BARWA and Qatari Diar Research Institute (BQDRI), the premier organization supporting research and training to ensure sustainable development in Qatar and the world has launched its Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) for Cities and Urban Planning, the first and only version in the Middle East based on objective performance standards.
The QSAS system covers indicative design guidelines for best practices in the field of urban planning along with the evaluation guide for cities in addition to a range of software that facilitates the process of conducting the necessary calculations for the design of the project. The system also includes a project management system specially designed to help designers, developers and owners to control the project assessment from all sides to achieve the highest levels of sustainability in major developments.
QSAS for Cities and Urban Planning was refurbished throughout the latest and up-to-date scientific achievements in the field, that is by extracting the best practices and experiences of all the latest seven newly developed systems in the USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Singapore and worldwide.
To guarantee efficiency in implementation, QSAS was designed and developed according to the local needs of the Middle East region, taking into consideration the region's social, economic, environmental and cultural conditions which are different from other parts of the world where issues such as desertification, water scarcity, communication and cultural identity and heritage neglected.
"QSAS is considered a safety valve to preserve the architectural identity of the gulf region, since it encourages adopting sustainable design principles which coincide with environment in shape and context, and takes into account issues that imported assessment systems do not," said BDQRI Chairman Dr. Yousef Al-Horr.
QSAS criteria are divided into eight categories Urban Connectivity, Site, Energy, Water, Materials, Indoor Environment, Cultural & Economic Value, and Management & Operations - each with a direct impact on environmental stress mitigation. Each category measures a different aspect of a project's environmental impact. The eight categories are then broken down into specific criteria that measure and define individual issues. A score is then awarded to each criterion based on the degree of compliance
The system deals with many cases in urban planning. For instance it focuses on studying the efficiency of plan design to maintain the original environment for the location and its components, as well as the services available in it, ability to provide infrastructure, facilitate sport and health facilities such as walking and jogging, resist desertification, reduce crime, create public spaces and reduce noise. The system also deals with assessing water and electricity consumption by using the best insulating materials which reduce carbon emissions. The system also deals with water purification technologies and re-using water for irrigation and outdoor washing purposes. The system encourages the recycling and re-use of materials and the use of locally and regionally manufactured materials which reduce the quantity of materials transferred and carbon emissions and encourage national industries to challenge the need for imports.
"Launching the first full version of the system "QSAS" will open new horizons of business and development for the BQDRI to accomplish the goal of sustainability. I'm confident, with the presence of the QSAS integrated assessment system in cooperation with our strategic alliances, we will add great value to what BDQRI has presented so far. This announcement will encourage adoption and implementation of QSAS in Qatar and other countries for developing sustainable built environment for future generations," added Al-Horr.
BDQRI first launched QSAS as the first assessment system in the Middle East based on the objective performance to assess building sustainability, during the Global City Forum for Urban Planning in Abu Dhabi in April 2009.
The BQDRI is a proud member of the United Nations Environment Program Sustainable Buildings & Climate Initiative (SBCI). The SBCI provides leadership and encourages partnership amongst all buildings and construction stakeholders to address sustainability issues of global significance, especially climate change, energy efficiency and CO2 emissions.
Green Building Solutions Exhibition & Conference Doha 2011
The BDQRI has also announced the organization of the biggest sustainable development event in the region, the Green Building Solutions Exhibition & Conference (GBS 2011) to be held in Doha on 1st, 2nd and 3rd March 2011.
GBS 2011 aims to accomplish many goals such as raising awareness of the importance of green building, providing solutions and products can be applied in the Gulf, create trade opportunities between manufacturers and suppliers outside with their counterparts on the Gulf region.
On the sideline of the conference, sustainable awards will be granted to the projects and companies which present positive initiatives in this field.
Dr. Yousef Al-Horr called upon Saudi companies saying: "I invite Saudi companies to participate in this groundbreaking event, especially that Saudi industry is classified by its high quality industries which occupy prominent positions in such a short time. This indicates the good planning and qualifications of the employers in this field, and we think that the exhibition and conference will provide common ground to Saudi companies to continue towards excellence, and we will do our effort to offer them every possible support."
QSAS workshop in Riyadh
Within the framework of upgrading the abilities of real estate professionals from architectural design and project management companies, the BDQRI since its inception organizes training and development workshops, confirming its ability to present quality initiatives in the industry of sustainable building in the real estate market in the Gulf. The workshop conducted on Saturday 16-10-2010 hosted around 50 participants from various public and private sectors in KSA, In collaboration with experts and researchers from the T.C. Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
The QSAS - CERTIFIED GREEN PROFESSIONAL™ Training Workshop at the BARWA Knowledge Building supports real estate and construction professionals and engineers by empowering them with the necessary tools and means of sustainability development required for all construction future projects, through providing them by:
> training to become QSAS - CERTIFIED GREEN PROFESSIONAL™ and secure project submission to Lusail Municipality and BARWA Real Estate
> latest knowledge and understanding of QSAS green building practices and principles, and how to apply them in Qatar and the region
> guidance to QSAS procedures, tools, applications and assessment requirements
> necessary educational materials to support them during their practice.