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Sustainability Pulse


Memorandum Of Understanding Signing Ceremony between Qatar University and GORD

Oct 30,2011

Qatar University signed today (Sunday, October 30, 2011) a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD), Qatar's leading research, consultancy and training institute and the developer of the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), to cooperate for the launch of joint initiatives and projects aimed at conserving energy, reducing carbon emissions and creating an integrated community based on economic and environmental equilibrium while preserving the architectural identity of the Arabian Gulf. The agreement was signed by Dr. Yousef Mohammad Al Horr, Founder and Chairman of GORD, and Dr. Hassan Rashid Al Derham, Vice President of Qatar University for Scientific Research.

The signing of this MoU between Qatar University and GORD comes in line with the shared vision of promoting the adoption of the concept of sustainability in Qatar and the Gulf region as a whole. The parties agreed to develop a general framework for coordination to teach and integrate GSAS into the university’s education curricula to raise awareness about sustainable building practices and encourage optimum consumption of energy, water and environmental resources. The parties will also cooperate more effectively in the field of development and research in environmental issues of common interest as well as the application of GSAS criteria in the facilities of Qatar University and activation of joint research through grants provided by competent authorities or through postgraduate programs offered at the University.

Under the agreement, the Gulf Organization for Research and Development will grant the University the right to use all the tools available in GSAS through a free and unrestricted "Educational License", that is open in terms of duration and number of users. This license can be used to serve all scientific teaching, research, and academic purposes focused on green building, excluding each consulting activity or research with financial returns. On its part, the University will provide GORD with scientific observations and results of studies that may be used to further develop GSAS, which is one of the most comprehensive systems at the global level. The cooperation involves the participation of PhD researchers in teaching at the university when needed and supervising masters and doctoral dissertations in various fields of sustainable environment.

Commenting on this agreement, Dr. Hassan Rashid Al Derham said: “We are honored to enter into a strategic partnership with a high-profile research organization like GORD. We will work on activating joint research practices either through research grants provided by competent authorities or through postgraduate programs offered by the University.” Al Derham also noted that Qatar University will, under the terms of this agreement, involve the participation of PhD researchers from GORD in supervising the students’ Graduation Research, especially researches and studies on the development of a sustainable environment.

Dr. Yousef Al Horr expressed his pleasure on signing this agreement with Qatar University to promote knowledge transfer, spread the concept of sustainability and implement a range of projects and research initiatives in various areas related to sustainable building to achieve the common goal of promoting sustainable development in Qatar and the Arabian Gulf. He pointed out that this agreement complements other strategic partnerships that GORD has entered into with several prominent universities and leading academic institutions regionally and globally to develop innovative strategic solutions with regard to green buildings and renewable energy. Al Horr also said that the agreement will have a positive impact on strengthening the role of GSAS as a basic criterion for assessing sustainability within the built environment and serve as a vital tool to create a solid foundation to reduce energy consumption and promote sustainable development without compromising the architectural identity of the region, while taking into account the environmental, climatic and geological conditions locally, regionally and globally.

“Through our partnership with Qatar University we aim to continue to develop knowledge in the field of sustainability and investment in research, while also conducting studies related to green building, energy consumption, environmental impact, renewable energy sources and construction technology. These are the basic pillars to create a sustainable urban climate and achieve sustainable development in line with the environmental and climatic conditions in the region. On our part, we are committed to providing all the necessary support for making this strategic partnership a success and in the process reaffirming the position of Qatar and the Arabian Gulf as a leading model of sustainable development,” said Al Horr.

Developed by gathering the best practices of 40 local, regional and international certified systems around the world, GSAS is an integrated green building assessment system and one of the most comprehensive sustainability assessment systems worldwide. It makes use of the Arab region’s environmental and cultural data, and offers an advanced system that adheres to the recent technological advancements through the use of internet to carry out all technical and administrative processes necessary to implement its functions.

The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development is a non-profit organisation entirely owned by the Qatari DIAR and aims to position Qatar as the capital of green building. It leads efforts to make a difference within the construction industry by promoting sustainable building standards and eco-friendly practices. It has outlined its vision to strengthen Qatar’s position as a leader in the field of sustainable development, design and construction, through the promotion of scientific research in collaboration with major local, regional and international organisations, research institutions, technology-oriented consultancies, real estate and construction companies and government authorities to find effective solutions for various environmental challenges and to ensure socioeconomic stability. Gulf Organization for Research and Development enjoys strategic partnerships with a number of leading regional and global universities and academic institutions including University of Pennsylvania's TC Chan Center, King Fahd University in KSA, University of Aberdeen, University College London, University of Reading, Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques (IPM), Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) in UK, and Khartoum University in Sudan among other leading institutions.

Qatar University is an academic, educational, research and consultancy institution operating in the field of higher education and offers degrees in all specializations. The vision of the university is to graduate highly qualified individuals to complement the local and regional labor market with human resources capable of contributing to the overall development process at various levels. The university is committed to raising awareness and developing students' abilities in dealing with the concepts of environmental sustainability in theory and practice in order to support efforts to achieve urban sustainability to ensure a better life and environment for future generations.

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