EcoVilla a Qatari Modern Sustainable Villa
Qatar - Wednesday, February 25th 2015 [ME NewsWire]
On February 23rd 2015, the Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD), the authority for sustainability in the MENA region, launched its pioneering 6 star sustainable project the “EcoVilla.
The EcoVilla inauguration ceremony was attended by the minister of environment, Mr. Ahmad Bin Amer al-Humaidi, at the headquarters of Qatari Diar. Also on hand were Dr. Yousef Mohammad Alhorr, the founding chairman of GORD, Eng. Essa Mohammed Ali Kaldari, the chief executive director of Lusail Real Estate Development Company, which allocated the project plot., and Mr. Mohammed bin Mohammed bin Laden, from QD-SBG, which is executing the EcoVilla project, And Mr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khalifa, CEO of Qatar Development Bank (QDB), along with a number of representatives of government bodies that are providing support.
The idea for the project is based on GORD's belief in the importance of enhancing the adoption of sustainable practices by providing a practical model for a home. The villa’s architecture matches Gulf traditions, while at the same time serving as a basis for implementing the best possible international systems and materials in green building, in line with the region's special characteristics.
The EcoVilla has an area of 600 square meters and covers the general needs of a Gulf family. It comprises a Men's Majlis, a Women's Majlis, living room, guest room and kitchen, in addition to bedrooms and annexes. It's the region's most innovative sustainable villa whose construction is based on timeless Gulf architectural expressions. GORD's objective is to make the EcoVilla a role model home that all segments of society have access to and study – the general public, students, government officials, businessmen and developers – in order to understand how green building requirements may be applied in practical fashion and in line with the region's particular climatic and environmental conditions.
"We are happy to see the environmentally-friendly project EcoVilla because it reinforces the Ministry of Environment's efforts to implement sustainable best practices in built environment," said the Minister of Environment on this occasion, in an expression of gratitude for the initiative. "At the same time, it contributes to the implementation of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which considers the environment one of its most important pillars. We hope that by carrying out this project in Qatar, GORD will provide solutions tailored to the Arab Gulf region's particular environmental and climate conditions."
For his part, Eng. Essa Mohammed Ali Kaldari welcomed the initiative, commenting that "the idea of EcoVilla is in line with the Lusail Development Company vision of adopting sustainable building practices."
"It was the first organization in Qatar to promptly implement GSAS criteria on all facilities at Lusail, making it one of the most sustainable cities in Qatar and the Gulf. Our participation in this project is part of our policy of social responsibility, which allows us to spread awareness throughout society about the importance of sustainability and its benefits for both individuals and the general public."
And from his side, Mr. Mohammed bin Mohammed bin Laden emphasized the important role the private sector plays in supporting such initiatives, "We at QD-SBG are happy to participate in this vital project because it will serve a large segment of society. As project executors it gives us the opportunity to apply the best sustainability practices in building and construction, drawing from the cumulative experiences and expertise of QD-SBG in this field which will benefit all parties. As a local company we understand the unique demands and opportunities of the construction business in Qatar, placing innovation at the heart of everything we do in order to participate in the development of Qatar National Vision 2030, and beyond.”
In developing the design of EcoVilla, GORD came up with preliminary ideas and specified the building's principal systems, then carried out an international competition for local and international firms to develop the detailed designs for the structure's construction and services. In terms of environmentally-friendly systems and materials, EcoVilla features various types of solar power for generating electricity, energy-saving cooling systems and highly-heat resistant materials along with creative solutions for lighting, maintenance and other facets.
"We at GORD are determined to support sustainable initiatives in the government and private sectors," said Dr. Yousef Al Horr. "We hope that this project serves as an opportunity for the construction sector to actively take part, through providing environmentally-friendly solutions and materials. We also hope that people – whether developers or individuals who want to build private homes – learn about and benefit from the project's range of solutions and ideas, especially since we submit them for study and research by GORD's experts, who perform quality control and verify Eco Villa’s suitability for the region's special conditions."
GSAS 6 STAR ecoVilla employs sustainable design bringing:
Environmental benefits by conserving precious resources such as water and energy
Economic benefits by reducing operating costs and extended life time of the building
Social benefits by improving occupants ‘health and quality of life
Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD), the authority for knowledge on sustainability in the MENA region, has inaugurated the “ecoVilla” as a landmark project that will reinforce Qatar’s reputation as a leading advocate of sustainable development. The Green Villa has been designed to achieve a score of 6 stars based on the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), as it offers a genuinely sustainable, smart and healthy living environment for residents.
