Image – from left to right – Fahed Abu Jaber, Chairman of the Jordan Green Building Council, H.E Mr. Abbas Al-Maharmeh, Mayor of Sahab Municipality, and Ala’a Abdulla, Executive Director of the Jordan GBC, during the initial partnership launch in November 2019.
Sahab Municipality is located south east of the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with a population of just over 169,000 people. Sahab is a strategic industrial and commercial area and a key location on the main transport route between the port of Jordan in the southern city of Aqaba, and Saudi Arabia and Iraq to the East. This means that Sahab is suffering from environmental degradation, heavy pollution, and an increasing demand for buildings on its already struggling infrastructure and service provision.
To help tackle these increasing demands on Sahab’s built environment in a sustainable manner, the Sahab Municipality signed a partnership agreement with the Jordan Green Building Council (Jordan GBC) in November 2019 to join the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA) of which World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) is a partner. This global project aims to accelerate local government implementation and adoption of building efficiency policies and programmes, turning global expertise into action through public-private collaborations, with the goal of doubling the rate of energy efficiency improvement in the building sector by 2030.
The agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr. Abbas Al Maharmeh, the Mayor of Sahab and Eng. Fahed Abu Jaber, Chairman of the Jordan GBC, making Sahab the first Municipality in Jordan and the second in the Middle East after Dubai, United Arab Emirates, to join the project. A stakeholder workshop will be held in early June 2020 to prioritise energy efficiency in Sahab’s buildings as a preliminary action pre-developing the long-term action plan.
Following the COVID-19 outbreak and the nation-wide lockdown imposed by the Jordanian Government in mid-March 2020, Sahab Municipality witnessed a tremendous decrease in pollution, with many experiencing apparent ease in breathing. However Sahab found itself lacking any devices to track this apparent change in air quality.
Therefore, the Jordan GBC decided to further collaborate on a second project to tackle its air pollution crisis. Sahab Municipality joined the Plant a Sensor Campaign in May 2020, a global air quality campaign as part of WorldGBC’s Better Places for People (BPFP) project, dedicated to improving human health in the sustainable built environment. The campaign promotes a worldwide roll-out of air quality monitoring sensors to be placed inside and outside of buildings, where all air quality data will be made publicly available through the RESET Earth platform.
Plant A Sensor campaign partner, Tongdy, has kindly donated Air Quality Sensors to participating GBCs. One outdoor sensor has been installed on the outer perimeter of the Municipality building, which will collect air quality data under the Jordan GBC account on the RESET Earth platform.
This second collaboration was launched virtually in May 2020 in compliance to public safety instructions of COVID-19. The virtual meeting was attended by Mr. Mohammad Asfour, Head of the MENA and Africa Regional Networks of the WorldGBC, His Excellency Mr. Abbas Al-Maharmeh, Mayor of the Sahab Municipality, Eng. Fahed Abu Jaber, Chairman of the Jordan GBC, and Eng. Ala’a Abdulla, Executive Director of the Jordan GBC.
With the building sector responsible for 39% of energy related carbon emissions and 25% of air pollution worldwide, the two global project collaborations between Sahab Municipality and Jordan GBC has been a clear step towards the support of a sustainable built environment amongst local Jordanian governmental institutions. The Municipality aims to add to its achievements by improving energy efficiency, utilising generated data for further research, and stimulating policies and practices in the building sector, as well as tackling pollution from its industrial areas.
The two project objectives are hoped to facilitate a boost in awareness of the positive impact a sustainable built environment can have on human health. Hopefully this knowledge will empower action, and trigger necessary responses from citizens, the private sector and policy makers, therefore cultivating a new culture that will advance the city to become a green, sustainable and resilient city.
This blog was written by Sarah Haddad, Memberships and Outreach Officer, Jordan Green Building Council
Jordan GBC Website: http://jordangbc.org/ Twitter Handle: @JordanGBC