ASTAD Project Management hosted a high-ranking delegation from the US Green-Build Council (USGBC) during their recent visit to Qatar from 19 to 22 January 2015. The meeting was a successful attempt to develop stronger regional strategic cooperation between USGBC, ASTAD and key stakeholders.
The meeting emphasized ASTAD’s mission to continuously deliver iconic and sustainable projects compliant with the Qatari Environment Assessment System.
The visiting delegation was represented by Mr. Mahesh Ramanujam, USGBC’s Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Kimberly Lewis, USGBC’s Vice-President and Community Development Official and Ms. Kate Hurst, USGBC Vice-President.
They were hosted by their counterparts ASTAD’s Chief Executive Officer, Ali Al- Khalifa and Sustainability Officer Sheikh Saud Al-Thani, as well as by Mr. Meshal Al- Shammari, Director of the Qatar Green Building Council.
“On behalf of the team at ASTAD, I would like to thank USGBC for their time and valuable input,” said Ali Khalifa, ASTAD’s chief executive officer.
“This visit marks an important first step in what is set to develop as a fruitful partnership between our two institutions. ASTAD and USGBC are committed to a more sustainable tomorrow, which will only prove beneficial to all citizens around the world,” he added.
Mr. Ramanujam recognized Qatar’s leadership in environmental awareness, stating “Working together is an indication of Qatar’s initiative to promote sustainability and an environmentally friendly lifestyle,” he said.
He concluded by indicating that this cooperation will serve as a solid foundation allowing Qatar to be an international advocate for environmental issues and sustainability.
Among the topics discussed was the importance of human rights in maintaining real long term social development as well as the importance of maintaining Qatar’s heritage and identity in its construction projects. The discussions also spanned innovation in sustainable humanitarian development reflecting upon an ASTAD-designed school for refugees in Kakuma, Kenya – a project designed in a way to be cost efficient while remaining comfortable for users through innovative integration with the environment.
ASTAD’s relationship with USGBC dates back to 2002 when ASTAD embarked on its first Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) compliant project. Since then, ASTAD has been managing projects for which it has received numerous recognitions for completing LEED-compliant structures.
In 2012, the Qatar National Convention Centre was the first project in Qatar to receive the highly prestigious LEED Gold certification, while in 2013 and 2014 LEED Platinum was awarded to the Education City Student Housing Project, the world’s largest educational residential complex pertaining to one proprietor, and the MEEZA Data Centre respectively.
Beyond LEED, ASTAD was awarded the Sustainability Initiative of the Year for its involvement in the Qatar Foundation Solar Smart Grid project at the 2014 Construction Week Awards. The Smart Grid annually generates 7,922 kilowatts of clean energy whereby decreasing Carbon Dioxide emissions by 3,961 tonnes per year.
ASTAD seeks to go beyond sustainable project management practices. The LEED Gold compliant Qatar National Museum, one of ASTAD’s most iconic projects, will not only teach visitors about Qatar’s rich heritage, but will also promote environmental sustainability using interactive displays.
For more information regarding ASTAD and its iconic projects, please visit www.astad.qa
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