The MEED List: Gulf green buildings

18 September 2009

Six key figures driving environmental sustainability in Gulf construction are: Issa al-Mohannadi, Abdel Khan, Sadek Owainati, Mario Seneviratne, Tim Armstrong and Jeffrey Willis

Issa al-Mohannadi

Position: Founder and chairman, Qatar Green Building Council

Biography: Issa al-Mohannadi is the founder and chairman of the Qatar Green Building Council (QGBC), an independent non-profit organisation committed to developing a sustainable property industry for Qatar. Set up in July, QGBC aims to develop a definitive set of green building best-practice guidelines, as well as to support research and development in this field. It also offers training programmes for designers, planners and developers. Al-Mohannadi is also chief executive officer of Dohaland, a real estate developer that seeks to conserve and protect the local environment. Under Al-Mohannadi’s guidance, Dohaland’s ‘Heart of Doha’ project is being developed in compliance with the Green Building Council’s best-practice guidelines. Al-Mohannadi holds a bachelor of science degree from Texas A&M University, and a master’s degree from George Washington University.

Contact Tel: (+974) 454 8251

Abdel Khan

Position: Sustainability consultant, Faithful & Gould

Biography: Abdel Khan is a sustainability consultant at Faithful & Gould, one of the world’s largest project and cost management consultants. Since joining the company in September 2008, he has spearheaded its strategy of sustainable development in the Middle East. Khan has extensive experience in building engineering services, with an emphasis on energy management and renewable energy integration. Other areas of expertise include sustainability strategy, carbon footprinting and life-cycle assessments. Khan is accredited by the US Green Building Council to assess buildings according to its Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (Leed) standards, and is responsible for managing green building assessments for clients across the Middle East. Khan holds a master’s degree in engineering for sustainable development from Cambridge University.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4405 9100

Sadek Owainati

Position: Founder, Emirates Green Building Council

Biography: Sadek Owainati is an independent engineering consultant with 42 years’ experience in various fields of the construction industry worldwide. He is an active supporter of green building movements in the Middle East and promotes the transformation of developments to achieve sustainability goals. Owainati’s concern for the environment has developed since the 1980s when he worked for 11 years in the oil industry, as head of projects at Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company. Owainati is one of the founders and a board member of Emirates Green Building Council, a non-profit organisation established in the UAE in July 2006 to promote green building principles. He was elected as its founding vice-chairman and subsequently served as its chairman from April 2007 to July 2008.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4331 7127

Mario Seneviratne

Position: Director, Green Technologies

Biography: Mario Seneviratne set up Mario Associates Engineering Consultants in 1992  in Dubai as a company primarily providing mechanical and electrical engineering services to local clients. The company was subsequently relaunched in the emirate as Green Technologies in 2004. Seneviratne is one of the founders of the Emirates Green Building Council and continues to serve as a secretary on the board. He is also a member of the US’ Leed faculty in the region. Seneviratne is actively involved in the development of the region’s green buildings and was responsible for overseeing the first Leed-approved green building in the Middle East, the Wafi City district cooling plant, the first phase of which was completed in late 2006. Green Technologies offers consultancy and advisory services to clients on Leed, sustainable development, mechanical and electrical engineering and project management.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4299 7764

Tim Armstrong

Position: Technical director, WSP Middle East.

Biography: Tim Armstrong is technical director of WSP Middle East, the regional office of a UK-headquartered business that specialises in providing design, engineering and management consultancy services to property, transport and environmental projects. Armstrong has extensive experience in sustainability practices, green buildings and energy management, both as a practitioner and a consulting adviser. He is project director of the Green Building Project, which is developing a set of new green building regulations for Dubai Municipality and Dubai Electricity & Water Authority. Armstrong has a strong interest in ensuring that all forms of energy and water are used in the most efficient and effective manner possible. He has been involved in the development of government regulations in the UAE to demand increased energy efficiency and sustainability in buildings.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4706 5111

Jeffrey Willis

Position: Sustainability Leader for the Gulf, Arup

Biography: Jeffrey Willis is sustainability leader for the Gulf at Arup, a UK-based firm providing engineering, design, planning, project management and consulting services for all aspects of the built environment. Willis has been working for Arup for 30 years at offices in Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. He is currently based in Dubai on his third posting to the Middle East, having previously been in Qatar from 1983-87, and Abu Dhabi from 1993-95. As a founding member of the Emirates Green Building Council and joint co-ordinator of its technical and awards committee, Willis is overseeing the formulation of its sustainable building rating system for use in the UAE. Willis is also a member of the advisory group for the Sustainable Design of the Built Environment programme at the British University in Dubai, and an associate member of the World Green Building Council’s tools and projects committee.

Contact Tel: (+971) 4501 3333

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