Innovative ideas are the cornerstone of sustainability.
Even before the first brick is laid, creating an eco-friendly system that consumes less ensures that your home will eventually give you more.
The ecoVilla is located in a strategic location in Lusail city, called Alwadi, which will be used as an open area for recreation and outdoor activities for visitors and residents of the city. Moreover, it is being developed according to stringent standards of the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). The Green Villa will be one of the most coveted residential addresses in Qatar, while it will also serve as a model community for sustainable living.
Reducing environmental impact begins within your four walls.
While your everyday practices play an important role in saving energy, sustainable constructions using recyclable materials form the foundation of an eco-friendly living environment. The villa will be constructed using sustainable and recycled eco-friendly building materials with low Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) emission rates, to ensure minimal carbon footprint, while ensuring utmost quality of life.
Healthy living begins with a home that breathes with you.
The positive impact of sustainable practices in your “green home” are not limited to energy savings. It has been scientifically proven that sustainable homes promote a healthier lifestyle, and have a positive influence on your mental and physical well-being.
The ecoVilla’s sustainable features include an on-site renewable energy generation system, water-efficient plumbing fixtures and irrigation system, energy reduction, indoor lighting design, intelligent building control system, and Photo-voltaic panels. In addition, the Villa intends to maximize natural ventilation and natural light against solar gain, as well as conserve water using limiters on all appliances in the building.
OBJECTIVES of EcoVilla Initiative
Response to Climate and Materials
Reference and Resonance -Cultural Roots
Timeless Essence -Built to Last
Optimum Performance = Max comfort + Min energy use etc. – a balance
Minimum Energy Use & Carbon footprint
Innovate and Communicate
Test and demonstrate systems
Gather and share data
Hone QSAS criteria
The Eco-Villa is to be a ‘test laboratory house’ –ie exploring multiple solutions–rather than an ‘optimised house’ –ie single solution. The Eco Villa is intended to be a ‘show home’, and as such, it will be a platform to demonstrate, educate and introduce sustainable technologies which can also be adopted by Qataris into existing homes. The Eco Villa will be supported by an online presence for on-going open source research. Data collected from the Eco Villa portal also provides a more direct communication channel between GORD and Qatari public.
The Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) was developed by GORD through several intense years of collaboration with internationally renowned research institutes. The system was developed by drawing best practices adopted from 40 different rating systems known regionally and internationally.
The primary objective of GSAS is to create a sustainably built environment that minimizes ecological impact while addressing the specific social and cultural needs and environment of the region. First introduced in 2009 as QSAS, it was the Middle East’s first integrated and performance oriented sustainability assessment rating system for the construction industry. The systematic assessment method has since been adapted from the local to a global scale, now known as GSAS.
The comprehensive GSAS measures and evaluates every project on eight key aspects or categories that have a direct impact on environmental stress mitigation.
These categories are urban connectivity, site, energy, water, materials, indoor environment, cultural & economic value, and management and operations.
These categories are then broken down into specific criteria that measure and define these individual issues. A score is awarded to each criterion based on the level of compliance.
The GSAS awards one of six levels of certifications to projects, from one star to six stars, depending on their environmental and social impact. Assessment can be conducted to certify the project in the design, construction and operations phases.
About The Ministry The ministry of environment is striving to achieve several goals, most importantly, protecting the environment through inclusive and sustainable growth for future generation to achieve the vision of 2030.
Reaching the vision would be through wildlife growth, preparing and proposing laws, projects and suitable solutions for all environmental issues, implementing them by training Qatari nationals in implementation of environmental protocols, as well as environmental awareness.
Civil and governmental organizations should coordinate all efforts; cooperate with regions and countries by ratification of environmental agreements and protocols for the purpose of protecting environments.
Strategic Goals for Ministry of Environment:
Balance between the social and economic development needs and protecting the environment.
Preserving and protecting the environment, including air, land, water and biological diversity.
Ensure the quality of environmental health and safety
Improve the institutional effectiveness and performance
Propose and develop policies and legislations to protect the environment
Enhance awareness and environmental culture
Support and activate the national, regional and international cooperation.
