Dr Yousef Mohamed al-Horr and Abdulla Obaidat shake hands after signing the Memorandum of Understanding to promote green building initiatives

Qatar government-owned Gulf Organisation for Research and Development has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Jordan Engineers Association (JEA) to promote green building initiatives.
Gulf Organisation for Research and Development, Qatar’s leading research, consultancy and training institute, is the developer of the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS).
The agreement was signed by Gulf Organisation for Research and Development co-founder and chairman Dr Yousef Mohamed al-Horr and JEA president Abdulla Obaidat.   
The strategic partnership aims to build new channels of co-operation and to promote sustainability on a large scale through effective initiatives for reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions, encouraging the use of environmentally safe materials, and supporting green building projects. These in turn will help achieve economic and environmental balance and maintain urban identity in the Arab World.
Under the agreement, JEA is authorised to use the tools and materials available through Gulf Organisation for R&D’s free and unrestricted educational license under both the ‘service provider’ and ‘managing partner’ categories of QSAS for one year. The association can also use Gulf Organisation for R&D’s research materials to provide consultancy services on green buildings, simulators and system integration testing. 
Gulf Organisation for R&D and JEA will be submitting a proposal for a joint venture on eco-labelling systems for Arab Countries to the Union of Arab Engineers that will facilitate the use of environmentally safe products in green building projects. The two parties are also considering the creation of a ‘Joint Arab Award’ for sustainable construction and green buildings to highlight and promote eco-friendly projects in the Arab World.
Through the MoU, the two groups will push for broader adoption of standards under Gulf Organisation for R&D’s QSAS, an integrated system for assessing green buildings that encourages optimum consumption of energy, water and environmental resources.
QSAS has the potential to open up new doors for investments into the green sector in areas such as renewable energy, recycling, and advanced control systems technologies for the regional markets. It will also facilitate regional information-sharing and further drive the Arab World’s transition to a knowledge economy.
Gulf Organisation for R&D will work with JEA on research and development related to environmental issues and human resources development within the real estate sector. The Organisation will hold conferences and interactive workshops in collaboration with the Engineers Training Centre, the scientific arm of JEA, to refine the skills of workers and provide them with the knowledge needed to develop and apply sustainability concepts to modern architecture.
Dr al-Horr said the MoU reflected the organisation’s interest in building strong strategic partnerships with leading local, regional and international institutions and organisations to develop innovative solutions in various areas related to green buildings, renewable energy sources, industrial materials, environmentally safe building products, and recycling, among others. He added that the new collaboration affirms the wide acceptance enjoyed by QSAS at both the local and regional levels due to its relevance to the cultural and environmental visions of the Arab World. 
 “We developed the QSAS system for sustainability assessment to reinforce the status of Qatar as the ‘green building’ capital of the Middle East. This system has proven to be effective in enhancing quality within the construction sector in a manner that keeps pace with rapid developments taking place at the national front, particularly after Qatar won the right to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Our main focus is to make Qatar a model of leadership in sustainable development at the global level under the inspirational vision of HH the Emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and HH the Heir Apparent, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani. We seek to uphold the pillars of the Qatar National Vision 2030, which calls for the proper management of the nation’s environmental resources to ensure harmony and consistency in economic and social development and environmental protection. But we were also committed to design QSAS in a way that meets the needs of the GCC and the Arab World in general,” said Dr al-Horr.
Commenting on the MoU, Obaidat said: “The Gulf Organisation for Research and Development has proven to be one of the most prominent contributors to Qatar’s development and a key supporter for sustainability throughout the region. It has been successfully spreading knowledge and providing consultation based on the latest scientific research and training and qualification programs in accordance with best practices.”
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