Qatar University’s (QU) new College of Education building won an Award of Merit in the Education/Research category at the Engineering News – Record (ENR) 2021 Global Best Projects Awards. A statement from QU on Thursday explained that the prestigious competition is dedicated to honouring the best international construction projects from 21 different countries on six continents.
The new building, which was completed in April 2021, was designed as a student-centred environment in which life-long learning, teaching, and community partnerships are fostered. It can accommodate up to 2,500 students, as well as 200 academic and administrative staff. The new building fulfills QU’s ambition to improve the education system in Qatar and become one of the leading educational institutions in the region.
Spanning 59,000sqm of built-up area and located at the centre of QU’s campus, the building serves as a model of sustainable development, having been built to 4-Star design and construction standards by Qatar’s Global Sustainability Assessment System (GSAS). QU appointed Khatib & Alami as the main consultant of the design and construction supervision of the project, and Boom general contractor as the contractor.
The building brought together a multidisciplinary and multicultural team working remotely across different time zones with a shared vision to create an inspirational learning environment.
Key components include basement for staff parking, services, building utilities, and training and support rooms. The basement floor is dedicated for staff parking and accommodate all building services.
The ground floor comprises features student lounges, eateries, clinic, and multipurpose halls, and administration staff offices.
Floors one and two house conference halls, 36 classrooms, computer training/science laboratories, virtual I-cube and e-learning, in addition to media amenities, broadcasting studio, technical support facilities, and art labs. It also has an auditorium with a capacity of 356 standard seats and provision for people with disabilities.
The third floor comprises two libraries (one for males and one for females) in addition to a dean’s office and his/her assistants, research facilities, post-graduation cubicles and libraries with several meeting/group rooms, computer stations, and comfortable reading areas. The fourth floor caters to administrative and over 200 academic staff offices and support amenities, designed with a continuous terrace over the building perimeter.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic during the time of its construction, the project was completed on schedule, thanks to stringent preventive measures on-site and a fast-track vaccination programme.
The project was among the first in Qatar to restart site activities following the lockdown and was able to creatively overcome import delays by using locally available materials with similar specifications.