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Posted On: 19 March 2009 09:16 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

:eco:Qatar’s architecture needs to change: Expert

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Qatar has to develop a new culture of architecture that suits its local climate, according to a top official of the newly-launched Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC). Talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the three-day “MEED Qatar Green Buildings 2009” here yesterday, Issa M Al Mohannadi (pictured), a senior member of QGBC, said the country had to make a change in its current “language of architecture.” Al Mohannadi, who is also the Projects Development Director of the Qatar Foundation-supported Dohaland company, said: “The contemporary building designs and the construction patterns are not ideal for the country’s climate. The new buildings are consuming more power, more fuels and are leading to direct emission of a high rate of CO2, producing a negative impact on the local climate”. Qatar has inherited a culture of architecture that was ideal to the country’s climatic patterns. However, the oil boom of 1950’s resulted in western urban designs influencing this heritage negatively. “Now, we live in an age of property developers competing to use maximum steel, glass and concrete causing an unprecedented environmental impact in this ecologically fragile country”, he said. The QGBC, with its public and private partners, will play a leadership role in promoting green buildings. The Council will launch an intensive awareness campaign for this purpose. “We are not against tall buildings. But the design must take care of the local weather. Qatar’s environment cannot afford the high-rises that we see in Europe. Qatar must go back to the DNA of its ancient building designs. The Qatar National Vision 2030 offers ample scope for Qatar re-adopting its ancient eco-friendly building design”, he said. The QGBC, in association with similar councils in other Gulf countries, will try to formulate common GCC regulations to promote the green building concept. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have already set up green building councils in their respective nations. Earlier, delivering the opening address, Al Mohannadi said the QGBC will strive to build communities and create environments that will enable people and communities to achieve, succeed and flourish. “As a developer of thoughts, knowledge, science and ideas which we will share with the world, we will promote and implement sustainable concepts and innovative ideas, and aim to ensure maximum utilisation of resources with minimal impact on the environment”. Edmund O’Sullivan, Chairman MEED events said: “Increasingly in the region, new construction projects have to adhere to new green building regulations. Currently, there exists a lot of ambiguity around what the new sustainable regulations will be, and the programme at this event has been designed to help attendees clarify these uncertainties.” Dr Mohammed Alsayarafi, Board Member, Friends of the Environment, Dr Mohammad bin Saif Al Kuwari, General manager, Qatar General Organisation for Standards and Metrology, and Mario Seneviratne, Secretary to the Board, World Green Building Council, were among the others who spoke.