Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation, BARWA, Qatari Diar Research Institute sign MOU on Provision of Sustainability Development

Published March 17th, 2010 - 08:24 GMT

Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation “KAHRAMAA” and BARWA & Qatari Diar Research Institute (BQDRI), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the provision of measures to create a sustainable built environment, in relation to energy and water conservation while addressing the specific needs of Qatar.

The MOU was signed by Eng. Essa Hilal Al-Kuwari, KAHRAMAA's Acting Managing Director, and Dr. Yousef Mohamed Al-Horr, BQDRI's Chairman & MD.

The main objective behind this MOU is to demonstrate KAHRAMAA’s and BQDRI's full commitment and ability to support the accomplishment of the objectives of Qatar Vision 2030 based on developing a sustainable built-environment for the generations to come. These objectives include:
1- Cooperation in applying Qatar Sustainable Assessment System (QSAS) to increase the efficiency of energy and water usage aiming to reduce the impacts of climate change and provide a better living environment that maintain the balance between economic, environmental and national identity of Qatar.
2- Contribute to research and development of advanced built-environment studies of common concern to support the implementation and application of sustainability in Qatar.
The initiative of both KAHRAMAA and BQDRI came in response to Qatar Vision 2030, in terms of sustainable development, and to preserve the natural resources and the environment while supporting the economical boom of Qatar witnessed today.

Commenting at the signing Ceremony, Eng. Essa Hilal Al-Kuwari said:" our MOU with BQDRI and the deployment of QSAS will allow KAHRAMAA to take the lead in addressing strategic issues related to Qatar's energy and water efficiency policies, reduction of carbon emissions, minimization of ecological impacts, and insurance of high indoor environmental quality".

Eng. Al-Kuwari added that:" This is one step towards aligning the strategic national role of KAHRAMAA in addressing Qatar Energy and Water Consumption and Energy Management issues with the deployment strategy of QSAS ".

"Being the provider of electricity and water for the state of Qatar, KAHRAMAA requires innovative systems with complete flexibility. The choice of QSAS, as a rating system, was based on the advantages that differentiate QSAS from other practiced rating systems in the region.”

Eng. Al-Kuwari continued “Our partnership with BQDRI to deploy QSAS is due to the fact that QSAS was developed based on local needs while leveraging best practices which is a definite advantage, especially for regions where environmental, economic, social, and cultural conditions are unlike other areas in the world.

Eng. Al-Kuwari Concluded: "from our belief and commitment to Qatar National Vision 2030, partnering with BQDRI's rating system that adheres to international standards and addresses sustainability goals specific to the area, KAHRAMAA will serve as a premier example for government bodies and companies in Qatar, the region and across the globe”.

On behalf of BQDRI, Chairman Al-Horr said:" I would like to first of all congratulate KAHRAMAA and BQDRI for this partnership. Both organizations share a commitment to Qatar Vision 2030 and to the need of advanced and integrated sustainability practices".

"BQDRI analyzed the real estate industry on the basis of sustainable development and concluded that there was a need for an assessment system based on the needs of Qatar and the region., All other solutions are imported and don’t comply with the society, culture, climate as well as other various environmental conditions which exist in the region". Dr. Al-Horr added.

Dr. Al-Horr commenced saying: "QSAS offers a lot of advantages which are not available in any other imported system. For instance, QSAS responds to urgent issues such as preserving the architectural identity of Qatar and the region, and enhancing the creative solutions to address other challenges like water scarcity and lack of non-hydrocarbon raw materials. Moreover, this system determined the types of plants which are suitable to the Gulf environment, and are distinguished by low consumption of water as well as providing the suitable greening and other environmental issues. QSAS, for instance, is Qatari made designed in consideration to established global best practices. All its categories, criteria, and measurements are defined to be performance-based and quantifiable. It has a flexible scoring method which has overcome the limitations of other international rating systems".

Kahramaa & BQDRI Facing the Impacts Resulting from Built Environment on the increasing consumption of "Energy & Water"

The built environment, in Qatar and across the globe, contributes to air pollution, land use and contamination, fossil fuel and water depletion, water pollution, materials depletion, impacts on human health, and climate change. Responsible design, construction and building operations can mitigate the negative effects of the built environment.


Energy Consumption in Qatar

Studying Fossil Fuel Depletion, Qatar is recognized amongst the world' largest consumers of energy, per capita. According to the United Nations Statistic Division, relative to the size of Qatar’s economy, the country on a whole uses twice the amount of energy as the nations of Germany or Japan. The burning of fossil fuels for energy consumption leads to increased air pollution through carbon dioxide emissions.

. Fossil fuels contain a high percentage of carbon and hydrocarbons, and the burning of fossil fuels produces carbon emissions that further impact climate change.

Water Consumption
water consumption in Qatar, between 1900 and 2000, has increased dramatically. And freshwater availability is decreasing at rapid rates, especially in Qatar and among the GCC countries.

The natural water cycle is a system in which water resources are continuously exchanged between the atmosphere, soil water, surface water, ground water, and plants. This cycle treats and recharges fresh water supplies. Human consumption of fresh water, in Qatar, outpaces the natural cycle due to the scare of rainfall and limited aquifers capacity; and under these circumstances water cannot be considered a renewable resource.

Domestic water consumption accounts for a significant depletion of natural water resources. This includes personal consumption and household use. Other large contributors to water depletion include agriculture, which can infect the water supply with contaminants, and industrial processes that return water to fresh water supplies without proper treatment.

