The Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) is the premier integrated performance-based system in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, aimed at evaluating and classifying buildings and infrastructure based on their sustainability impact. Established in 2007 by the Gulf Organization for Research and Development (GORD), it was developed in collaboration with leading institutions, including the TC Chan Center at the University of Pennsylvania and the Georgia Tech Research Institute School of Architecture.

The GSAS criteria assess energy and water consumption of buildings and indoor performance, contributing to enhancing the overall quality, maintenance requirements, and longevity of the building. The fundamental philosophy of GSAS is to create sustainable housing that reduces ecological impact and caters to specific social and cultural needs.

The main objective of GSAS is to create and promote a sustainable built environment through a three-pronged approach that focuses on environmental protection, resource conservation, and improvement of human well-being, while also considering specific needs and concerns.

The GSAS framework seeks to deliver on its sustainability commitments by providing better living conditions, reducing resource depletion and consumption, and mitigating environmental degradation resulting from rapid urbanization. Developed after extensive research, the GSAS framework offers concrete solutions for projects to attain sustainability excellence, meeting the sustainability demands of the modern world

The GSAS-D&B evaluation criteria are structured into eight distinct categories, each evaluating a different aspect of the project's environmental impact. These categories are further divided into specific criteria that measure and articulate each subject area.

To obtain GSAS-D&B certification, all eight categories must be rated and evaluated. These categories include Energy, Water, and other criteria outlined in the Qatar Construction Specification “QCS.”

However, in the event that a project fails to meet the GSAS criteria, certification will not be granted. This may occur if the cumulative score of the project falls below zero, or if the project receives a score of -1 in either the Energy or Water categories.

Upon successful completion of the project, the GSAS D&B Certification will be awarded. Additionally, upon request, the project may receive a Plaque of Commendation indicating compliance with GSAS assessments and the GSAS Star rating achieved through the successful completion of the GSAS D&B certification requirements.

The Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) adopts a multi-dimensional approach to sustainability by addressing eight key categories at both the macro and micro levels. These categories include:

  1. Urban Connectivity: GSAS evaluates the impact of zoning and transport networks on sustainability.

  2. Site: GSAS takes into consideration land conservation or improvement, site selection planning, and development practices to ensure sustainable outcomes.

  3. Energy: GSAS assesses the energy needs of buildings, including energy efficiency and the use of fossil energy.

  4. Water: GSAS evaluates water consumption and its impact on municipal water supply and treatment systems.

  5. Material: GSAS considers material handling, production, distribution, use, reuse, and disposal practices to promote sustainable outcomes.

  6. Indoor Environment: GSAS assesses indoor environmental quality, including thermal comfort, air quality, acoustic quality, and light quality.

  7. Cultural and Economic Values: GSAS recognizes the importance of preserving culture and supporting the country's economy for sustainable outcomes.

  8. Management and Operations: GSAS evaluates the management and operations of buildings to ensure sustainability is integrated into daily operations.

The GSAS Weights represent the significance of each criterion, expressed as a percentage, which is assigned by the GSAS Trust after a thorough analysis using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). The total weight of each category is determined by summing the weights of all criteria within that category.

The GSAS Levels denote the level of compliance with the criteria's requirements and range from a minimum of -1 to a maximum of 3. The level is approved by the GSAS Trust following a benchmarking verification process.

The GSAS Points are derived by multiplying the percent weight by the criterion level and represent a numerical value score for each criterion. This score is calculated automatically using the GSAS scoring chart provided by the GSAS Trust and is used to determine the overall project score.

The GSAS Ratings reflect the success of the project and are obtained by aggregating the individual scores of all criteria. Each certificate type has its own rating terminology, with GSAS Design & Build having six ratings based on stars (ranging from 1 to 6), GSAS Construction Management having five ratings (with Class D as the lowest and Class A as the highest), and GSAS Operations having five ratings (with Bronze as the lowest and Diamond as the highest)

The Green Building Standard and Assessment Scheme (GSAS) offers three certifications to evaluate the sustainability performance of development projects throughout all phases including Design, Construction, and Operation. The certification programs offered by GSAS are as follows:

  1. GSAS Design and Construction Certificate (GSAS-D&B)
  2. GSAS Construction Management Certificate (GSAS-CM)
  3. GSAS Operation Certificate (GSAS-OP)

The GSAS Trust serves as the certifying authority and issues the certification to the development in recognition of the project's compliance with the specified requirements of the relevant GSAS certification scheme. The GSAS Trust manages the evaluation and certification process to ensure the project meets the sustainability standards set forth by GSAS

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