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Researchers and professionals in Kuwait receive intensive training to develop sustainable built environment

Nov 18,2019

Site Visit during Kuwait GSAS Workshop

In collaboration with the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), the National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC) held a workshop in Kuwait aimed at building capacity for developing a sustainable built environment in accordance with Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). The four-day course took place at Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences from October 28 to 31, 2019. 
Joined by consultants, contractors, project owners, project management companies and engineering faculty members in Kuwait, the workshop provided necessary tools, methods and expertise to empower professionals with the ability to influence the design process, undertake assessment and manage GSAS project certifications. Attending D&B GSAS workshop is a mandatory requirement to become a GSAS Certified Green Professional (CGP). With the number of GSAS-compliant projects continuing to rise in Kuwait, organizations are now increasingly looking for individuals with CGP accreditation. Having a GSAS CGP on board helps organizations become GSAS service providers and therefore pitch to secure projects seeking sustainable certification. 
The course equips participants with the latest knowledge,  details and understanding of GSAS assessment methods and standards, and how to apply them in Kuwait. After successfully completing the intensive training, professionals will be able to use GSAS tools for application and assessment during the design & build phase of projects. With the latest GSAS training manual distributed to all participants, the workshop prepared attendees for the exam to become GSAS CGP.
Commenting on the recent workshop, Anas Mirza, CEO of NTEC, said, “Knowledge dissemination to promote sustainability aligns with the vision of New Kuwait 2035 Development Plan, I invite professionals and organizations to take the lead in addressing strategic issues related to preserving Kuwait's natural resources, mitigating carbon footprint, lowering our ecological impacts, and ensuring environmental quality.”  NTEC is a member of Kuwait Investment Authority and has been working with GORD as GSAS Authorized Centre of Excellence in Kuwait since the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding in April this year.  

GSAS-D&B Workshop in Kuwait
The workshop also featured site visit to a sustainable residential project titled “Low Energy House” developed in Jaber Alahmad City by NTEC on behalf of Kuwait’s Public Authority for Housing Welfare. Built as per GSAS standards, the villa has been constructed as a prototype for the future housing projects planned by the government for Kuwaiti nationals. With 4-Stars GSAS D&B rating, the project has energy and water efficient systems including grey water treatment system, solar PV system installed on roofs and car parks, as well as native and adaptive vegetation for sustainable landscaping. 
GSAS is the Middle East’s first performance-based green building certification system, aimed at improving the design, construction and operations of buildings while also identifying sustainability challenges specific to MENA’s built environment. The system was developed with a study of 140+ building rating systems, tools, and guidelines around the globe, which were later narrowed down to the 40 whole building rating systems. The study then focused on reviewing and assessing the best practices adopted by six well-established international green buildings assessment systems. Consolidating the world known sustainability assessment systems under one umbrella, GSAS went an extra mile by incorporating specific regional environment and cultural considerations to a wider range of building typologies including commercial, education, energy centers, homes, hospitality, interiors, light industry, mosques, neighborhoods (mixed development), offices, parks, renovations and residential projects. 
Providing a background of GSAS, Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman of GORD said, "Experts at GORD immersed themselves in the science and research of sustainability. They analyzed the construction and real estate industry through a sustainability lens, and concluded that the MENA region lacked a system that catered to its unique cultural, economic and environmental landscape. The rationale behind GSAS was that systems developed in other parts of the world did not fully address specific sustainability challenges of our region.” 
“GSAS offers a lot of advantages which are not available in any other imported system. For instance, it responds to urgent issues such as preserving the architectural identity of the region, and enhancing the creative solutions to address other challenges like water scarcity and lack of non-hydrocarbon raw materials. Furthermore, the system is completely flexible to respond to all environmental, social and economic challenges we are facing in the MENA region,” he concluded. 
Participants attending the workshop received their certificates in the presence of Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman of GORD, and Anas Mirza, CEO of NTEC. The workshop will be followed by a series of technical sessions structured to transfer knowledge and build the nation’s capacity required to successfully design, construct, operate and maintain sustainable built environment.

 


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