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GORD & CNA-Q will collaborate on sustainability & environmental research programs

GORD & CNA-Q will collaborate on sustainability & environmental research programs

Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD), the authority for knowledge on sustainability in the MENA region, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar’s premier technical institute, College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) to establish an eco-villa on the college campus.

The agreement was signed by Dr. Yousef Al Horr, Founding Chairman, GORD and Dr. Ken MacLeod, President, CNA-Q at GORDs’ headquarters at Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP). The announcement comes at a time when Qatar is set to showcase its sustainability efforts at the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference COP18 to be held in Doha between 26 November and 07 December 2012.

GORD & CNA-Q will collaborate on sustainability & environmental research programs. The MoU will involve educational and other training opportunities for students, faculty and staff affiliated with the Parties.

The eco-villa will be the first of its kind in the region and will be constructed using sustainable and recycled environmentally-friendly building materials that have low volatile organic compounds and emission rates. As a model building-concept, features in the villa will include an in-house energy generating system, water-efficient plumbing and irrigation and intelligent building control systems.

The villa is designed on the basis of a traditional Qatari Courtyard, allowing light into the core of the villa, while reducing heat again and maintaining a cool environment through the choice of construction materials, shading and the integration of natural ventilation when external temperatures allow this.

The eco-villa project at CNA-Q site is a pilot research project by GORD aimed at developing information databases and testing the viability of establishing more such sustainable projects for Qatar’s broader built environment.

GORD & CNA-Q will collaborate on sustainability & environmental research programs
GORD & CNA-Q will collaborate on sustainability & environmental research programs

The initiative is led by GORD Institute that has in place several scientific research programs and established-partnerships with local and international organisations, from both academic and applied research perspectives, with an aim to collaboratively develop the sustainable built-environment in Qatar & the region.

The research programs include but are not limited to energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, materials, water, recycling and transportation. Using environmentally-friendly building materials with insulating properties and which as a unit consumes very low levels of energy, the concept can be commercialised by real-estate developers and in effect create a responsible building system.

Dr. Yousef Al Horr, Founding Chairman, GORD commented, “We are delighted to be associated with a leading college such as CNA-Q for our pilot eco-villa project.  The “Eco Villa" will be an example of a sustainably smart and healthy living environment. We hope to encourage the adoption and innovation of this technology and subsequently contribute to the reduction of Qatar’s’ carbon footprint. In the long-term we aim to provide industry stakeholders a sustainable model building-concept. Our goal is to achieve 4 stars Eco Villa design based on Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS/QSAS).

The eco-villa project is an important milestone in furthering sustainable applications and practices in an increasingly global community.

Dr. Ken MacLeod, President, CNA-Q commented, “Our commitment to collaborating on environmental and sustainability research and strengthening the educational experience of our students is a key component of this MOU and we are delighted to explore these opportunities with GORD. This partnership will see us sharing expertise and research capabilities, and creating educational and training opportunities for students, faculty and staff; one particularly exciting joint venture will be exploring the feasibility of constructing an “Eco Villa” on campus at CNA-Q, which represents a tremendous research opportunity for our students and faculty to engage with GORD researchers. Indeed, CNA-Q already has faculty with GORD’s GSAS certification. Our joint efforts will go a long way in reinforcing Qatar’s reputation as a leading advocate for sustainable development. I am confident that the eco-villa will be adopted as a sustainable solution for smart and healthy living environment for residents while preserving Qatari architectural heritage.”

Dr. Yousef Al Horr added, “This novel collaboration between GORD Institute and CNA-Q will see the eco-villa evolve into a research hub to demonstrate sustainability best practices in the built environment. With the physical proximity to universities and the Qatar Science and Technology Park, we hope that the concept will encourage more and more people to learn about green building technologies in the built environment.” The open- to – public landmark project will reinforce Qatar’s reputation as a leading advocate of sustainable development.

GORD is also a member of the United Nations Environment Program Sustainable Buildings & Climate Initiative (SBCI). The SBCI provides leadership and encourages partnership amongst all buildings and construction stakeholders to address sustainability issues of global significance, especially climate change, energy efficiency and CO2 emission.