Towards a green economy: The Palestinian Engineers Association and UNDP launch the national green building guidelines
Ramallah – In an effort to create a healthier and more resource efficient models of construction, the Palestinian Engineers Association and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) launched the National Green Building Guidelines in partnership with the Palestinian Higher Green Building Council on 23 May 2013 in Ramallah.
The Green Building Guidelines will lay the foundations for a green building code and encourage the implementation of eco-sustainable infrastructure, using environmentally friendly materials and deploying renewable energies. It will also benefit the infrastructure sector in terms of improved architectural quality, reduced energy consumption, better quality of life, health and security.
Engineer Ahmad Edaily, Chairman of the Engineering Association Jerusa lem Centre highlighted that the Palestinian Engineers Association is promoting sustainable design and construction “I have a personal vision for our buildings to use energy and water far more efficiently,greatly reducing our carbon emissions, conserving our natural resources and helping property owners save substantial amounts of money” he added.
The new guidelines were developed over a two- year period in partnership with experts in sustainable development and the different disciplines of the construction industry. The Palestinian Engineers Association is also working with the Palestinian government on developing the Palestinian Green Building Code under the upcoming Palestinian Construction Code.
Environmental sustainability is a strategic priority for UNDP and through this project, UNDP is renewing its committed to green sustainable development, achieving the Millennium Development Goals and reducing poverty in the occupied Palestinian territory.
“We are fostering initiatives such as the establishment of new regulations enforcing green construction, introducing green buildings, and deploying renewable energy which will have valuable environmental, economic and social impact on the Palestinian society” said Frode Mauring, UNDP Special Representative of the Administrator.“ A green economy will ensure sustainable development and infrastructure resilience,”he added.
The occupied Palestinian territory suffers from a shortage of natural resources, particularly energy and water , and imports almost 100% of its energy consuption needs from israel and neighbouring countries. According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of statistics, almost 66% of households in the occupied Palestinian territory use solar energy for heating purposes.Therefore, the 59.3% increase in licenses issued for new buildings in 2012 Presents a huge potential for the application of eco-sustainable solutions.
Dania Darwish, Communications Specialist