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GORD launches the new version of GSAS at the CGP Workshop, GSAS 2019 4th Edition

Apr 18,2019

Upgrading version 2015, the latest GSAS 2019 benefits from over ten years of experience of GORD in implementing GSAS, covering 100 million square feet of built-up area and more than 1500 million square feet of district master planning.

The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) has launched its fourth edition of Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) titled GSAS 2019. With modifications incorporated over the past year, GSAS 2019 replaces its 2015 edition and is expected to be used as a working guideline on sustainability for the next four years until GSAS next edition comes in place.

The Founding Chairman of GORD, Dr Yousef Alhorr commented that GSAS 2019 has been developed with hands-on experience in GSAS implementation over the past ten years, covering 100 million square feet of built-up area and more than 1500 million square feet of district master planning, along with multidisciplinary research projects conducted on various aspects of the built environment.

“As GSAS Trust continues to validate green building best practices, it is equally important to validate our processes to ensure that they incorporate the best and up-to-date practices and procedures,” said Dr. Alhorr, speaking to an audience representing consultants, project managers, clients and contractors at GSAS-Design and Build (D&B) 2019 Certified Green Professionals (CGP) Workshop held at Qatar National Convention Center on April 16, 17 and 18.

GSAS 2019 encompasses all building typologies with technical guidelines, assessment manuals, training manuals and associated scoring sheets to equip practitioners, project owners, consultants and the broader sustainability community with information and tools required to implement GSAS.

Held multiple times throughout the year, GSAS CGP Workshops are designed to train professionals in sustainability within the areas of D&B, construction and operations. Focused on D&B, the recently concluded three-day workshop covered aspects related to urban connectivity, site, energy, water, materials and indoor environment, management and operation and heritage and culture. With the latest GSAS training manual distributed to all participants, the workshop prepared attendees for the exam to become GSAS Certified Green Professionals.

GSAS - Design & Build CGP Workshop 16-17-18 April 2019
GSAS - Design & Build CGP Workshop 16-17-18 April 2019

In attendance, were delegates from Kuwait and Iran. Representing Kuwait Municipality was Lulwa Al-Dihani, Senior Architect, Project Development Department. Speaking about her experience as a workshop participant, she said, “The content was structured well. It covered everything, especially the sustainable design of buildings… I would like to thank GORD for inviting us to this workshop, it has come at the right time. In the future, we wish to have more collaborations between Kuwait Municipality and GORD.” In the context of cooperation between National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC) and GORD, Al-Dihani praised, the establishment of NTEC as a GSAS Authorized Center of Excellence, in Kuwait, “This will promote and facilitate a rapid growth in the implementation of the Global Sustainability Assessment System in the built environment within the state of Kuwait.” Design Division Head at Kuwait Municipality, Fatema Abbas explained her organization’s inclination towards GSAS, saying, “Kuwait Municipality has compared green building rating systems and found that only GSAS considers the climatic conditions and building practices specific to the region.”

Another international participant was Soha Golafshan, Co-founder and CEO of Econtext currently operating in Iran and Oman. Golafshan, who holds a PhD in Architecture and Energy, said, “I have done studies about all major sustainability criteria in the world. I think GSAS is really practical, it is really rich and close to our culture and ecology.” While most of the participants joined the CGP Workshop for the first time, returning attendees included Bazeeth Ahmed, Director of Conserve Solution. “This is the second time I’m attending GSAS Workshop after 2015 to catch up on 2019 updates. I can see there are a lot of developments. The 2019 version has added more clarity to the system,” said Ahmed. Sharing details about her first-time experience at a GSAS CGP Workshop, Katherine Bruce, Sustainability Consultant with AESG said, “I’ll definitely benefit from understanding the GSAS process and how it compares to other systems in the world. It’s really interesting to see how the system has been designed to be applied to the region, and how GSAS can addresse various building typologies.”

Speaking about her motivation behind attending GSAS-D&B 2019 CGP Workshop, Bruce added, “I’m currently working on GSAS projects in the region. I’m here to learn about the new release that is the 2019 version, and become qualified as a GSAS-D&B CGP.”

GSAS - Design & Build CGP Workshop 16-17-18 April 2019
GSAS - Design & Build CGP Workshop 16-17-18 April 2019

Among the audience, many felt the need to attend the CGP Workshop as, apart from learning and driving towards sustainability, having GSAS certification is perfect business sense. Mansour Maahfouz, CEO of Al-Ittifaq Engineering Consultants explained that the need to move towards sustainability is inevitable in Qatar. “In the future, we are expecting that GSAS will be mandatory for all local consultants. So we are here to improve our business by obtaining the required certifications,” he said.

Similar sentiments were shared by others too. Bazeeth Ahmed of Conserve reiterated the importance of GSAS in Qatar, saying, “I can see that GSAS is a driver of sustainability in the State of Qatar. All construction professionals here should learn about this rating system. GSAS is also a part of Qatar Construction Specifications. It is important for me as a professional and for my company to be aware of GSAS so we can help clients build in a sustainable way and in accordance with national regulations.”

Rajarajan Sekar is a Sustainability Engineer at Blue Crescent. Obtaining GSAS certification, he thinks, will not only benefit his company but also add value to his professional portfolio for better career growth in the long term. Sekar said, “Sustainability is our company’s major division. Since GORD is monitoring the overall sustainability process in Qatar, it is wise to become directly involved with them to understand the procedures and the rating system.”

Another important announcement made on the sidelines of the GSAS-D&B 2019 CGP Workshop was about the launch of EcoLab expected to be in place by the end of 2019. While the Global Green Mark aims at verifying the green features of materials, EcoLab will verify the application and efficiency of electrical equipment, including air-conditioning units used within the built environment.

GSAS - Design & Build CGP Workshop 16-17-18 April 2019

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