The “green” initiatives of the Qatar Foundation  including its integrated public transportation system were showcased at the Greenbuild 2013 International Conference and Expo held in Philadelphia, the US, yesterday.
Qatar Foundation’s highly sustainable Male and Female Student Housing project received special recognition  at the event, hosted by the US Green Building Council.
Engineer Jassim Telefat, Group Executive Director of Qatar Foundation Capital Projects and Facilities Management, was invited to share his expertise at the conference.
Speaking at a session titled, ‘Visionary investment: A study of city planning in Paris and Doha’ Telefat gave a clear overview of Qatar Foundation’s ambitious master plan, with a focus on waste management systems and its green transportation strategy.
“One of the impressive features that the Foundation plans to implement is an integrated public transportation system that is based on light rail and an innovative ‘e-bike’ circuit. The light rail, or ‘people-mover system’, will incorporate high-end technology that has never been used commercially before,” he said.
“The system is fully electric, incorporating rail cars that will recharge when entering stations, before continuing on their journey. Once the system is complete in 2015, employees and students can leave their cars in large car parks on the perimeter and use the people-mover system to travel between buildings in Education City, ” he added.
Telefat emphasised that the master plan is a live document that can be adapted to incorporate state-of-the-art advances in sustainable technology. The latest innovations are integrated at the conceptual stage of each new building and emphasis is placed on ensuring that the site as a whole reflects the Foundation’s environmental ethos, while aiding the nation’s journey towards a knowledge economy.
According to Telefat, a key objective is educating the community about the importance of sustainability and striving towards a greener lifestyle. From its inception, Qatar Foundation’s Education City has been built with the goal of minimising the environmental impact of construction and developing high-performance buildings with significantly reduced energy and water demands. The campus ensures a superior quality of life for all who come to learn and work by fostering an appreciation for the environment.
“We prioritise human development by exposing all our youth to sustainable practices. Through the creation of environmentally-friendly student housing and a green campus, we aim to engage and nurture a community that values the environment. We have installed a monitoring system in each housing unit to help students track their own energy and water consumption,” said Telefat.
With over 30,000 attendees, Greenbuild is one of the world’s largest international green building conferences, featuring distinguished speakers and international experts from all sectors of the building industry.
At the conference, Rick Fedrizzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the US Green Building Council, took the opportunity to commend Qatar Foundation for its highly sustainable Male and Female Student Housing project. The unique student complex received special recognition and praise for earning 12 Platinum LEED certifications in the category of ‘New Construction’ from the U.S. Green Building Council, which means Qatar Foundation now houses the highest concentration of independently registered platinum LEED buildings of this type in the world.