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BQDRI Presents QSAS in the first forum on GCC Unified Building Code

Oct 13,2010

Doha, Qatar 13 October 2010: Barwa and Qatari Diar Research Institute (BQDRI), the premier organization in the State of Qatar supporting research and training to ensure sustainable development in the GCC, is participating in the First Forum of the GCC Unified Building Code to promote its Qatar Sustainability Assessment Systems (QSAS) as the GCC standard for sustainable rating. 

As conference delegates and representatives of both the Ministry of Environment & the GCC Standardization Organization Committee listened intently, BQDRI Chairman and Managing Director Dr. Yousef Al-Horr outlined how QSAS is the Middle East’s first and only performance-based sustainability rating system to meet the unique cultural and environmental challenges of GCC countries. 

“Without doubt QSAS is the GCC’s sustainable development solution. By creating a system that addresses sustainability goals specific to the region – one which also meets the toughest international standards - QSAS is the perfect solution to the region’s need to establish a single, consistent standard for sustainable development in the construction industry,” said Dr. Al-Horr. 

The crucial difference between QSAS and every other sustainable assessment framework is that QSAS responds to the environment and needs of this region, whereas methods used in GCC countries depend on imported systems that were designed for entirely different climates. 

“I urge delegates attending the First Forum on GCC Unified Building Code to examine QSAS closely and they will soon appreciate that QSAS serves as an example to nations and companies across the region,” added Dr. Al-Horr. 

“Our vision is for Qatar to be a leader in the field of sustainable development, design and construction, and that BQDRI remains committed to sharing our knowledge and research across the GCC to ensure QSAS is adopted as the sustainable development standard of the future.” 

Developed by the BQDRI in co-operation with experts and researchers from the T.C. Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, QSAS focuses on local needs and implements the best practices taking into consideration the region’s social, economic, environmental and cultural conditions which are different from other parts of the world. 

In short, issues such as resource smoothing, Power consumption, scarcity of water and cultural identity are at the core of QSAS and are interpreted in a way which suits the GCC region. 

Based on proven green building guidelines, a rigorous sustainability rating system and challenging water and energy standards, QSAS integrates best practice from 40 global assessment systems to create the ‘best of the best’ green building benchmark at various types of commercial buildings, hotels & light industrial facilities for the entire GCC region.

QSAS criteria are divided into eight categories - Urban Connectivity, Site, Energy, Water, Materials, Indoor Environment, Cultural & Economic Value, Management & Operations - each with a direct impact on environmental stress mitigation. 

“Among the many unique QSAS advantages is that the system learns and benefits from other global sustainability rating systems, using the best assessments rated by performance, quantity survey, and flexibility of the assessment system to overcome the weak points in other international systems,” advised Dr. Al-Horr. 

Sustainable Development is one of the key principles stated in Qatar National Vision 2030 which calls for the private and public sectors to have active engagement in sustainable development initiatives alongside with government. 

Within the framework of the BQDRI strategy to upgrade the skills of all workers in the private and public real estate sectors, BQDRI focuses on conducting training and customized workshops for implementing QSAS in all buildings to improve their quality. Last week, BDQRI completed its fifth training workshop in which fifty participants took part. The workshop’s success was further ensured by the thoroughness and professionalism of staff at Al Jazeera Children’s Channel studio, where the workshop was held. 

As a pioneer, BQDRI is entrusted with promoting local, regional and international awareness of QSAS and its many environmental benefits. Already QSAS has received widespread acclaim both in Qatar, the GCC and around the world. 

Dr Yousef Al-Horr Speech 


Your Excellency Abdulla Ben Mubarek AL-Meadadi, the Minister of Environment; 

Your Excellency Dr. Anwar Alabdulla, General Secretary of the GCC Union of Chambers of Assessments and Standards: 

On behalf of myself and members of BAWRA and Qatari Diar Research Institute (BQDRI), I would like to welcome our honored guests to their second home Qatar, the country of generosity and love. I would like also to express my gratitude to the Ministry of Environment, the sponsor of this forum, and for its important role it is playing on the local and international level in supporting various kinds and forms of development initiatives, so that it achieves its goals. The sponsorship of the Ministry to this forum is only a sample of its many initiatives and support in different fields. 

Ladies and gentlemen, 

The first forum of the unified GCC building code is being held in Doha, in a time the nations and people are racing to preserve a position at the top of such an initiative, as building codes in any country is an objective indication of the its progress and the maturity of its practices. In realizing such an important issue, all developed nations enhance the performance standards and material descriptions in various fields, especially building and construction in order to be able to address the different kinds, forms and levels of challenges. These countries are not satisfied of working individually, but they hurried to unite their effort and cooperate and exchange expertise aiming at professional centers such as research centers and expertise houses, in order to jump to the top in a period where collations and group work is its main aspect. We believe that the initiative of the General Secretariat for the GCC Standardization Organizations in the region for organizing such conference is a clear sign of the wise vision which allows preparedness for the future, and founds a collective work in the gulf as international coalitions, and presents an example of good work to be followed in the entire Middle East region. 

In this context, BDQRI, as a not for profit organization founded by BARWA Real Estate and Qatari Diar for Real Estate Development, took the lead in implementing these visions through developing sustainable practices in the fields of building and construction for the benefit of the great development goals in the Gulf. 

The institute, praise be to God, was able during the four past years to develop QSAS, the first of its kind in the Middle East for assessing green building based on existing approaches. QSAS was developed by deducing the best practices obtained from 40 global and local assessment systems applied in many countries around the world, in cooperation with professional experts, to produce a comprehensive assessment system recognized by professors and experts in this field. QSAS is distinguished by its adaptation to environmental, cultural, legislative and urban identity needs of the Gulf region, which make it closer to our real life and more responsive to the demands of the region. Just like global assessment systems, a package of tools were developed to implement QSAS in its best practices, starting from training to upgrade the abilities of employers in this field, passing by the computing programs developed exclusively for QASAS, and ending by project managing programs for green buildings. All that was developed to facilitate the process of transforming the theoretical frames to creative architectural designs which help to create better environment for life. 

The support of the institute to this forum is a completion of the way of the founding companies, I mean BARWA and Qatari Diar, which didn’t save any effort in pushing the development march forward in our country Qatar in general, and in developing the building and construction sector in particular. BARWA’s giant projects draw a new architectural scene for Qatar, which approaches all the categories and levels of the community. Lusail City is one of the important projects which are considered a benchmark in the development march in Qatar and the region. The clearest indication of all this is the unprecedented decision adopted by the project management which requires the buildings in Lusail to be certified with QSAS standards, to assure that the project complies with green buildings requirements. We are honored to introduce QSAS in details in this forum, as we hope to receive suggestions and views from experts whom we are honored by their participation with us in order to develop our practices and discuss the horizons of common work among the GCC countries, to enhance the march to sustainable building practices and discuss the ways how to benefit from QSAS for the sake of time and money. 

Ladies and gentlemen 

Finally, I assure our continuous support to your effort, and we hope that this conference closes its sessions with constructive recommendations and decisions which draw a new way for a new journey which accomplish our people’s ambitious, with its title: Gulf integration, its context common work, and start from the pint others finished. 

Dr Yousef Al-Horr 

Chairman & Managing Director 

BARWA & Qatari Diar Research Institute

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