What is QSAS?
The Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) is a sustainability rating system, the first of its kind in the MENA region. The system has been originally developed by Barwa & Qatari Diar Research Institute (BQDRI) now renamed (Gulf Organization for Research and Development) in collaboration with T.C. Chan Center at the University of Pennsylvania – USA, which aims at creating a sustainable urban environment that reduces environmental impacts while satisfying local community needs. The primary objective of QSAS is to create a sustainable built environment that minimises ecological impact while addressing specific regional needs and the environment of Qatar.
The development of the rating system took advantage of a comprehensive review of combined best practices employed by a mix of established international and regional rating systems. This review has been performed while taking into consideration the needs that are specific to Qatar’s local environment, culture, and policies. The result is a ground-up, and in large part, a performance-based sustainable building rating system customised to the unique conditions and requirement of the State of Qatar.
Moreover, QSAS will help devise a comprehensive new approach to construction, preserving the identity of the past while reflecting the needs of the future, thereby giving a special flavour to Qatar’s unique architecture. Lusail City will be the first development in Qatar where QSAS is applied.
Implementors of QSAS standards
Developers, design consultants (engineers, architects, interior designers, and landscape architects), contractors, building managers and urban development policy makers and regulators in Qatar all have distinct and important roles to play in the implementation and success of QSAS.
The QSAS Certification Review Board (at Gulf Organization for Research and Development GORD www.gord.qa
) is responsible for administering QSAS certification. Projects designers must be registered with GORD in order to receive QSAS certification. A web-based registration and document submittal system will be in place to review and manage QSAS certification applications.
In its current form, QSAS is only applicable to Residential, Commercial, and School buildings. However QSAS is a flexible assessment system which can be adapted in the future to assess the sustainability performance of other building types in Lusail City
QSAS benefits for developers
QSAS criteria are designed to improve the efficiency of energy and water consumption and indoor environmental performance of buildings. The application of QSAS criteria to the building's design and construction improves the overall quality, maintenance requirements and life span of the building. The long term benefit to building owners is a real estate asset that is less costly to maintain, performs better for tenants/occupants and is more competitive in the real estate market than a building that is not QSAS certified.
Is there any special training to acquire QSAS certification?
BQDRI has begun QSAS certification training for design professionals in the construction industry. The training sessions are ongoing and it is anticipated that all major consultancies in Qatar will have QSAS Certified Green Professional staff very soon.
QSAS systems in Lusail City
A set of criteria was put forward according to which buildings are ranked in Lusail City on the basis of five levels or five stars. Buildings which receive 3 stars or more will benefit from a package of incentives dedicated to development in Lusail City districts.