Jordan Society for Renewable Energy's Eco-House Education

JRES plans to make learning about renewable energy a reality for all citizens Though not everyone in Jordan has an eco-conscience, such as the local thieves who are scheming ways to divert water, the country’s conferences and other initiatives suggest that the environmental movement is finally gaining ground.  And the Jordanian Society for Renewable Energy […]


Gas Line Excavation Unearths 3,500 Year Old Cultic Vessels

Archeology is green: The Israel Antiquities Authority and archaeologists celebrate rare find of more than 100 intact vessels While conducting a standard excavation to prepare for Israel National Gas Lines Company’s northern gas line installation, the Israel Antiquities Authority discovered a “bottomless pit” of intact cultic vessels.  Layers of vessels that have been preserved for […]


Mr. Robert Upton's Philosophy of Planning and How It Applies to the Middle East

“How Do We Want to Live?” asks England’s Former Secretary-General of the Royal Town Planning Institute Robert Upton at an urban planning conference in Israel. Whereas Colombian planner Oscar Diaz (who we interviewed) was practical and sited specific planning examples at the recent anniversary conference at the Technion-Israel’s Institute of Technology,  England’s planner Mr. Robert Upton’s […]


Planning the Sustainable City: Lessons from Bogota, Colombia

Mr. Oscar Diaz Inspires Israeli Planners to Build For People, Not Cars. We promised to bring more news from the Technion-Israel’s Institute of Technology, where the Center for Urban and Regional Studies’ 40th anniversary conference was held yesterday, 3rd June 2010.  After brief greetings from representatives of The Center for Urban & Regional Studies, the […]


The Center For Urban & Regional Studies 40th Anniversary Conference

Oscar Edmundo Diaz and Robert Upton Are Expected to Share Urban Planning Pearls With Israel [image via Technion-Israel Institute of Technology] Before globalization,  ideas and technology ambled across the oceans and progress piddled along.  Now cooperation happens in seconds.  Microseconds even.  And though not all ideas are equally useful,  there’s no question that when great […]


Take Your Team To Lebanon's Ecovillage

Get Your Green On in The Dmit Valley Ecovillages are slowly sprouting in the Middle East.  There’s Kramim in Israel’s Negev Desert, as well as the well-known Kibbutz Lotan, and now the first of its kind in Lebanon.  Called simply EcoVillage, this project was grown from the ground by Karim al Khatib and a group […]


Ginger Dosier: When Architecture and Chemistry Mix

Dosier’s fearlessness of the science of construction sets her apart from her peers [image courtesy of flickr] We were so intrigued by Professor Ginger Dosier, the Architect at Sharjah University who grows bricks by combining sand, common bacteria, calcium chloride and urea, that we decided to dig deeper.  Some architects, like those at Geotectura, develop mindbending […]


UAE Prof. Ginger Dosier Grows Sand Bricks, Naturally

The Better Brick? Although kinks need to be worked out, applying microbiological principles to design could revolutionize building materials. This researcher says she’s found a way to “grow” bricks from sand and urine. Finally! Suzanne LaBarre of brings us a design worth writing home about. In the same tradition as Hassan Fathy and architects […]


Qatar Seeks to Solar Power the 2022 World Cup

Qatar Wants World Cup Action, but the Environmental Price May be Too High. This relatively obscure Middle Eastern country, slightly smaller than Connecticut, is putting itself on the map. Oil and gas revenue, according to the CIA factbook, comprises 50% of the nation’s GDP, but Qatar is diversifying its portfolio.  As part of its National […]


Rebuilding Abu Dhabi's Coral Reefs One Disc at a Time

How Many Discs Will Save Abu Dhabi’s Coral Reefs? We have a long history of worrying about the Middle East’s coral reefs.  These “rainforests of the sea” – so named because of their extraordinary biodiversity – are at risk of melting if CO2 levels continue to rise.  They also face relentless jeopardy from development projects […]


Durrat Al Bahrain Artificial Islands – "A Place Like No Other"

Too many artificial islands imperil endangered species, coral reefs, and humans too? If Bahrain’s endangered dugong and turtle populations had a voice, surely they would use it to cry out against the Durrat artificial islands.  The fishermen are shouting because they’re running out of fish.  Even members of parliament are grumbling that land reclamation renders […]


Calling all Young Architects and Grad Students to Join ECOWEEK 2010

Young Israeli and Palestinian Architects Are Invited to Join World Renowned Architects for a Week of Green Building  Lectures,  Site Visits, and Workshops. With cooperation from Friends of the Earth Middle East, Hebron Polytechnic, and the Porter School for Environmental Studies (among many others), the International Non-Profit Organization ECOWEEK has announced that from July 25th […]


Join The Wide World of WED on June 5th

For This Year’s World Environment Day, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Asks the World’s Citizens to Mobilize for Climate Action. [image via flickr] In the first few months of each year, we report on several special days and hours:  there’s World Water Day on March 22nd, Earth Hour on the last Saturday of March, […]


Geotectura's Visual Feast, Out of the Box

“The Sufi Order International (SOI) community desired to build an interspiritual temple called the ‘Universel’ at the Abode of the Message located in the Berkshire Mountains near New Lebanon, New York,” taken from Geotectura’s online literature. Although we previously covered their  Greenest Building in Israel, which is currently in the process of acquiring LEED certification, as […]


The Best of Buckminster Fuller 2010 Finalists

Image credit: © 2009 Farshid Assassi, Courtesy of BNIM Architects. The International Living Building Institute Offers an Earthier, more Holistic Building Standard.  The Omega Center for Sustainable Living (above) and the SF EcoCenter (below) are Potential Candidates for Certification. Twenty-three years ago, when then Chair of the United Nation’s World Commission on Environment and Development […]


Saudi Splurges for Shanghai Expo 2010

Despite its claim to promote sustainable urban development practices, the world’s largest, disposable Expo invites irony and criticism. The first ever world fair took place in 1851 at Prince Albert’s behest.  That fair was initiated to display participating nations’ industrial prowess.  The tradition continues with ever-increasing largesse, culminating in this year’s World Expo that officially […]


More Green Building Talk on TED: Catherine Mohr

By taking into account embodied energy, Catherine and her husband half the energy required to build their home. In her recent Ted talk, Catherine Mohr encourages us to look at the bigger picture when discussing and analyzing green stories.  Whether we weigh the benefits of a LEED certified project against the energy required to ship […]


AIA Names Saudi's KAUST In 2010 Top Green Projects

The king willed it – so it was built…Michael Arndt questions the ‘greenliness’ of KAUST, granted the US Green Building Council’s highest LEED certification possible. The American Institute of Architecture recently hailed The King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) as one of its top ten most environmentally responsible building designs.   This follows other […]


San Francisco's Sherith Israel To Become Seismic-Safe

Near The Dead Sea fault, can Israel’s home synagogues withstand the next big earthquake? The San Francisco Chronicle announced that the Sherith Israel synagogue, completed seven months before the 1906 earthquake that ravaged San Francisco, survived that earthquake with minor bruising. However, this “remnant of Israel” built for Jews who flocked to California during the […]