GSAS building standards gain regional recognition
DOHA INa move that will further consolidate Qatar’s position as a global innovator in green technology, the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development (GORD) has announced the launch of the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) as the standard for excellence in sustainability in the MENA region.
Making the announcement at a press conference on Sunday, Founding Chairman of GORD Dr Yousef Mohammed al Horr said, “GSAS, as it stands today, is the most comprehensive system in the world. It includes standards schemes which are unique, covering sports venues, recreational parks and mosques. Since the system was launched, we’ve received a great deal of positive feedback from neighbouring countries, the most recent of which is the decision of the Kuwaiti government to adopt GSAS.” GSAS, which was formerly known as Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS), makes a case for being the most comprehensive sustainability rating system in the world. The name change came to support the all-inclusive offerings of the system in assessing all types of developments starting from master plans for cities to single buildings.
GSAS is unique in catering for specific structures such as sports venues, mosques, schools, hotels, hospitals, railways and even whole neighbourhoods.
GSAS has recently been incorporated into Qatar’s Construction Specification 2010 as chapter 7, ‘Green Construction’.
The Ministry of Environment launched the fourth edition of Qatar Construction Specifications (QCS 2010), specifying a series of measures to pave the way for green buildings and gardens in the country and to ensure the safety of construction workers.
The Public Work Authority (Ashghal) has announced its commitment to apply GSAS along all future government projects. GORD considered such commitment a great achievement, given that Ashghal is the first governmental institution to adopt GSAS completely.
Mandatory requirements for private constructions include adoption of energy and water saving measures, reduction of solid waste and wastewater and improving indoor environment to safeguard public health.
Dr Horr said, “Incorporating GSAS within QCS 2010 provides a clear blueprint for sustainable building development in the country, which will ultimately help ensure a higher quality of life in Qatar.” Countries in the region, such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Sudan, are also showing interest in the adoption of GSAS as the unified code.
Kuwait had announced its interest in adopting GSAS during the launch of Kuwait Green Building Forum, which was held in May. Kuwait signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with GORD on May 23. The signing of the MoU comes in line with the shared vision of promoting the adoption of the concept of sustainability in Qatar and Kuwait.
GSAS has already been adopted in Qatar, following a landmark government directive requiring all new buildings to adhere to GSAS standards.
GSAS-rated projects already in the works include Doha Festival City, La Marina Twin Towers, Muntazah Primary Health Care Centre, Lusail Multipurpose Hall, a sports area seating 18,000 spectators, and Barwa City.