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An oasis in the desert

Published on 27 Nov 2013 Written by Mahesh Ramanujam Posted in LEED
Photo Credit: Paul Trafford via Flickr Creative Commons
Photo Credit: Paul Trafford via Flickr Creative Commons

As an arid country growing like few others in the world despite its desert climate, leaders in Qatar have achieved a sense of urgency and big-picture understanding about sustainability that, at times, can make other countries appear to be dragging their heels. 

That’s just one of the reasons why I was utterly delighted to bestow LEED Platinum upon the Qatar Foundation's Hamad Bin Khalifa University student residences last week at Greenbuild. But in reality, we were honoring all 12 of the Male and Female Student Housing Projects on the campus for their achievement of LEED Platinum over the past year.

Google the project and read about the remarkably energy-efficient ideas the Qatar Foundation incorporated into the prize winning campus.  A few standouts: a state-of-the-art transportation system, including  innovative “e-bike” circuits and an electric and rechargeable light rail network. This people-mover system will incorporate high-end technology that has never before achieved commercial application.

Just as they say there are no atheists in a foxhole, perhaps living in a land where the average summer temperature is 106, where the average annual rainfall is less than 3 inches, and where resources are already precious makes one embrace sustainability more eagerly than those more lush, verdant countries. And maybe that’s why the Qatar Foundation is leaving Greenbuild 2013 with a lot of visibility for its very cool project. Because the engineers, architects and builders in that country are reminded every time they look out the window that sustainability is more than a lifestyle choice. It is essential to their future.

Qatar Foundation and ASTAD are showing what leadership looks like in the 21st century …LEED ON!

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    Mahesh Ramanujam made 7 contributions in the last 6 months

Mahesh Ramanujam

Chief Operating Officer U.S. Green Building Council

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