Real Estate & Construction

How Grand!

Lusail City

Qatar’s meteoric rise and economic development are encapsulated in a massive $45 billion, 38sqkm, self-enclosed real estate development entitled Lusail City. This massive development, championed by Lusail Real Estate Development […]

Qatar’s meteoric rise and economic development are encapsulated in a massive $45 billion, 38sqkm, self-enclosed real estate development entitled Lusail City. This massive development, championed by Lusail Real Estate Development Company (LREDC), which is underneath the Qatari governmental real estate developer Qatari Diar, is considered one of the world’s single most visionary developments and the company is aiming to distinguish itself as the “conscience of sustainable development.“ Lusail City includes four exclusive islands and 19 multi-purpose, residential, mixed-use entertainment and commercial districts. The city can accommodate 200,000 residents and 170,000 employees, and is expecting over 80,000 visitors. The total estimated capacity will eventually reach 450,000 people. However, with such grandiose plans in the works, there are many concerns with the environmental impact of such a project. As such, Lusail City has undergone meticulous planning in alignment with the Qatar National Vision 2030 in order to ensure this massive real estate investment project not only contributes to the economy, but does so in an environmentally friendly way.

Lusail City covers a large amount of land on the Qatari peninsula and, similarly, is positioned right up against the coastline and in its planning has selected a variety of eco-friendly alternatives in its scheme. Intrinsic to its design, Lusail City will utilize open areas in more than 17% of the total land area of the city. As such, in order to facilitate water conversation efforts, Lusail City will employ specialized water sensitive landscapes that not only seek to minimize water consumption, but also focus on the preservation of species endemic to Qatar. Furthermore, the landscape strategy of the city will encourage the use of native vegetation, which should constitute approximately 40% of the total vegetation used. Also challenging is Lusail City’s planned 27km coastline, which could potentially create a negative environmental impact not only on the coast’s animal life, but also on the soil quality. As such, Lusail City will be adding in not only a stone revetment wall, but also a concrete retention wall with stepped, beached, and terraced walls to create a new marine environment. The net impact will function as an artificial reef and by building green areas along the waterfront will act as a trap for windblown sand and dust coming from the north. Considering its large scale and necessity for transportation alternatives, Lusail City plans to implement many environmentally friendly systems. First and perhaps most impactful is the Lusail City Light Rail, currently being developed by Qatar Rail. This rail system will have 38 stations across the 38 sqkm development to incerconnect the 19 districts. Similarly, in order to fully realize the potential of the light rail, Lusail City is implementing the park and ride strategy in order to ease the transference of vehicle traffic toward the rail network. Furthermore, Lusail City aims to implement over 67km of interconnected cycling and pedestrian routes to get people out of their cars.

Lusail City was the first real estate development to endorse the Gulf Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS) principles and will rate all buildings within the development upon their sustainability and performance. The current minimum star rating for any building in Lusail City is a two-star GSAS rating. These ratings hinge on multiple factors which include reducing the loadings on the urban environment, mitigating environmental impacts, reducing the energy demand on buildings, lowering water demand, reducing environmental impact due to building material use, improving the buildings’ internal air quality, and encouraging the buildings’ design to be consistent with Qatari heritage and culture. On top of this, Lusail City has introduced a unique scheme to encourage private developers to achieve a higher GSAS rating of up to 5. As a whole, Lusail City’s design and implementation have underscored the importance that Qatari authorities have placed on sustainable development and environmental awareness. Despite its grandiose plans and world-leading real estate opportunity, the design of Lusail City aims to minimize the environmental impacts through choosing ecofriendly alternatives to its vegetation choices, green transportation choices, and also implementing a building code rating system aimed at reducing environmental impact.

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