"New Passivhaus experiment to demonstrate low-energy living for Qatar's communities
Doha, Qatar (18 November2012) - Kahramaa, Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), Barwa Real Estate (BRE), and an array of scientific partners, have announced a groundbreaking experiment that could revolutionize Qatar and the region's green building industry.
At a press conference on Sunday, the three parties signed an MOU to develop the Qatar Case Study Passivhaus Project, ""Baytna"", which will create a building standard for Qatar that is truly energy efficient, comfortable, economical and environmentally friendly. A Passivhaus (""passive house"" in English) boasts an ultra-low energy, airtight building design that requires little energy for space cooling, reducing its environmental footprint.
Eng. Ahmad AlAbdulla - Deputy Group CEO at Barwa Real Estate said: ""Sustaining economic growth is not possible without having an environmental vision that creates the balance needed between economic development and protection of the environment in order to achieve Qatar National Vision 2030. Despite recent forecasts, which claim that an available reserve of gas in Qatar can fulfill needs for many years to come, various organizations across the country have already launched internal initiatives to promote the concept of energy saving. Today, Barwa is dedicating a considerable amount of effort and resources to prove through experiment the possibility of reducing the consumption of electricity, energy and water as well as carbon footprint emissions by 50%.""
""Qatar Green Building Council is extending great support to this initiative which is a main pillar of the energy saving campaign in Qatar, along with a number of other consultancy firms, researchers and contractors without whom we wouldn't have been able to achieve current progress,"" added Eng. AlAbdulla, who noted that BRE will play a key role in adjusting and improving the standards and specifications of energy saving throughout the experiment and after its completion.
""The first Passivhaus in Qatar not only raises public awareness of the importance of green and sustainable building and design in the country, but also highlights the power of collaboration in realizing the ambitious goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, particularly those set by its environmental pillar,"" said Engineer Meshal Al Shamari, Director of Qatar Green Building Council.
QGBC, BRE and Kaharamaa will establish a scientific partnership committee for the project to ensure that the highest scientific standards are applied to all experimental work and that key scientific findings from the project are disseminated widely. Organisations that have already committed their involvement in the project as Scientific Partners include Texas A&M University at Qatar, Siemens, AECOM, Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), and EPS Qatar.
Driven by the commitment of BRE and QGBC to providing solutions for more sustainable development in Qatar and the region, the project aims to demonstrate the benefits of a Passivhaus design by building a Passivhaus villa and a conventional villa side by side and comparing their energy usage and environmental footprint. The conventional villa will be built to one-star rating of the home-grown Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS), while the country's first Passivhaus - similar to 25,000 other Passivhaus buildings around the world - will bear all the comforts of modern dwelling and consume at least 50% less energy, water and operational carbon dioxide, with the significantly reduced environmental footprint expected to payback the additional 15-20% construction cost over the lifecycle of ""Baytna.""
Both of the 225sqm villas will undergo a testing and commissioning period of six months and eventually be occupied by similarly-sized families, with at least one child, where further monitoring will take place for one year, as a real life demonstration of environmental principles in practice. The two families are expected to move into the three-bedroom demos by mid-2013. At a later stage, the project will ultimately be handed over to Kahramaa.
Originating in Germany, the Passivhaus concept has been widely adopted in Scandinavia, Northern, Central and North West Europe. Whilst the basic principles of designing and building a Passivhaus"