(Doha: April 2022) – To foster knowledge dissemination and capacity building for the development of sustainable built environment, an educational tour for engineering students was hosted by the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD). Gathering 16 scholars and faculty members from Kuwait University’s College of Architecture, the three-day tour focused on demonstrating sustainability best practices achieved through the implementation of the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). Students visiting Doha had the opportunity to obtain first-hand knowledge about GSAS principles by visiting various types of buildings certified with highest GSAS ratings for Design & Build, Construction Management and Operations.
The recent tour was a continuation of joint activities envisaged to promote green buildings in the Gulf region. Recently, the College of Architecture at Kuwait University introduced GSAS as part of its academic offerings, following a strategic collaboration between Al Sayer Group in Kuwait, GORD and Kuwait University. Extending the scope of activities from curriculum to field trips, Qatar was selected as the destination for GSAS knowledge sharing trip since the country houses the largest number of GSAS certified green buildings, which now have surpassed 1,400. During their stay in Doha, faculty members and students were offered guided tours to some of the most iconic and architecturally acclaimed GSAS certified projects that include the National Museum of Qatar, Al Bayt Stadium, Lusail City and the Museum of Islamic Art. The visitors also passed by Al Janoub Stadium designed by Zaha Hadid, and Al Thumama Stadium designed by Ibrahim Jaidah.
Throughout the visits, sustainability experts from GORD’s GSAS Trust highlighted key green features and sustainability practices implemented at each selected project. Apart from GSAS certified projects, the group also visited some of Doha landmarks such as Souq Waqif, Katara Cultural Village, Qatar National Library, and College of Islamic Studies at Hamad Bin Khalifa University. During the visit, guided tours where arranged, where experts at most of the selected buildings joined the group. Apart from comprehensive tours of the above-mentioned projects, students from Kuwait University also visited Al Thumama Showcase Stadium, where they received live demonstration of GORD’s patented outdoor cooling technology.
Underscoring the importance of such knowledge transfer activities, Dr. Yousef Alhorr, Founding Chairman of GORD, said, “Together with Al Sayer Holding and Kuwait University, GORD’s efforts are firmly focused on nurturing environmentally conscious mindsets empowered with the expertise to take tangible steps in the right direction. Since our MoU last year, we have witnessed concrete progress, from the inclusion of GSAS in engineering curriculum to this academic tour for the students of Kuwait. Going forward, we hope that after visiting Qatar’s outstanding green buildings, the participating batch will leave Doha with a greater sense of motivation and inspiration to prioritize sustainability in their future projects. In the long run, we look forward to seeing this cohort of young scholars enlightened and equipped enough to play an instrumental role in achieving sustainable transformation of Kuwait’s built environment.”
With the Gulf region experiencing unprecedented urbanization in recent years, it is imperative for the construction sector to reach the right balance between the growing real estate demand and the need for environmental conservation. To this end, the recent tour was geared towards developing students’ understanding about climate challenges and enlightening them with ways to tackle them through GSAS implementation.
The students from their end valued the experience and requested similar regional collaborations in the future, to help catalyze the development of sustainable built environment in the region.
Sustainability is increasingly gaining precedence across all sectors including education. With GSAS officially a part of engineering curriculum in Kuwait University, immersive programs such as the GSAS educational tour are expected to play a pivotal role in mitigating carbon emissions resulting from construction and real estate activities behind Kuwait’s rapidly evolving skyline.
Here’s a link to video from the tour
GORD, a member of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, is a non-profit organization spearheading MENA region’s sustainability milieu. Headquartered in Qatar Science and Technology Park, GORD drives the transformation of societies, industries, and the built environment by influencing corporate ethos, fostering innovation, and developing capacity to enable low-carbon sustainable growth for present and future generations. The organization’s key operations include R&D, standards setting, green buildings certification, accreditation services, voluntary carbon markets, performance testing, knowledge dissemination and advisory services on sustainability and climate change for governments, non-government, public and private sector organizations.