The built environment has a direct impact on Qatar's natural environment, the economy and human health. Qatar is the largest consumer of energy per capita in the world, the fourth country in the world that produces less water from freshwater resources and so relies essentially on desalination for domestic water supplies.

Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) is a performance-based sustainability rating system which aims to create a sustainable urban environment that reduce environmental impacts while satisfying local community needs. In addition to addressing all locally relevant aspects of sustainability, ecological impact, and green building design criteria, QSAS developed a standalone building energy standard to support Qatar's building energy ratings.

Local authorities in Qatar will incorporate QSAS component and framework encouraging all the government buildings to achieve a QSAS rating of 3 stars besides the official incorporation of many QSAS criteria into mandatory Qatar construction standards 2010. Furthermore, a revolution in the field of sustainability assessment is the QSAS sports component; for the first time in the world an assessment system is developed tailored to the rating of all indoor and outdoor sporting venues.

QSAS adopted the EPC CEN standard and EPC approach for the Qatar energy code development and some normative parameters used in CEN standards were changed for the use in the Qatar local environment. It complies with the global trend towards performance-based code; using standardised normative calculation methods. The simplified calculation is preferred as it requires less input data, no deep simulation expertise and leads to transparent readily understandable calculations.

The performance based approach has been shown to lead several cycles; i) innovation which driven by current minimum energy performance at the time; followed by ii) wide market implementation driven by the adoption of the novel technology procedures; followed by more stringent minimum requirements, taking into account the improved cost-benefit ratio of novel energy saving technologies.

QSAS building energy rating standard has three levels of assessment. The building's thermal behaviour, technical systems and primary energy source have all been taken into consideration by these three levels.


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  • Received: 05 February 2012
  • Accepted: 13 March 2012
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