During 2009, CSBE continued working on its existing projects, particularly IDARA, the graywater book, and the MED-ENEC sustainable house in Aqaba. The Graywater Book -completed in 2009 and due to be published in January 2010 - will be CSBE’s fourth published book, and the first to be published by a third-party publisher, rather than under the CSBE imprint. CSBE also completed the second cycle of the Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design, which this year was expanded to cover all universities in the Arab World instead of only ones in Jordan. Regarding staff, our Associate Director, Lara Zureikat, returned from her research fellowship at Harvard University, and Dalia al-Husseini left CSBE to pursue a career in the United States. No new engagements were commissioned in 2009.
Instituting Water Demand Management in Jordan (IDARA)
CSBE continued its participation in IDARA, the four-year United States Agency for International Development (USAID) project that is being carried out in association with the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to implement a program on water demand management in Jordan. CSBE completed its municipal training program on water-conserving park design, with the last two courses held in Balqa/Madaba and Aqaba/Ma’an. CSBE also began offering technical assistance to a number of municipal and private parks to improve their water efficiency. CSBE worked with municipal parks in Karak, Manshiet Bani Hassan, and Husseiniyyeh. It also provided technical assistance for carrying out park designs to the Friends of the Earth Middle East (FOEME) and The Jordan Water Company - Miyahuna, and for carrying out a roof garden design for the local community-development NGO Ruwwad. In addition, CSBE assisted the Greater Amman Municipality with managing its tree nursery. In this context, CSBE developed a Best Management Practice (BMP) guide in both Arabic and English on water efficiency for public parks.
In conjunction with experts from the University of Arizona in Tucson, CSBE developed a course module on water-conserving landscapes for an architecture course at the German-Jordanian University, and also for an agricultural engineering course at the University of Jordan. Finally, under this contract, initial preparations were made for an architectural design competition for an affordable water- and energy-efficient apartment building in Amman, which will be implemented in 2010.
CSBE continued to provide information dissemination assistance for the energy-efficient demonstration house constructed in Aqaba, as part of the European Union-funded MED-ENEC program. The house was completed in 2009, and an opening ceremony was held in June, under the patronage of the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA). CSBE produced the educational display material for the opening ceremony and for general distribution. Leveraging off this project, CSBE also developed and designed a brochure on approaches to realizing higher levels of energy-sustainability in buildings. A print version of the brochure has been distributed widely, and a digital version is available on the CSBE website, in English and in Arabic. This contract came to an end in 2009, but the house is now open for viewing in Aqaba as a demonstration house.
CSBE was supported by the Canadian International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) to publish a book based on a workshop that CSBE and IDRC organized in Aqaba in 2007 on graywater reuse. During 2009, the papers were received and edited, and other chapters of the book were developed. The final manuscript was accepted by the United Kingdom-based publishers, Practical Action Publishing, and is due to be printed and published early in 2010. The book is co-edited by CSBE director Stephen McIlwaine and Mark Redwood of IDRC. This project closed at the end of 2009.
The Omrania | CSBE Student Award for Excellence in Architectural Design
In 2008, CSBE initiated an award for Jordanian architectural graduation projects in conjunction with the regional architectural and engineering firm Omrania and Associates. In 2009, the Award’s reach was expanded to include graduation projects from universities throughout the Arab world. Sixty-six entries were received from ten countries. An independent three-member jury assessed the submitted projects and selected the winning entries, which were announced at the Award ceremony and exhibition held at the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts in October 2009. The Aga Khan Award for Architecture kindly supported the participation of one of the jury members. The jury awarded three prizes to entries from Jordan, Kuwait, and Lebanon, and two honorable mentions to entries from the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. The Award has received considerable coverage in a variety of online and print publications. Extensive documentation of the Award is available on the CSBE web site.
Children’s Museum Botanic Garden
During 2009, CSBE completed designs for an educational botanic garden at the Children’s Museum in the King Hussein Park in Amman. The financing required to install this design unfortunately did not materialize, and the implementation phase of the work has been placed on hold.
Jabal Qala’a Park Design Project
CSBE was invited by Hamzet Wasl – a Jordanian NGO with a focus on urban social improvement – to assist with developing a community-based children’s park in the Jabal Qala’a neighborhood. This involved a series of workshops and charettes with the neighborhood children in order to come up with a children-led park design, which includes water-conserving elements. This project is ongoing.
Engagement with the Jordanian A/E Business Council
CSBE continued its engagement with the A/E Business Council, with Stephen McIlwaine continuing as a member of the Green Building Unit. CSBE also prepared and delivered a workshop session on sustainable park design at an A/E Council event on sustainable design.
CSBE’s associate director, Lara Zureikat, returned from a six-month research fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where she explored issues of urbanism in relation to Amman.
Dalia al-Husseini completed her work with CSBE on the IDARA project, and stepped down from CSBE in order to pursue a career outside Jordan.
CSBE’s main source of income for 2009 remained the IDARA project. The total income, however, was not sufficient to cover CSBE’s expenses, which included implementing the Omrania | CSBE Student Award as well as the update and maintenance of the CSBE web site.
CSBE continues to function on a limited budget. Its operating expenses for 2009 amounted to about 125,000 JD while revenues amounted to about 108,500 JD. The resulting deficit of 16,500 JD was covered from previous-year surpluses (note: 1 JD = 1.41 USD).
Obeidat and Freihat Attorneys & Counsellors at Law continued to provide legal counselling to CSBE on a pro bono basis. Also, Mohammad al-Asad continued to offer a considerable amount of unpaid work to CSBE in the capacity of Senior Advisor. CSBE is grateful for their support.
Finally, a special thank you is due to the CSBE staff and to the members of the board of directors for all the efforts they made in making 2009 a successful year for CSBE.