Climate Change
It refers to any long-term changes in the Earth’s weather and atmospheric conditions and can have detrimental effects on natural landscapes, wildlife, and humans. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a major factor related to recent climate change patterns. The burning of fossil fuels in particular has led to increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is considered a greenhouse gas because while it allows visible light from the sun to reach the Earth, it traps the reflected infrared radiation, leading to a warming of the atmosphere and climate change. As the concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increases, more infrared radiation is trapped, leading to the warming of the atmosphere and climate change. Drastic increases in the amount of carbon emissions by humans are leading to noticeable and sudden changes in global weather patterns.

The per capita emission of carbon is very similar to the per capita consumption of energy. As per the IEA Statistics Division, 2006, The GCC Countries, including Qatar, have high per capita values,

“This memorandum with Kahramaa will open new horizons of business and development to achieve our objectives. I am confident that our partnership with companies like Kahramaa will add great value to what BQDRI has done. This cooperation will encourage the adoption and implementation of QSAS in Qatar and abroad, especially as Kahramaa represents one of the main bodies that a successful nation needs". Dr. Al-Horr concluded.

QSAS and the Benefits of Responsible and Sustainable Design

The built environment has a direct impact on the Qatar's natural environment, the economy and human health. These aspects can be improved through the way buildings are designed, constructed and operated or in other word adapting to Green building practices..

The following are potential benefits of green building practices:

Environmental Benefits
• Enhance and conserve flora/fauna, biodiversity and ecosystems
• Conserve and restore natural and non-renewable resources
• Improve air, land and water quality
• Increase energy efficiency while reducing greenhouse gas emissions
• Reduce waste production

Economic Benefits
• Reduce operating and maintenance costs
• Create new opportunities and markets for green products and services
• Improve occupant productivity
• Faster occupancy rate and lower turnover rate


Social Benefits
• Enhance human comfort and health
• Reduce strain on local infrastructure
• Improve quality of life
• Preserve cultural identity

The criteria of QSAS are divided into eight categories, each with a direct impact on environmental stress mitigation and can measures a different aspect of the project’s environmental impact.

Kahramaa and BQDRI MOU focuses on challenges related directly to Energy and Water.

QSAS Emphasis on energy

The Energy category, that represents 24% of the total impact of the build environment in Qatar according to QSAS, consists of factors associated with energy demand of buildings, the efficiency of energy delivery, and the use of fossil energy sources that result in harmful emissions. QSAS considers the following impacts resulting from energy use and unsustainable practices in Qatar:
• Climate Change
• Fossil Fuel Depletion
• Air Pollution
• Human Comfort & Health

To mitigate the impact of Energy on Qatar's environment, Kahramaa and BQDRI, while deploying QSAS, should consider
• Designing buildings to lower its energy demand
• Selecting efficient building systems
• Lowering the demand on non-renewable sources of energy thereby reducing harmful emissions and depletion of fossil fuels
• Minimizing the amount of harmful substances produced by the energy delivery systems and the energy supply network

QSAS Emphasis on Water

The Water category, that represents 16% of the total impact of the build environment in Qatar according to QSAS, consists of factors associated with water consumption and its associated burden on municipal supply and treatment systems. The environmental impact resulting from water consumption and unsustainable practices is water depletion. To mitigate the environmental impact and lower, Kahramaa and BQDRI, through QSAS, will consider the following:
• Specifying efficient plumbing fixtures.
• Creating a system for the collection and storage of rainwater.
• On-site treatment of water for later reuse.
• Designing a landscaping plan that minimizes the need for irrigation.

With a cumulative of 40% from the total impact of the built environment according to QSAS, with water 16% and energy 24%; the MOU between Kahramaa and BQDRI should facilitate the deployment of QSAS in Qatar, and hence plant the seeds to entrench the importance of Responsible and Sustainable Design. The following diagram shows the different weights of QSAS categories:


More than 128   buildings in Qatar are under QSAS certification process

Following the adoption of green building principles by BARWA Real Estate Company (BARWA) and Qatari Diar Real Estate Development Company (Qatari Diar) for all their future projects, BQDRI started deploying the QSAS amongst their projects.

Sufficiently satisfying QSAS standards, testing criteria & other requirements; BQDRI honoured BARWA's "BARWA City Project" the accreditation as "QSAS – RATED GREEN PROJECT".

Having BARWA City's 128 buildings accredited as "QSAS – RATED GREEN PROJECT" gave BARWA Real Estate the advantage to become among the first few QSAS rated buildings that are notified as being GREEN.

BARWA City is one of the largest projects being constructed in Qatar. The project, built on more than two and a half million square meters, offers residential units for more than thirty five thousand people. BARWA city will utilize district cooling plants to provide air conditioning, central gas network, and central TV channels system. The project offers apartments with diversified interior layouts to satisfy the different demands and needs of the tenants. It includes health clubs, commercial compounds, parks, playgrounds and multi usage buildings, banks, a two hundred fifty-bed hospital, schools, nurseries and a hotel. The project will be completed in two phases where the first phase includes six thousand apartments.

BARWA City Project Receives QSAS Certification according to the following:
 BARWA City Phase-I Residential Buildings’ Design has received a total score of One Star in Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS).
 BARWA City Phase-I comprises of 128 Apartment Buildings; 4 to 6 stories; and each apartment building will receive the QSAS certification.

QSAS, being the first of its kind performance-based sustainability rating system in the MENA region developed by BQDRI, is now being amongst the top sustainability rating systems in relation to the number of certified projects.

QSAS registered projects consists more than 128 Buildings in the State of Qatar compared to 34 registered buildings under other rating systems.

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