taking place every October in Munich since 1998. It is considered the largest trade fair for commercial real estate in Europe, with over 1,500 exhibitors from across the globe expected to showcase their real estate product portfolios.