Globally, cities cover only three percent of the earth, but the urban population contributes to almost 75 percent of carbon emissions, according to United Nations statistics. Currently, 80 percent of global energy demand is met through fossil fuels, accounting for a substantial 60 percent share in greenhouse gas emissions.
When we talk about sustainable building, and the impact of the built environment, we often think of the physical impact on the planet and its resources, rather than that on individuals. In direct opposition to this ‘dry air’, humidity brings with it its own issues and considerations when it comes to green building. A building envelope that is too closed or open can trap or allow in water vapour and combined with the heat create the perfect conditions for mould growth.
The impacts of greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and global warming, are all well documented and have been in the spotlight since 20 more nations ratified the Paris agreement of UNFCCC. Striving towards Qatar National Vision 2030, and the wider regions desire for reducing its carbon footprint, has led to the development of the Global Carbon Trust.
With the desire to build on infrastructure and the built environments across the GCC and MENA the construction industry continues to grow at a rapid pace. With new developments being announced in the region on a regular basis, the question of addressing sourcing of sustainable construction materials from depleting resources has become more of a pressing issue.
With increased focus being placed on the impact humans (and the built environment that they create) has on planet earth, the importance of adhering to sustainable building standards become more and more apparent. The GSAS approach to green building certification was developed very much with regional influences and these sort of challenges in mind. For example, the GSAS sustainable building standards covers projects such as mosques and local schools, which are not covered by most green building certification schemes.
Research has already proven that well designed green learning environments result in improved student attendance, greater motivation, concentration, productivity and academic performance while providing considerable savings in energy, resources and financial investment. These green schools are not only crucial for the health and well being of our future generations, they are also instrumental in setting the foundation of a sustainable future by producing good global citizens.
The leading sustainability event in the MENA region where practitioners, experts, regulators and researchers come together to discuss various topics on sustainability and climate change.
GORD, a member of Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company is a non-profit organization. We are committed to contribute to the sustainable development of the MENA region.