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Oxford business group talks to chairman of Barwa & Qatari Diar research institute

Doha, Qatar, 08 January 2010: A green building rating system designed to promote sustainable development will help Qatar strike a balance between achieving growth from its natural resources and protecting the environment, according to a leading businessman.

In an exclusive interview with Oxford Business Group (OBG), the highly acclaimed global publishing, research and consultancy firm, leading businessman Dr Yousef Alhorr said the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) would help raise awareness throughout the country about the importance of adopting green practices in development.

We understand that our major source of wealth sits alongside emissions from the very resource with which we have been blessed,said Dr Alhorr, CEO of Barwa Knowledge and chairman Barwa & Diar Research Institute. He added that unlike many international systems, the QSAS not only rewarded green operations but also penalised companies for poor practices, which significantly raised its effectiveness. 

He stated that many companies were already asking for the QSAS stand-alone evaluation process to be implemented. The public and private sectors, along with the public, are becoming much more aware of the environment and environmental protection,î he said. This is a very positive sign.

Oxford business group talks to chairman of Barwa & Qatari Diar research institute
Oxford business group talks to chairman of Barwa & Qatari Diar research institute

Dr. Alhorr explained that the QSAS grades a building at each stage of its development, from design through to operation phase. This minimises the opportunity for bad practices to slip through the net, he said, and helps ensure that the building is operating to its green potential once the development is complete. Dr. Alhorr added that the comprehensive rating plan takes account of all major elements, including waste management, the use of eco-friendly materials and energy consumption. He said that the green building system also highlights the importance of preserving Qatar culture and heritage together with the regional identity of the GCC. 

Dr. Alhorr believes that the grading system and measures laid out in the QSAS are in tune with much of the long-term plan for the Emirate development, Qatar Vision 2030. There are many dimensions but sustainability is a very important aspect of this challenge, he said. Green building initiatives are very important and developers should adhere to best practices to positively contribute to the Qatar Vision 2030 through the environmental dimension. The Qatar Sustainable Assessment System (QSAS) recently won an international award for excellency for outstanding contribution to sustainable development from the IREF summit in London in November 2009. Additionally, BARWA and Qatari Diar have officially adopted QSAS and implemented Green Building principles in their future projects, which is a big step for the QSAS program.

OBG analysts based in Qatar are in the process of conducting some 200 interviews with leading political and economic figures investigating many facets of the country, including macroeconomics, infrastructure, political landscape, banking and sectoral developments. Available in print form and online OBG's range of publications are renowned as leading sources of information on developing and emerging economies around the world.