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Qatar's green buildings

Rising temperatures are countered with sustainable building projects

Msheireb Museum buildings with trees, image by EQ Roy/
Msheireb Museum

Doha aims to become 'one of the largest sustainable cities in the world'. The Msheireb district project in downtown Doha was started eight years ago and this spring the first residents will move into the planned city.

Doha is the capital city of the gulf state of Qatar on the Arabian peninsula. Here the temperatures can rise above 45 degrees Celsius, which is 113 degrees Fahrenheit.

Qatar tries to combat climate change and rising temperatures with new building techniques and lowering carbon dioxide emissions. In the new Msheireb district more than 100 new buildings are under construction.

The building of the Msheireb district will house apartments, hotels and offices as well as a shopping mall and a primary school. All these buildings will use rainwater harvesting systems and have underground waste collection stations.

The buildings will also spot solar panels and solar water heaters and there will be shade overhangs on the sidewalks. The water from the condensation of air conditioning systems will be collected in basement tanks, then the water will be reused for irrigation and to flush toilets.

Msheireb developers hope their project could show how Qatar - and the rest of the Middle East - could cut emissions to help hold the line on climate change, in part by using fewer fossil fuels and less water.

The project is part of Qatar's 'National Vision 2030' plan. Within the next ten years, Qatar intends to reduce the country's energy consumption and carbon footprint.

In the Msheireb project, taller buildings have been placed to throw shade on other buildings and also 'tunnels of air' have been introduced to channel the wind between the buildings. However, the project also is criticised for a lack of enough green roof space which would help to cool down buildings and there are not enough green park areas in the district.

Meanwhile Lusail, a new city being built 23km north of Doha receives more praise. The city that houses one of the soccer world cup stadiums, also has a light rail system and water-saving irrigation systems are being put in place.

Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup in November/December 2022. Read our Qatar Facts for Kids here.

source: Reuters

image: EQ Roy/


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