Green building has recently gained newfound popularity in the Persian Gulf, particularly in the middle eastern nations of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The latter, however, is truly proving its green industry potential, showcasing a number of large-scale projects and a green building network that features strong goals and a holistic methodology.
In an assessment of these practices by the International Law Office (ILO) in the report ‘Assessment of green building in Qatar: the Gulf’s ‘capital of green’?’, it has been found that this green building framework or ‘code’ known as the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) is exponentially expanding the green building sector.
“There is no doubt that the adoption of the new Green Building Code raises the bar in the Qatari construction sector,” says the report. “As construction activities continue to expand in Qatar, the implementation of the new Green Building Code presents both challenges and opportunities for companies hoping to participate in Qatar’s forecasted growth.”
Due in part to the success of Qatar’s most recent major green development,the 2022 FIFA World Cup Stadium, the country has revealed a major growth to the industry at large, with over $250 billion worth of major developments planned. These include the $7 billion Doha International Airport and the $42.9 billion national railway project.
The ILO says it is due to this current and expected growth that Qatar is implementing long-term green legislative changes in order to completely develop a strong industry and built environment on the environmentally responsible foundations.
The report explains that QSAS offers to promote holistic action for the industry in terms of long-term sustainability.
“The Green Building Code places emphasis both on technical issues, such as ‘materials, building components, construction technologies and energy related design concepts,’ and on non-technical issues, such as ‘economic, social sustainability and cultural heritage aspects,’” says the report.
Thus, while Qatar’s goals will include long-term efficiencies regarding energy, water and materials, they will also include supporting culture, the economy and community living.
Schemes under the QSAS will be rated in their specific sector, which range from hotels and residential to mosques, sports facilities, commercial spaces and many more.
While the expected up-front investment is expected to be greater than building brown, the industry is confident that growth – further spurred on by the strong probability of increased retrofit works – and the associated economic stimulation, will more than make up for the initial costs.
Qatar is clearly learning how best to move forward in terms of understanding the current stage of our natural environment. While in the past this would have stood as the differentiating factor between successful and unsuccessful countries, it now stands as one of the greatest opportunities to develop in a way that is sustainable, bringing with it economic and environmental benefits that will now stand as the true differentiators of success.