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GORD trains stadiums operators and facility managers to ensure sustainable operations

Nov 09,2020

To ensure sustainable operations and maintenance of the stadiums during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM and beyond, the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) certified a group of 34 engineers, operators and facility management professionals on Thursday, November 5. Titled GSAS Operations Certified Green Professional (CGP) Workshop, the course was organized in collaboration with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC) at the site of Al Janoub Stadium – one of the eight stadiums proposed to host the football tournament in 2020. Attending the training were representatives from SC and Mosanada – the facility management organization responsible for providing the facility management consultancy services for the infrastructure projects of SC. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Founding Chairman of GORD, Dr. Yousef Alhorr said, “With most World Cup stadiums in Qatar now nearing completion, it is about time we took sustainability to the next stage that comes after design and construction. Now is the time for Qatar’s stadiums to gear up for setting yet another benchmark by incorporating green principles in their operations phase. To this end, GORD is proud to be a part of SC’s journey by providing the necessary knowledge, skillsets and tools within the sustainability realm through its GSAS Workshop series.” 

The event was marked by the presence of Engineer Abdulaziz Ali Al Ishaq, Al Janoub Stadium Manager, who said, “Qatar’s stadiums meet all the required sustainability measures to obtain GSAS certificates with outstanding ratings. For these projects, sustainability started from the very beginning. When we issued the documents for tendering, we had specified the sustainability measures we were looking for.  These were incorporated during the design, construction, handover and commissioning stages.” Speaking specifically about the recent training, Engineer Al Ishaq added, “The role of GORD in coordination with SC is very sound… The training was very interesting for and the participants.  It elaborated how we can run these facilities in the right manner with a healthy environment.”

Representing Mosanada’s senior leadership Adam Wood, Deputy Director of Business Solutions at Mosanda, said, “GSAS operations is the framework that has been used and approved for ensuring that the stadiums are sustainably operated. At Mosanada, we make sure that all aspects of the operations of the stadiums are sustainable and are setting world leading trends.” Speaking about the stadiums’ progress towards getting GSAS Operations certification, Wood added, “Sustainable operations have already begun at the stadiums. However, getting certified under GSAS Operations takes time as we need to collect 12 months of data. Since a lot of these stadiums have only just been handed over or have not been operating for extended periods, it’s going to be a little while before we see these shiny gold plaques [for GSAS Operations].” 

As MENA’s first performance based green building certification system, the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) aims to curb projects’ carbon footprint linked with their design, construction and operations primarily through three certifications – GSAS Design & Build, GSAS Construction Management and GSAS Operations. In this context, GSAS Operations framework is premised on the fact that building operations have a direct and significant impact on the natural environment, economy and human health. At the core of GSAS Operations lies the importance of operational and maintenance practices to reduce the negative environmental impacts of the existing buildings and infrastructure projects. 

Speaking about Mosanada’s plans to implement GSAS Operations, Sailatha Theagaraj, Senior Sustainability Engineer at Mosanada, said, “We are currently working on strategizing sustainability for the SC stadiums to achieve the GSAS Operations certification. Achieving the GSAS operations certification is itself a statement that we are very sustainable and are performing and achieving all the sustainability requirements. This training session will help us get there easily and will bridge the gap between what is expected and where we are.”

Unlike the regular GSAS Operations Workshop that concentrates on the inculcation of technical knowledge, the recent workshop held at Al Janoub Stadium was both theoretical and practical in nature. Following the technical training, attendees of the course received live demonstration about the equipment and monitoring systems required to perform operations audit. A visit to Al Janoub mechanical rooms took place which was an added valued to all participants. During the site tour of the stadium, candidates learnt various approaches and practices to accurately record and analyze data from monitoring systems linked with air quality, thermal imaging and comfort, noise and acoustics, and energy and water consumption. Also, a quick overview about energy audits and water audits was summarized for future exploration.

With GSAS endorsed by FIFA for its implementation on all FIFA 2022 World CupTM stadiums across Qatar, GSAS Operations will remain a key part of the stadiums’ sustainability journey in line with the SC’s commitment to deliver the first carbon neutral World Cup. Candidates receiving training in GSAS Operations will be eligible to carry out sustainability audits for the stadiums’ operations prior to external audits by GSAS Trust to ensure that the venues’ operations meet and exceed FIFA’s sustainability requirements. Through knowledge dissemination exercises like the recent workshop, the ultimate goal is to prepare the relevant teams in sustainably operating and maintaining the stadiums well ahead of the tournament. 

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