GORD, Jordan Engineers Association sign MoU to apply QSAS concepts to Jordan's green building practices
Source: BI-ME , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Wed July 20, 2011 2:12 pm

QATAR. The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development, Qatar's leading research, consultancy and training institute and the developer of the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS), has recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA).

The agreement was signed by Gulf Organisation for Research and Development Co-founder and Chairman Dr. Yousef Mohammed Al Horr and JEA President Eng. Abdulla Obaidat.   
The strategic partnership aims to build new channels of cooperation and to promote sustainability on a large scale through effective initiatives for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, encouraging the use of environmentally safe materials, and supporting green building projects. These in turn will help achieve economic and environmental balance and maintain urban identity in the Arab World.

Under the agreement, JEA is authorized to use the tools and materials available through Gulf Organisation for R&D’s free and unrestricted Educational License under both the Service Provider and Managing Partner categories of QSAS for one year. The Association can also use Gulf Organisation for R&D’s research materials to provide consultancy services on green buildings, simulators and system integration testing. 

Gulf Organisation for R&D and JEA will be submitting a proposal for a joint venture on Eco-Labelling systems for Arab Countries to the Union of Arab Engineers that will facilitate the use of environmentally safe products in green building projects. The two parties are also considering the creation of a Joint Arab Award for sustainable construction and green buildings to highlight and promote eco-friendly projects in the Arab World.

Through the MoU, the two groups will push for broader adoption of standards under Gulf Organisation for R&D’s QSAS, an integrated system for assessing green buildings that encourages optimum consumption of energy, water and environmental resources. QSAS has the potential to open up new doors for investments into the green sector in areas such as renewable energy, recycling, and advanced control systems technologies for the regional markets. It will also facilitate regional information-sharing and further drive the Arab World’s transition to a knowledge economy.

Gulf Organisation for R&D will work with JEA on research and development related to environmental issues and human resources development within the real estate sector. The Organisation will hold conferences and interactive workshops in collaboration with the Engineers Training Center, the scientific arm of JEA, to refine the skills of workers and provide them with the knowledge needed to develop and apply sustainability concepts to modern architecture.

Dr. Al Horr pointed out that the MoU reflects the organisation’s interest in building strong strategic partnerships with leading local, regional and international institutions and organisations to develop innovative solutions in various areas related to green buildings, renewable energy sources, industrial materials, environmentally safe building products, and recycling, among others. He added that the new collaboration affirms the wide acceptance enjoyed by QSAS at both the local and regional levels due to its relevance to the cultural and environmental visions of the Arab World. 

The Gulf Organisation for R&D Chairman further explained that his organisation has always been committed to disseminating knowledge in the field of sustainable construction and promoting innovation and development. This, he said, lies within the framework of the Organisation’s vision of enhancing the role of QSAS as a basic criterion for assessing sustainability in the urban setting environment and as one of the most comprehensive systems of its kind at the global level.

“We developed the QSAS system for sustainability assessment to reinforce the status of Qatar as the ‘green building’ capital of the Middle East. This system has proven to be effective in enhancing quality within the construction sector in a manner that keeps pace with rapid developments taking place at the national front, particularly after Qatar won the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Our main focus is to make Qatar a model of leadership in sustainable development at the global level under the inspirational vision of H.H. Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar, and H.H. the Heir Apparent Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani. We seek to uphold the pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which calls for the proper management of the nation’s environmental resources to ensure harmony and consistency in economic and social development and environmental protection. But we were also committed to design QSAS in a way that meets the needs of the GCC and the Arab World in general,” said Dr. Al Horr.

“Our partnership with the Jordan Engineers Association is strong proof of the importance of the system in finding sustainable solutions, creating a positive economic climate and highlighting the important role of the Gulf Organisation for Research and Development as a driving force behind the region’s comprehensive development,” he concluded.

Commenting on the MoU, Mr. Obaidat said: “The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development has proven to be one of the most prominent contributors to Qatar’s development and a key supporter for sustainability throughout the region. It has been successfully spreading knowledge and providing consultation based on the latest scientific research and training and qualification programs in accordance with best practices. Indeed, the Organisation has played a major role in promoting green building design and construction through the introduction of QSAS, which is now at par with the world’s top construction-and sustainability-related systems. The system thoroughly considers the environmental, climatic and geological conditions of the entire region.”

