Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), the organisation that advocates sustainability in the built environment, honoured its volunteers at an end-of-season appreciation ceremony held at Qatar National Convention Centre, marking nine months of achievement
The annual appreciation dinner brought together members and volunteers, whose hours of dedication has helped raise the profile of sustainability within Qatar’s real estate and design and construction sectors.
“I am extremely proud of what we have achieved this year and our volunteers are at the heart of that success. Volunteers have organised community events, encouraged new members to join and made valuable connections amongst green building experts. Our volunteers have channelled their considerable knowledge of the industry to promote awareness and build a culture of sustainability in Qatar,” said Eng Meshal Al Shamari, director, QGBC.
Over the past nine months, QGBC has made significant headway in furthering its cause through activities, projects, and interest groups. The Green Hotels Interest Group (GHiG) launched in September 2012, followed by a seminar examining green infrastructure in Qatar and a two-day workshop on building refurbishment in October 2012. In November and December 2012, QGBC actively participated in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s 18th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP18), held in Doha.
Volunteers and members continued to drive the QGBC agenda forward into 2013 with a multitude of training workshops, interest group events, Earth Hour celebrations, a No Paper Day campaign, a slew of MoU signings, and more.
In the coming season, starting in September 2013, QGBC’s interest groups have earmarked specific months to focus on a particular issue within sustainable building through events and activities. September will launch the Green Infrastructure Guide, while the landmark Baytna project – a joint initiative by QGBC, Barwa Real Estate and Kahramaa – is expected to welcome trial tenants to Qatar’s first Passivhaus by the end of the year.
QGBC’s vision of a sustainable Qatar is implemented through a network of dynamic and growing interest groups, including: Solid Waste Interest Group (SWiG), Water Interest Group (WiG), Green Infrastructure Interest Group (GIiG), Energy Interest Group (EiG), Green Hotels Interest Group (GHiG), Green Schools Interest Group (GSiG), Healthy Building Management Interest Group (HBMiG), and Building Rating Systems Interest Group (BRSiG).
“QGBC plays a key role in bringing together like-minded stakeholders across Qatar that share an interest in making Qatar a more sustainable place to live. QGBC creates realistic yet ambitious goals for tackling issues such as resource efficiency, recycling, hotel operations, and carbon footprint reduction. Increasingly, we are also identifying ways to work with the government and are keen to share our knowledge, working collaboratively to meet the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030,” said Dr Neil Kirkpatrick, Sustainability Lead, Central Planning Office, and member of the GHIG and SWIG.
Diala Khairallah, marketing manager at Green Division and a member of the GSIG, said, “What QGBC’s interest groups do particularly well is facilitate regular networking among green industry peers that might have otherwise not had the opportunity to meet. I am proud to be part of this platform for sharing ideas and launching initiatives that promote sustainability. Qatar needs this kind of movement to spur its green development, namely to recondition human behaviour with respect to issues like energy use — an undeniable accelerator for green building efficiency.”
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