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ADA and GORD host first GSAS Certified Green Professional Training Workshop in Saudi Arabia

The High Commission for the Development of Arriyadh (ADA), in collaboration with Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD), the authority for knowledge on sustainability in the MENA region, has launched the Certified Green Professional (CGP) training workshop, the first of its kind in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The programme is part of ADA’s commitment to promoting sustainability initiatives across the GCC and the MENA region and to ensure that projects are designed and executed in accordance with the highest industry standards.

Through the workshop, the organizers seek to develop the skills and expertise of specialists and engineers to empower them with skills to develop public sector projects in accordance with the requirements of urban sustainability, which contributes to minimizing environmental impact.

The training workshop was conducted between 17 -19 September 2013 at ADA’s Tuwaiq Academy and was the first in a series of academic activities which include specialised and professional training programmes for more than 40 engineers and professionals.

Participants had the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss the requirements of the application of GSAS principles in accordance with the environmental, climatic and cultural data of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as well as the Gulf region.

“The workshop is a vital tool to support our efforts to develop the competencies and skills of ADA professionals and experts. Through this activity, valuable channels are opened for knowledge transfer and exchange of best practices and the latest information related to sustainability," said Eng. Abdul Rahman Al Shaya, Environmental Planning and infrastructure Department Manager at the opening of the workshop.

In addition, Eng. Al Shaya stressed on the importance of such workshops as they provide an ideal opportunity for industry professionals to be updated on best practices in sustainable design and increase their potential to be accredited as GSAS – Certified Green Professionals.

”By organizing the GSAS-CGP workshops, we aim to foster the growth of construction professionals who deliver world-class sustainable building standards across the region and this initiative in Saudi Arabia comes in response to the great interest in ADA. GSAS is the most comprehensive sustainability rating system in the world and is increasingly adopted as the standard for excellence in sustainability in the MENA region," said Dr. Yousef Al Horr, GORD Chairman.

“We are pleased as well with the eager participation of the private sector represented by construction companies and engineering consulting firms from various countries at these workshops, which reflects the growing interest and confidence in GSAS as the international standard," added Dr. Al Horr.

The workshop highlighted the comprehensiveness of GSAS in terms of evaluating a wide range of real estate facilities including commercial buildings, schools, universities, residential buildings, mosques, hotels, light industry, sports facilities, hospitals, parks, districts and other public facilities. It was emphasized that GSAS also includes rating metropolises and cities to address sustainability issues in the early planning stages of the infrastructure. He also spoke about eight categories under GSAS, each with a direct impact on environmental stress mitigation and each measuring a different aspect of a specific project’s environmental impact:  energy, water, indoor environment, cultural and economic value, site, urban connectivity, material, management and operations, as well as the associated subcategories.

GSAS workshops equip professionals with sustainability tools through discussions and the development of practical examples in collaboration with a number of international leading consultants, researchers and experts in urban sustainability. Following the workshop, participants can register for the online Professional Accreditation Exam to obtain a GSAS-CGP certificate.