Qatar- Green building specifications to be mandatory soon

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) By Sanaullah Ataullah | The Peninsula

Amid Qatar's growing consideration to promote sustainability, energy preservation and environment protection for the coming generations, the green building specifications are likely to become mandatory for developers in near future, according to an expert.

'The project of green building specifications that costs three to 10 percent more has many benefits to the landlords and occupants of the facilities, Meshal Al Shamari, Director of Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC) said in an exclusive interview with The Peninsula.

'I think in near future green building specification will not be optional but it will be mandatory, he added. Al Shamari said that now almost all materials required for green buildings are available in the market so there is no more excuse for developers for lagging behind in switching from traditional building to green ones.

'Within few years, the construction materials that do not comply with the green building specifications are most likely to be disappeared from the markets like traditional bulbs leaving no substitute for developers, said Al Shamari adding that this is why QGBC has been calling the contractors and consultancy firms to be ready for that change.

There is a separate section for green building under Qatar Construction Specification (QCS)-2014 which is still optional but it is good guideline for the developers to follow and public sector is already following this. QCS was issued by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment. He added that most of the government projects are complying with the specifications of green building like Ashghal and Qatar Foundation projects and the challenge is only in private sector.

Al Shamari said that many private companies started complying with green building specifications. For example, Lusail is total private development projects but the developers are following green building specification.

Speaking on the cost of green buildings, QGBC chief said that green building projects cost three to 10 percent more compared to the traditional building, but with increasing availability of materials and techniques in local markets the cost is decreasing.

'The cost of green building projects also depends on the target levels like starred hotels, platinum building cost more than silver-starred ones so you have options depending on your business plan of payback on your investments, said Al Shamari. On the benefit of green buildings, Al Shamari said that the asset value of green building is higher than a regular building.

'The green buildings have less operational costs, much better indoor environment like air quality, natural ventilation, natural lighting, and they are energy efficient, said Al Shamari (pictured).

He said that the demands for green building is more and their prices are higher. For example, in Europe green buildings are certified based on energy efficiency as in London no building is allowed to be rented without energy certificate.

'So the tenets opt for green buildings to save the electricity and water bills. We do not have regulations and other challenge is that water and electricity bills in Qatar are cheaper than other countries, he added.

He said that the developers who did the green building projects like Lusial, Meshaireb and Qatar Foundation now are getting the contracts because they have experience and capacity to build such projects.

Al Shamari said that material is one aspect of green building, construction process, recycled materials, technologies, designs and so many things are also part of it.

'Even recycling plants are also available in Qatar, a requirement of green building to recycle construction waste. There are so many factories in Qatar of LED lights, paper and plastic recycling. He said that QGBC aims at creating green building culture in Qatar.


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