Oil-Rich Qatar Takes Eco Expertise to Philadelphia’s Famous Greenbuild

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The Qatar Foundation is distinguishing itself as a leader at Greenbuild, the world’s largest gathering of green building pioneers in Philadelphia, where Hilary Clinton will deliver the 2013 keynote address tomorrow.

The Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development chaired by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned has been instrumental in alleviating Qatar’s dependence on carbon by developing its knowledge economy.

In part, the group has done so by building a 14 square kilometer educational complex just outside of the capital Doha. Education City boasts eight international satellite university campuses, as well as the new Hamad bin Khalifa University (HBKU).

And this is where there “green” expertise has emerged.

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In addition to building an innovative “people-mover” system comprised of e-bikes and Avenio trams from Siemens, the group is in the process of constructing one of the largest collection of LEED Platinum buildings in the world.

This summer, both Qatari and international students moved into green male and female student housing, which feature energy and water conservation technology monitored with a smart building integrated management system, wind turbines, efficient lighting and a slew of other active and passive design techniques.

(Related post: Qatar’s Msheireb Regeneration Project Will be World’s Largest LEED Cluster)

It is these that Engineer Jassim Telefat, Group Executive Director of Qatar Foundation Capital Projects and Facilities Management addressed in his presentation Visionary investment: A study of city planning in Paris and Doha at Greenbuild, which is hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Eng. Telefat explained that Education City’s master plan is a live document that can be adapted to incorporate state-of-the-art advances in sustainable technology while also establishing a high quality living and learning environment.

“We prioritize human development by exposing all our youth to sustainable practices. Through the creation of environmentally-friendly student housing and a green campus, we aim to engage and nurture a community that values the environment,” he said.

“We have installed a monitoring system in each housing unit to help students track their own energy and water consumption. This project serves as a valuable tool for students, as it educates them about sustainability and encourages accountability.”

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Rick Fedrizzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Green Building Council, acknowledged the Qatar Foundation’s green building gains at Education City, which received special recognition and praise for earning 12 Platinum LEED certifications in the New Construction category.

Qatar is getting a lot of heat for its dubious labor practices, and it’s important to take this into consideration when gushing praise, but we have a lot of respect for the Qatar Foundation’s commitment not only to providing the best education possible for both men and women, but for doing so in a way that can be sustained over the long haul.

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