Qatar’s Barwa & Qatari Diar Research Institute has introduced the the country’s first performance-based green building rating system.

Designed specifically for Qatar, the Qatar Sustainability Assessment System (QSAS) will place special emphasis on Qatar’s most pressing issues which include desertification, water scarcity and the promotion of cultural identity, the institute says.

QSAS combines 140 building sustainability assessment mechanisms and is divided into eight categories including urban connectivity, site, energy, water, materials, indoor environment, cultural and economic value and management and operations.

Each category of the system will measure a different aspect of a project’s environmental impact. Each category is broken down into specific criteria that measure and define individual issues. A score is then awarded for each category on the basis of the degree of compliance.

In early 2010, the institute named the first phase of the giant Barwa City project as the region’s first QSAS-rated scheme. The first phase of the project comprises 128 low-rise apartment buildings, each of which qualifies for QSAS certification. With 128 registered buildings, QSAS automatically becomes one of the GCC’s most active sustainability monitors.