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Research key component in green sustainability: official
by Alya Al-Harthy  26 Oct 2012
Research key component in green sustainability: official

Original source:, 24th October 2012

A two-day workshop “The Problem with Greening the Existing Building Stock - experiences from Texas, Seoul and Doha” revolving around the greening of the urban environment was recently organised jointly by Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), Texas A&M University at Qatar and the South Korean embassy in Qatar.

The workshop featured sessions ranging from the challenges of adapting engineering systems within existing buildings to the interplay of engineering, building users and facility management practices.

Meshal al-Shamari, director, QGBC, said: “We are encouraged by a steady stream of like-minded organisations that continue to join us in articulating Qatar’s green building interests.”

“Despite the phenomenal transformation of cities like Doha or Seoul, we are delighted to share best practices with industry experts on how buildings can indeed be retrofitted and eventually become more sustainable for the communities that they serve,” al Shamari said, adding: “Furthermore, we know from experience that research is one of the main components in sustainability, and I believe that improving the green research sector in Qatar can play a vital role in improving current infrastructural development.”

A highlight of the first day was an exploration of the groundbreaking work carried out by Dr David Claridge from the Energy Systems Laboratory at Texas A&M, US.

Dr Claridge’s lecture focused on eliminating operating waste through so-called continuous commissioning, which he described as a high-tech tuning up process for existing buildings.

The interactive workshop and conference sessions continued throughout the second day, and featured discussions on design issues, regulatory incentives and buildings’ adaptive reuse, with case studies in Doha, Texas and Seoul coming under the spotlight.
Highlights from the second day included a workshop led by Holley Chant, corporate director of sustainability at KEO International.
She focused on opportunities in the region to optimise sustainability in existing buildings, and examined the potential for professionals to transfer their expertise from new build sustainability projects to those in existing buildings.

“This is a great platform to share the policies and experiences of green growth and application of green building technologies between Korean, Qatari and American professionals. Korean companies participating in this forum are among the best in the field and this workshop demonstrated how their technologies could be applied effectively in Qatar. I hope this will be a springboard for further co-operation in the field of sustainable building technologies,” said Chung Kee Jong, the Korean ambassador.

John Bryant, a professor of mechanical engineering at Texas A&M University in Qatar, presented a paper on the importance of educating and training facility management. “We need to raise awareness about those on the ground sweeping the floors and taking out the rubbish,” he said, adding: “In a nutshell, we need to educate our communities to show respect to those running our buildings.”

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