“In this context, we are pleased to be collaborating with the Organisation and are confident that this will reflect a positive move towards our continuing efforts to develop the capabilities of concerned practitioners, engineers and professionals alike, particularly in the area of sustainability. We look forward to closely working with Gulf Organisation for R&D and benefiting from its various initiatives and activities such as its workshops and conferences which include the Green Building Solutions Conference & Exhibition. This event provides an integrated mechanism for promoting the implementation of sustainability concepts in regional construction projects,” added Mr. Obaidat.

“In keeping with our efforts to advance the development of sustainability concepts in the Middle East, we are pleased to team up with the Jordan Engineers Association in promoting cooperation with prominent local and regional authorities particularly in publishing sustainability standards and strengthening the culture of innovation and creation,” said Prof. Dr. Ali Malkawi, Founder and Director, T.C. Chan Center, University of Pennsylvania, USA.

“We are confident that we will be able to share our experiences with countries across the region, as QSAS is designed in line with the climatic, geographical and environmental requirements of the Gulf region and is adaptable to the needs of the region,” Dr. Malkawi added.
Deputy President of the Jordanian Engineers Association Eng. Majed Al Tabaa lauded the agreement as the first Qatari-Jordanian cooperation in the field of engineering. He said the agreement represents a major leap in the level of cooperation between both parties and opens a wider range of prospects in marketing the engineering work of both countries.

Al Tabaa pointed out that the Association was the first to introduce green building technology in Jordan through the establishment of the National Green Building Council, in collaboration with the private and public sectors. They also organise several workshops, seminars and specialized conferences. He added that the Council mainly focuses on pursuing joint projects with different Arab engineering bodies and he also lauded Qatar’s commitment to such initiatives.

Al Tabaa said: “The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development has proven its worth as one of the most prominent forces behind Qatar’s development and one of the most important supporters for sustainability in the whole region through its efforts to spread knowledge and offer consultancy services based on scientific research, training programs and qualification programs in accordance with recognised best practices. Indeed, the Organisation has played a major role in promoting the Green Building Design and Construction concept by launching QSAS, which is now competing with world-renowned international systems in the fields of construction and sustainability, because of its conformance with the environmental, climate and geological conditions of the region as a whole.”

“In this context, we are pleased with the new collaboration with the Organisation and are confident that it will create a positive impact on our continuing efforts to develop the capabilities of concerned practitioners, such as engineers and related professionals, making them more proficient with environmental sustainability concepts. We look forward to closely working with the Organisation and to benefit from its various initiatives and activities like workshops and conferences including the Green Building Solutions Conference & Exhibition, which provides an integrated platform to promote and encourage the adoption of sustainability concepts in various construction projects across the region,” he added.

Developed by gathering the best practices of 40 local, regional and international certified systems around the world, QSAS is an integrated green building assessment system and one of the most comprehensive sustainability assessment systems worldwide. It makes use of the Arab region’s environmental and cultural data, and is provided with an advanced system that adheres to the recent technological advancements through the use of internet to carry out all technical and administrative processes necessary to implement its functions.

The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development is a non-profit organisation entirely owned by the Qatari government. It leads efforts to make a difference within the construction industry by promoting sustainable building standards and eco-friendly practices.

It has outlined its vision to strengthen Qatar’s position as a leader in the field of sustainable development, design and construction, through the promotion of scientific research in collaboration with major local, regional and international organisations, research institutions, technology-oriented consultancies, real estate and construction companies and government authorities to find effective solutions for various environmental challenges and to ensure socioeconomic stability.

The Organisation, along with the standardisation department in the Ministry of Environment, is the representative of Qatar in the Green Buildings Sub-Committee established by the Secretary General of the GCC Standardisation Organisation.

It was also involved in a number of local, regional and international forums and conferences to promote QSAS.

The Jordanian Engineers Association is a professional non-governmental organisation involved in advisory and research work. It mainly focuses on spreading awareness and raising the efficiency of engineers and engineering consultancy organisations in various aspects of the sustainable building industry.

It also provides the local and regional market with the necessary expertise that can advance the implementation of the urban sustainability concept to help secure a better future and stay up-to-date with the rapidly growing advancements and developments currently taking place worldwide.

For more information about the Jordanian Engineers Association, please visit www.jea.org.jo

For more information about The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development, please visit www.gord.qa



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