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20 January, 2010

VCUQatars Director of Facilities the First Licensed BREEAM Assessor in the country

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar's Director of Facilities, Noel Knille, has become the first registered BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) International Assessor in Qatar and will be the first licensed BREEAM Assessor in the country.

BREEAM is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings worldwide. It is the pre-cursor to the US based LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building certification. The process to become a BREEAM Registered Assessor consists of a three day training program at BREGlobal's Headquarters in London, a written exam at the completion of the training program and a three month long series of written assessments that must be reviewed and "passed" by BREGlobal. The International Registered Assessor qualification enables the registered assessor to perform environmental assessments on buildings throughout the world to determine the level of each building's environmental performance.

It is intended that the new VCUQatar expansion will be assessed both through BREEAM and LEED to determine the buildings environmental performance and related rating. BREEAM has the advantage of havingbuilding assessment guidelines written specifically for different environmental areas and building types. The assessment guidelinesfor the Gulf region, known as BREEAM Gulf,takes into account the unique and challenging aspects of building environmental performance within the Gulf region'sharsh environmental conditions.

"I am very pleased to have passed the arduous assessment process to obtain this registration," said Ms. Knille. "Not only doI intend to use this qualification to assess our Expansion Project, but I also hope to provide instruction to students and the community in any way possible about building sustainability. Increasing and broadening sustainability efforts is one of VCU's significant strategic goals as a university and the Qatar campus has unique challenges that need to be addressed in creative ways to make progress toward this goal. I hope to be able to contribute."

Prior to joining VCUQatar in September 2008, Ms Knille worked as the Acting Executive Director of Facilities and Director of Planning and Design for Charles Sturt University, a multi-campus university throughout inland New South Wales, Australia. Prior to this position, Ms Knille was the Vice Presidentof Facilities at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell, New Mexico. Ms Knille is an architect and a landscape licensed in the State of New York with over 25 years experience in architectural design for education and in facilities management for institutions. She has a BA from Vassar College and has just completed her thesis for her MPA (Master's in Public Administration) from the University of New Mexico.

VCUQatar is also pleased to announce that Brett Kearney, Assistant Professor of Interior Design, passed his LEED AP examination in July 2009 and is a certified LEED AP. It is hoped that having both a BREEAM Registered International Assessor andLEED Accredited Professional on staff will enhance the VCUQatar students' on-going learningabout sustainability.