Posted on December 18, 2019

The Gulf Organisation for Research & Development (GORD) has concluded the last of its 14 GSAS workshops conducted during the year. With the new year schedule for GSAS workshops published online, registration is now open for a range of technical courses planned to take place in 2020.

Keeping knowledge dissemination at the core of its operations, every year, GORD invites sustainability and engineering professionals to participate in its interdisciplinary Continuing Professional Development (CPD) workshop series. In this context, the latest three-day workshop focused on Design & Build (D&B) certification under the Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), which is the first performance-based system in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, developed for assessing and rating the buildings and infrastructures for their sustainability impacts. GSAS adopts an integrated lifecycle approach for the assessment of the built environment including design, construction and operation phases.

The training instructors of the course were GORD’s sustainability experts – specialized in engineering and architecture – who provided methodologies for effective implementation of the sustainable goals of each of the 8 criteria identified within GSAS Design & Build Certification. Technical material presented at the workshop featured detailed though simplified information on exclusive GSAS tools such as Energia™ Suite, Water Suite™, GSAS scoring sheets and calculators. During the three days, attendees learnt about GSAS-D&B incentive criteria, weights and implementation, while also getting familiarized with the process to submit complying projects on GSAS gate for verification and final rating. Upon completing the three-day training, candidates will need to take an online exam, passing which is a mandatory requirement to become a Certified Green Professional (CGP) for GSAS-D&B scheme. 

Attending the recent workshop were 30 delegates including electrical, mechanical and environmental & sustainability engineers from public and private organizations. Several participants of the recent training spoke about their experience at the workshop and shared their thoughts on GSAS as a sustainability assessment system and their plans on taking similar GSAS courses in the future. Here’s what they had to say:

Ahmed Dalloul, Senior Civil Engineer, Aspire Logistics: "I find this workshop very interesting because it summaries all the broad aspects of GSAS in a very simplified form, rather than you self-read and research. With such workshops, there’s a clear roadmap to certify your building. Earlier, I have attended many GSAS workshops on energy assessment, construction management and operations, but this one is considered the basis for all as it provides full summary and training manual so you can be fully equipped. We are implementing GSAS on all Aspire venues and we will be the first sports city to apply GSAS as a district scheme. GSAS is custom made for the region which is climatically one of the hardest worldwide. I think GSAS should be expanding to other countries with similar issues."

Hossam Mandour, Senior Mechanical Engineer, Hassanesco Trading and Contracting: "In the past, I have attended other sustainability courses for green certifications, but this is the first time I’m attending a GSAS workshop.  The experience so far is very good as the content is useful and simplified compared to other trainings I have been to. After this, I will take the exam, following which I plan to attend more workshops related to GSAS because we are working on buildings targeting GSAS certifications including Qatar Foundation’s Student Affairs Building."

 

Mustafa AlShrouf, Senior Electrical Engineer and Head of Electrical Department, Universal Design Center: "We are enhancing our knowledge to achieve sustainable designs and eventually green buildings, which is the overall ambition of the country. We have many projects in Lusail targeting GSAS certification in terms of traffic control, energy efficiency and materials, which as consultants we need to approve or reject based on their environmental impact. Such workshops provide good learning experience for professionals and enrich their CVs."

Hafis Bolaji, Senior Environment & Sustainability Consultant, Gulf Engineering Industrial & Consultancy: "The content is very satisfactory in a sense that that there’s detailed explanation of every aspect, and trainers are very responsive to queries from participants. Previously, I’ve been involved in a couple of GSAS-related trainings on energy assessment and construction management workshops and I plan to attend more next year."

Shafek Saeed, Senior Architect, Qatari Diar: "Representing Qatari Diar, we are here mainly to gain knowledge because later on we will supervise villas within Lusail City and small mosques with GSAS certification. The workshop is very useful because it makes us familiar about indicators and trends across a broad spectrum of environmental and economic issues."

Sentiments were similar among other participants too, who unanimously agreed that the workshop builds a good understanding for beginners and advanced learners alike. Whilst most candidates were attending the course to be better equipped with the technical expertise required to handle GSAS projects, some were present mainly for pursuit of knowledge. Alkasim Alubejdij, Supervisor of Foreign Projects Hamad Bin Jassim Charity said his primary motivation to attend the course was to update his knowledge about the green built environment. “The future lies in green buildings, so it’s very important to have the experience and training in this field,” said Alubejdij who is also keen to embark on projects targeting GSAS. For many others, the need to take a D&B course was more pressing with their organizations bagging projects requiring GSAS certification in different categories. “I’m attending this workshop because soon I will be working on GSAS projects,” said Vishnu Sudhakaran Jayasree, Senior Environmental Engineer, Boom Construction Company, who plans to take GSAS construction management workshop next year.

Representing the Ministry of Municipality and Environment was Architect Sara Mohamed Alansari, who said, “GSAS is a very functional sustainability system offering effective ways for saving our quality of life here through sustainable buildings. With knowledge of GSAS, I will think differently in terms of reviewing products and buildings by looking at the environmental side and how we can keep them  environment green. Indeed, the greater purpose behind GORD’s capacity building workshops is to transform the community mindset in favor of healthy and sustainable buildings, something GSAS framework is designed to achieve through its comprehensive certifications.  

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