Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) which will allow for close collaboration between the two organisations. Through the agreement, the councils will work together to promote green buildings and green communities by sharing tools, research, and information.
The MoUempowers QGBC to represent Qatar on LEED International Roundtable, one of the USGBC’s advisory groups. The group works to advance the international relevance and application of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system–themost widely used rating system in the world. Comprisinggreen building councils and organisations representing some 30 countries across the globe, the group is described as a “green building powerhouse.”
As a member of the roundtable, QGBC will help prioritise environmental issues for the GCC region, which are reflected in Regional Priority Credits within LEED that serve as ‘bonus points’ for projects that address these issues. For example, in arid climates such as Qatar, increasing a building’s water efficiency in order to reduce the burden on local supply is a priority. Water, which has been highlighted as a main topic of concern in the LEED rating system, is also the focus of a working group that QGBC has been invited to join.
A LEED Specialist Interest Group, composed of QGBC members across the building construction and design industry, will lead Qatar’s participation in the international roundtable.
Eng. Meshal Al-Shamari, Director of Qatar Green Building Council, commenting on the cooperative agreement and his organisation’s new advisory role, said, “As a rating tool, LEED is proven in driving significant improvements insustainable building performance, and QGBC is eager to cooperate with USGBC on improving the rating system’s impact in Qatar. Within our mission to promote the development of healthier and more sustainable buildings, we are dedicated to advancing both local and international rating systems such as LEED and the home-grown GSAS.”
With the fifth-highest number of LEED-registered and certified buildings outside the U.S., Qatar has valuable experience and input to offer the LEED International Roundtable on the system’s local relevancy and application.
Commenting on the signing, Scot Horst, Senior Vice President, LEED, of the U.S. Green Building Council said, “At the USGBC we have been impressed with QGBC’s active support for our aim to create global consistency for the use of LEED internationally. This MOU presents USGBC and QGBC with an unprecedented opportunity to make a difference in this time of unparalleled environmental awareness.”
As a key element in QGBC’s effortsto enhance sustainability capacity in Qatar and the region, the organisation is alsodelivering a series of LEED training workshops in Doha throughout January and February. The workshops, held in collaboration with the Jordan Green Building Council, will build awarenessamongst industry professionals, providing essential knowledge of sustainable building concepts that are fundamental to all LEED Rating Systems.
QGBC, a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, was established in 2009 through a decree signed by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser to provide leadership and encourage collaboration in green building design and development in Qatar. With more than 150 individual members representing leading organisations across the building sector, QGBC is establishing best practice in sustainable building for Qatar through technical expertise development, research and innovation, sustainability education and training.