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green scene

Sustainable Construction

Need for energy and water conservation stressed at QGBC seminar


he second seminar conducted by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) was a widely attended event with more than 120 members spanning the construction and property industry, representatives from government agencies, NGOs, academic institutions and students. Problems with recycling, sun-shading on modern buildings, water scarcity, and lighting and energy usage in Green Buildings, were all discussed and several pertinent issues raised. Welcoming the members Abdullah AlMisnad, Co-Chair of QGBC's Research and Innovation Committee called on the audience to support the promotion of Green Buildings by attending and participating in QGBC's awareness seminars. QGBC will continue to hold such networking events to provide a platform for the members of the industry, educators and students to exchange information and help raise awareness on sustainability, he said. In the opening sessions Eng Mohammed Jaber, Chair of QGBC's Education Committee spoke on the need to reduce lighting levels and energy usage in building design. He pointed out that, it not only reduces costs but also helps in improving overall quality of the building and helps in preserving the health of the residents and the environment. Building on these concepts, Dr Alex Amato, Co-Chair of QGBC's Research 56

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and Innovation Committee talked about problems with recycling, when it made sense and when it didn't. In his brief introduction to recycling in the construction industry, he looked at methods of assessment that are different from those currently practised in many building sustainability assessment systems. He also examined the relationship between recycling and reuse, and then discussed the implications that this would have upon the construction sector. In his lecture, Martin Hay, Vice Chair of QGBC's Technical Committee, addressed the subject of sun-shading on modern buildings. He examined the different means of providing sun-shading while still achieving good daylight penetration, looking at the growing sophistication of controls and how architecture can respond to changing conditions. He also examined how 'climatic adaptive facades' may point to architectural expression in the future. Nadja Ortner, an active QGBC committee member from Ortner Consulting, addressed the serious subject of water scarcity in the Gulf region. She examined the causes of this shortage and how the construction sector can respond, in both, reducing demand and examining methods of increasing supply by suitable treatment and reuse. Held at the QGBC headquarters, these seminars aim at offering knowledge, expertise and guidance and are open to

members and non-members. As a member-driven organisation, QGBC will continue to conduct consensus-based programmes to serve the green building industry and will offer these seminars at discounted rate for its members, as part of its mission to spread awareness on the importance and benefits of Green Buildings. QGBC is a non-profit organisation with a vision to provide leadership and collaboration for Qatar in guiding and adopting environmentally sustainable practices for green building design and development; and to support the health and sustainability of environment, people and economic security for generations to come. The Council's mission is to educate the public, generate and foster awareness among people, develop a definitive set of clear environmental and green building practice guidelines, and to support and commit to research and development. The initiative is supported by Honorary President Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, and Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development. Updates on the organisation will be published in a site developed by ThinkScape Group as part of their CSR initiative, to help spread the green building message and reach out to QGBC stakeholders n