More than 500 green industry enthusiasts who recently attended the inaugural Qatar Green Building Conference have heard how Qatar is leading the green building movement in the Middle East.
The country’s approach to sustainability was also praised by the regional and international delegates during the two-day event.
The conference was organised by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and took place at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
Qatar’s first green building conference was a key initiative in Qatar Foundation’s commitment to promote sustainable best practice and infrastructure development on the nation’s journey to a knowledge-based economy as outlined in the Qatar National Vision 2030.
With more than200 LEED-registered in Qatar,the nation’s other major green building developments, including Qatar Foundation’s collection of green buildings, Msheireb Downtown Doha, and Lusail City, which are key in meeting the requirements of a sustainable city, received endorsements from the high level delegation attending from more than 20 countries.
As part of QGBC’s mission to filling the existing gaps in the green building industry in Qatar, the conference saw the launch of Qatar’s first Green Directory, an online interactive platform providing information and analysis about green products and services available in the Qatari market. It will help local manufacturers and distributors to have their products easily accessible in the market.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Engineer Meshal Al Shamari, QGBC Director, said: “We are delighted and proud to have received a highly positive response from the local, regional and international green building community to our call for creating a platform to address major sustainability issues and opportunities. The Qatar Green Building Conference will become an annual platform for the local and regional green building industry to assemble and suggest best practices to the array of environmental issues we face.”
He added: “To build on the success of the first edition, the Qatar Green Building Conference 2016 will take place in March next year. We will be announcing the programme within the coming weeks, and we will been couraging existing and new delegates to take part.”
Mr Paul Scialla, Founder of the International Well Building Institute, in his closing keynote speech, said: “I am delighted that we have received such a positive response to our first international WELL workshop here in Qatar. We look forward to advancing the conversation in Qatar and beyond about how human health can be addressed in our built environment. WELL builds on the green building movement’s strong foundations of energy and the environment, and goes further into the human experience.”
Dr Don McLean, CEO and Founder of Integrated Environmental Solutions (IES), said: “Qatar is leading the green building movement in the Middle East region on several levels, including the availability of information, the awareness and education programmes, and the right type of development approach. Within the span of five to ten years, Qatar’s green building market will compete with European and other standards. The commitment of Qatar to green buildings is truly commendable on this front.”
Hamoda Yousef, Research Specialist at QGBC, commenting on the educational aspect of the inaugural Qatar Green Building Conference, said: “The conference highlights QGBC’s continued efforts towards standardising sustainability education in Qatar and the wider region. The conference’s papers will be published through QScience.com, which will serve as a vital and credible knowledge source for the industry and the public.”
The conference participants debated key topics related to the green building industry in Qatar, with a special focus on future sustainable cities, retrofitting Doha’s existing buildings stock, measuring carbon footprint and evaluating the feasibility of Passivhaus buildings in the Middle East and North Africa Region.
QGBC is a non-profit, membership-driven organisation dedicated to advocating green building solutions, leading industry research, as well as promoting sustainable practice in the community. Through QGBC, Qatar has joined a network of 80 different countries that run active national green building councils under the umbrella of the World Green Building Council.