About Qatari Diar & Lusail City
Qatari Diar Real Estate Company was established in 2005 by the Qatar Investment Authority, the sovereign wealth fund of the State of Qatar. Headquartered northeast of capital Doha on the coast of the Arabian Gulf, Qatari Diar was entrusted to support Qatar’s growing economy and to coordinate the country’s real estate development priorities.
The company’s first project, Lusail City, was launched in December of that year and quickly went on to gain tremendous praise for its innovative approach to real estate. The progressive, self-contained city is the largest single development to be undertaken in the State of Qatar, and although it is currently under construction, Lusail already signifies Qatar’s progress on a grand scale, reflecting the vision and quality that have become synonymous to Qatari Diar. The Lusail Real Estate Development Company was established in September 2008 with a dedication to the development, construction and ongoing operations of the visionary Lusail City development.
In November 2009, Qatari Diar reached another significant milestone in its history with the establishment of the Qatar Railways Development Company. This company was created to bring Qatar’s vision for developing Qatar’s extensive national railway network, and the region’s first fully integrated railway system, to life.
Parallel to its significant infrastructure developments within Qatar, the company has been committed since its founding to bringing the Qatari Diar vision, one for real estate that improves quality of life and contributes to the community, onto the international stage. Today, Qatari Diar has established itself as one of the world’s most trusted and respected real estate companies because of its commitment to quality, local community, partnership and hallmark sustainability.
As of January 2012, Qatari Diar is capitalised at US$4 billion and has more than 49 projects under development or planning in Qatar and in 29 countries around the world with a combined value of over US$35 billion.
Lusail City is one of the most ambitious and ground breaking concepts of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company, which aspires to become the most internationally renowned company in real estate investment.
Qatari Diar has succeeded in proving itself as a company that places the well-being of society among its top priorities. It achieves this by continually striving to improve and enhance people’s quality of life and abiding to the most stringent of international standards.
Lusail City is a futuristic project which will create a modern and ambitious society. The smart, peaceful and inspirational environment combines artistic elements of architecture with various practical and versatile services in order to satisfy all the needs of its residents and visitors.
QD-SBG is a joint venture between Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Co. (QD) and Saudi Binladin Group (SBG). It combines the local and international knowledge and expertise of QD in developing large-scale real estate projects with the vast experience of SBG, with its strong record of delivering major infrastructure projects worldwide.
Currently, QD-SBG has two subsidiaries: QD-SBG Construction and Qatari Diar Construction Products Company Industries (QD-CPC Industries). QD-SBG Construction is a large scale civil and building construction company offering diversified general contracting and design-build services to clients throughout Qatar. Corporate integrity, financial strength, and a record of strong performance on challenging projects pre-qualify it to execute projects where other large international firms fail to do so.
QD-CPC Industries was incorporated in January 2011 as a joint venture between Qatari Diar, SBG, Construction Products Company International Co. (CPC-International), and The First Investor Co. Q.S.C.C. (TFI) to provide a series of innovative, market penetrating, Qatar-based building materials manufacturing facilities in order to become the “complete building solution” for their clients.
The winning formula has meant that QD-SBG, through its subsidiaries, has fast become recognised for performing large and exceptional construction projects for its clients across the public and private sectors.
The Gulf Organization for Research & Development is a 100% government Qatari organization leading the fight to transform the way buildings are designed, built and operated by promoting healthy, energy- and resource-efficient building practices.
Sponsored by Qatari Diar, the Gulf Organisation for R&Daims to build and strengthen a strong and vibrant local, regional and global consortium and network of respected research institutions, consulting and technology companies, real estate and construction companies, governmental and professional organizations that have genuine interest and commitment to support the strategic objectives of the Organization to address the environmental challenges and empower the construction society to apply sustainable applications and practices.
Our vision is for Qatar to be a leader in the field of sustainable development, design and construction, and for the Gulf Organisation for R&D to be one of the driving forces behind this transformation.
GORD will run scientific research through its own research programs and partnerships with local and international organizations, from both academic and applied research perspectives, to share knowledge and build networks to enhance the sustainable built environment in Qatar.
The research programs, including but not limited to, energy conservation and efficiency, renewable energy, materials, water, waste recycling etc., in addition to developing information databases from new and existing building stock including pilot research projects and feasibility studies and translate it into commercial reality for the best of future local economy and sustainable built environment.
Salah AlAyoubi - Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications,