Construction

Qatar ‘to lead MENA region in green building’

Qatar Green Building Council official says use of non-green-friendly building materials will disappear in time

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A senior official of the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) has said that the Gulf state will have the highest number of green or carbon neutral buildings in the Middle East and North Africa by 2030.

Qatar has been taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint and achieve sustainable development, Meshal Al Shamari, director of QGBC, is reported as saying.

“In Qatar, currently there are 220 LEED registered projects, and many more are in the process of registration. The number is increasing at a very promising rate,” Al Shamari said in an interview with The Peninsula newspaper.

“The efforts towards sustainable development and green building is accelerating with the highest pace compared to other countries in the region. Within less than 10 years, today we have the second highest number of green buildings in the MENA region after the UAE,” he added.

Al Shamari pointed out that green building specifications have been adopted by a number of organisations across Qatar as a mandatory requirement. Some of the major companies that have taken the initiative to make green building requirements mandatory for its projects are Ashghal (Public Works Authority), municipality projects and Qatar Foundation projects.

However, he reiterated that the onus was on now the private sector to take up the challenge, adding that the upcoming regulatory framework is expected to make it mandatory for private buildings to go green.

With the cost of development for green buildings now much more affordable, the director of the QGBC said he expected the use of traditional materials to diminish at an increasing rate and “eventually disappear from the GCC market.”

Qatar’s rating system for buildings consists of LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification and GSAS (Global Sustainability Assessment System).

Al Shamari also said that the focus was now on promoting ‘passive buildings’ that would produce surplus power through the use of solar panels.

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