Establishment of Egyptian Green Building Council: In January 2009, a major step was taken by establishing the Egyptian Green Building Council (Egypt-GBC).
Membership in the Egypt-GBC consists of both national and international personalities including government ministers from Cabinet level agencies, officers from respected NGOs, prominent businessmen, seasoned labor leaders, and major contractors.
One of the objectives for establishing this council is to provide a mechanism to encourage building investors to adopt BEECs as well as other sections of existing codes that satisfy both energy efficiency and environmental conservation.
By focusing on new construction, the Egypt-GBC could use its leverage as a professional organization to educate and convince engineers, builders, contractors and owners about the benefits of green construction to the individual, to the community, to the nation and most significantly to the bottom line.
In this manner, green construction would be the desired goal for all new building projects and building energy efficiency codes would be the materials, tools and road map to achieve the desired goal.
In that sense, the primary motivation was to eliminate any stigma or clichéd perspectives associated with green construction and, instead, present green construction as a financially logical and appropriate course of action that integrates important global and national concerns to produce viable sustainable products that meet the short term and long term needs of people.
To improve the life of Egyptian People and Contribute to the Global Movement Towards Cleaner Environment and Renewable Energy through the adoption of Green Building Approach
As a second achievement for the Egypt-GBC, a proposal for building the first Eco-Village in Egypt was approved by the Minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Communities.
The Eco-Village will be constructed according to Green Principles, Green Building Regulations and the existing BEECs. Currently a site South of Cairo has been selected. The design and planning of the structure has been assigned to the HBRC. The motivation for Eco-Village is the understanding that Egypt faces a critical situation with its homeless population and that sustainable standards of living for this community may be beyond the scope of the current free market-driven economic system in Egypt.
At the same time, the increasing homeless population will have a direct effect on the economy, security and social solidarity of the nation. In that sense, the goal of the Eco-Villages national project is to provide a platform for sustainable technologies, systems, methodologies and techniques that will be used to develop safe communities where homeless citizens can regain their place in the Egyptian society, make positive contributions to their lives and indirectly improve the welfare of the nation.
Within this sustainable model, the proposed Eco-village is expected to deliver to its community members guaranteed health care, basic education, religious guidance, effective social assimilation, work training, and skill development, In return the community will produce food, energy, and the output of numerous cooperative enterprises. As a bonus, the participants experience the responsibility of property ownership and the benefits of self-sufficient communities and self-reliant individuals. The Venn diagram attempts to integrate ownership with production and consumption, where the intersection represents all that is used to sustain the local development.
Affordable Green Housing
In 2008, a major pilot project was entrusted to the HBRC to explore the possibility of introducing an energy efficient, environmentally friendly Housing System for low income families. The same group who initiated the GUPC was selected to lead the project. This group assured the council that BEEC would be integrated into the design and development of the New Housing Project, which would use energy efficient materials and support. As such, a primary criterion for the selection of a New System has been compliance with BEEC and the rating system under development.
Since the “new system” will be the backbone of numerous proposed large scale public developments, it will be relied upon to satisfy strict energy, social and aesthetic requirements. For this reason, it will act as a driver for private, government and individual construction. Not surprisingly, numerous product manufacturers have stepped forward to herald their products and numerous developers have stepped forward to define their visions of communities that utilize these systems. As a result, the exercise is bringing together architects, urban planners, engineers and manufacturers to forge a green vision that maximizes LEED certifications, satisfies building efficiencies requirements and lays the foundation for sustainable communities.
ICC HBRC Building Inspector Program: In 2004, a memorandum of understanding was been signed between the Ministry of Housing Utilities and Urban Communities (MHUUC) with both the International Code Council of the USA (ICC) and the International Accreditation Service (IAS) to develop a national program to train licensed Special Technical Inspectors.
The new program, modeled after ICC's training and certification programs in the U.S., begins with initial certification levels for structural concrete, fire protection, plumbing and mechanical inspection. This new collaboration will be coordinated with additional research and technical support from HBRC, with a goal if bringing technological innovation and insight from the laboratory to the job site. The demand for new green housing in Egypt is enormous, while the availability of competent technical professionals is limited.
For this reason, new general inspectors will be in great demand and will have a major role in enforcing BEECs and other established building codes as well as supporting the Green Building Rating System.
Development of the World Bank (WB) Report on Implementation of Building Energy Efficiency Code in Egypt: A comprehensive WB report is being developed that provide in-depth information on different aspects of building energy codes and environmentalissues related to the building industry in Egypt.
Publicity and Outreach: The following efforts were performed by the Egypt-GBC to spread the word on the council and to raise the awareness for green building approach:
- Several international conferences and workshops were held under the sponsorship of Egypt-GBC and HBRC under the auspices of government officials and high profile engineers, architects, contractors and media. For a complete overview of the events held and the ones are yet to be held in the upcoming period, please check our agenda of events.
- Numerous articles were written in the prime national newspapers and popular magazines as well as professional newsletter to provide information on the green building approach and encourage stakeholders to join the council.Several TV interviews were conducted to provide information to the general public on the green building movement in Egypt and worldwide.
- A trip to several countries by several members of the Egypt-GBC was completed including India, China, Indonesia and Emirates to visit several green building sites and meet with Green Building officers. The trip also include visits to several manufacturing plants to green building products and encourage these manufacturers to enter the Egyptian market through direct sale of initiating local plants.
- The First Productive, Low-cost & Environmentally friendly Village, [PLEV], Model in Egypt: Step towards Cleaner Environment, Efficient Energy Usage and Social Prosperity- [in progress].
- New Method to develop local and transfer international systems of construction suitable for the Egyptian environment.
- Producing new building materials for building units using Industrial Byproducts and Natural Materials satisfying the green building and sustainability concepts.