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GORD Institute gathers researchers and academics to advance Qatar’s sustainable built environment

GORD Institute gathers researchers and academics to advance Qatar’s sustainable built environment

As part of its capacity building, knowledge dissemination and outreach program, the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) organized a one-day a knowledge exchange event titled ‘Building a Better Qatar: Innovation in Qatar’s Construction Sector’. Led by the organization’s RDI hub, GORD Institute, the event took place at Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP). Gathering industry specialists working on the nation’s legacy projects, ‘Building a Better Qatar’ welcomed academics and industry specialists to discuss the latest innovations, trends, opportunities as well as challenges encountered in the field of sustainable built environment. Speakers at the event shared their experiences and concerns, thereby educating the attendees with insights on sustainability best practices implemented in Qatar.

Addressing an audience represented by leading public and private entities, Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman of GORD, said, “In light of the NDCs submitted by 195 signatories of the Paris Agreement, nations are way behind in terms of the curbing activities and efforts needed to limit the global temperature to 1.5oC. We need all constituents of the society to join governments in boosting mitigation efforts. In parallel with the state initiatives, we need contributions from academia, industries and research. As research institutes, we have an obligation to contribute; this is one of our drivers to organize this workshop.”

Acknowledging the role of GORD and importance of the recent workshop, Dr. Omar Boukhris, Senior Manager – Environment Programs at Qatar National Research Fund said, “The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development has been significantly instrumental and impactful in sustainability research in the State of Qatar. GORD is one of the few institutions outside academia that has succeeded in positively influencing the population’s well-being through RDI outcomes in energy security, food security, and environmental sustainability, among many others. GORD’s latest workshop, ‘Building a better Qatar: Innovation in Qatar’s construction sector,’ manifests GORD’s significant role in RDI’s national priority alignment and stakeholder engagement to tackle common challenges. It is aligned with Qatar Research, Development, and Innovation Council’s (QRDI) core sustainability vision and is one of our main research priorities. We remain committed to supporting national RDI projects that show tangible outcomes in the domain of sustainable built environments and a thriving construction sector."

Split in three sessions focusing on overview, sustainable construction and innovative building materials and operations, the event featured technical presentations and discussions on various aspects crucial to enabling a sustainable built environment.

Dr. Ammar Elhoweris, Head of Materials Group at GORD, said, “Infrastructure is crucial to human development and for successfully delivering the UN SDGs. To ensure climate-resilient infrastructure, we need to increase production and all the while meeting our mitigation targets. To support Qatar’s transformation to a knowledge-based economy, we must embrace a modern construction sector that has a positive impact on the environment. With Qatar’s construction sector expected to continue its upward trajectory in the coming years, it is vital that we make green material choices and sustainable use of existing infrastructure.”

The construction sector is responsible for more than one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions, making the adoption of climate-conscious solutions imperative for sustainable development. The idea behind GORD’s recent workshop was to gather like-minded organizations and market leaders to share expertise and explore synergies to collaborate in order to accelerate sustainable building solutions based on the principles of the circular economy and in line with the Qatar National Environment and Climate Change Strategy (QNE).