Qatar's Green Building Council Rallies Community Leaders

Qatar's Green Building Council (QGBC) founder and chairman Eng. Issa M. Al MohannadiQatar’s Green Building Council (QGBC) founder and chairman Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi will speak at the “Planet and Profit in Partnership” on April 11, 2010, another in a series of conferences that teach Qatari leaders about sustainable building practices.

It remains to be seen whether Qataris will pursue development projects like Urjuan that pay little heed to the country’s environmental constraints or if more modest, conservation voices will be heard instead. Founded by Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi, with support from honorary president Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nosser Al Missned and the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development, Qatar’s Green Building Council (QGBC) was officially launched in July last year.  A non-profit and independent organization that mirrors other green building councils around the world, QGBC is designed to promote and reward sustainable building practices.  And they have been busy.

On the 7th of April, they hosted ‘The Importance of Green Buildings for the Future of Qatar’ at the W Hotel, Doha, Qatar and tomorrow they will host ‘Planet and Profit in Partnership’ at the Grand Hyatt also in Doha.  These conferences are a part of the larger aim to “influence government policy, share knowledge and information, organize events and workshops, develop or adapt rating tools, and create green building networks.”  By soliciting collaboration from all sectors of society and sharing valuable knowledge, Qatar’s leaders demonstrate that sustainable development is not only necessary, but also achievable.

qatar sustainable development doha skyline

The QGBC has real potential to shape how Qatar uses its burgeoning oil and gas wealth.  According to the World Green Building Council (WGBC), to which Qatar has submitted its application for membership, buildings produce up to 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions.  Green buildings can reduce these emissions by 35%.  Moreover, green buildings reduce energy by 30-50%, waste by 70%, and water use by 40%.  These reductions are achieved by following stringent rating system guidelines. Examples of established and respected International guidelines include LEED (US), BREEAM (UK), and Green Star (Australia).

Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi says, “It is important that Qatar has its own Green Building Council because the evolution of Qatar’s green building practices will be different from other countries, climates and regions.  We need to find out what is right, and achievable, for Qatar, and we look forward to working with others as we move forward with this mission.”  In time they will finalize their own rating system, QSAS, to reflect the country’s unique approach to sustainability.

qatar sun in hands picture

Mohannadi’s concerted push to “…join the world green building movement [and] encourage builders and developers in Qatar to adopt sustainable environmental practices” is both admirable and effective.  At present, according to the WGBC, 15,000 companies worldwide operate according to green building standards, which represents nearly 50% of global construction activity.  We think these figures add up to real progress.  The QGBC’s voluntary efforts could provide both present and future Qataris with highly coveted environmental security.

More Sustainable Development News from the Middle East:
Saudi Arabia and IBM to Develop Solar-powered Desalination Plant
Syria Brainstorms on Renewable Energy at International Event
Enviromena Solar Company Awarded Enviro Prize, and Busts Arab Stereotypes

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