The Eco-House in Aqaba, Jordan

Tareq Emtairah built this eco-house to prove that energy efficient buildings aren’t always prohibitively expensive. Jordan’s Prince Hassan does not shoulder his environmental concerns alone, nor is the Red-Dead canal project the singular answer to Jordan’s worries.  In 2005, Tareq Emtairah, a consultant with the International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics at Lund University in […]


Qatar's Green Building Council Rallies Community Leaders

Qatar’s Green Building Council (QGBC) founder and chairman Eng. Issa M. Al Mohannadi will speak at the “Planet and Profit in Partnership” on April 11, 2010, another in a series of conferences that teach Qatari leaders about sustainable building practices. It remains to be seen whether Qataris will pursue development projects like Urjuan that pay […]


Architect Cameron Sinclair Gives a Damn

With a mantra to “design like you give a damn,” Sinclair has transformed thousands of lives. Whether to save governments billions of dollars in mutual conservation efforts or to share information about the harmful effects of meat, great things happen when people get together to achieve a common good.  Few people know this better than […]


The Story Behind Jerusalem's Royal Rock

The demand for Jerusalem stone comes with a social and environmental cost We have applauded Jerusalem’s living building, and we have drooled over delicious vegan dishes offered by Eucalyptus Restaurant in the Khutzot HaYotzer artist’s quarter.  But nothing defines the city’s visual character more definitively than the prolific presence of Jerusalem stone.


Re-Assessing Masdar City

Is Masdar City a beacon for Middle Eastern development? It may take another 10 years to find out. We have been skeptical of Masdar City and Foster+Partners, the architects responsible for the emergent eco-city’s design, but BBC reporter Tom Reap’s recent article paints a compelling portrait of this dubious venture.  Although projected building costs are […]


What's Sustainable about Masdar's Foster+Partners?

Foster+Partners, architect firm, claim projects like Masdar City are sustainable. Are they? Meet Foster + Partners: one thousand employees work in their twenty-two offices scattered around the world.  Their employees hail from 50 nations, which diversity they say leads to “creativity, innovation, and motivation.”  They are the people behind projects such as Masdar City that […]


Is Urjuan a Wise Expenditure of Qatar's Oil and Gas Wealth?

The Urjuan City Development is a Symbol of Qatar’s Rapid Economic Growth In February we wrote about the memorandum signed by Qatar and Iran, which solidifies their mutual commitment to preserve the environment.   We also wrote about an exciting conservation effort to protect Qatar’s animal and plant populations.  With the third highest natural gas reserve […]


Dubai-based Timelinks Designs Modern Ziggurat

Is it really sensible to squish one million people into this self-sustaining city/building? Like many of Dubai’s projects The World, which will exacerbate shoreline erosion and habitat loss, and Burj Dabai, reputedly the world’s tallest building, are flashy and expensive.  They are also divorced from the United Arab Emirates’ environmental hazards such as scant freshwater […]


Selçuklu Evi Eco-ish Boutique Hotel in Turkey

From a heritage building in the historic region of Cappadocia, Turkey, this hotel works with local crafts and craftsmen. It is important to apply eco-friendly labeling carefully.  This is especially true of the tourism industry that is often guilty of green-washing potential patrons to lure them to their site.  We have written about eco-lodges such […]


Bring Moshe Safdie’s Green Building to the Middle East

Moshe Safdie’s Habitat ’67 designed for Montreal World Fair a model of sustainable living. Image via Wikipedia. Sustainable building is gaining some speed in the Middle East, but at a pace that is powerless against escalating climate damage.  The Gutman Visitation Center’s Living Building in Jerusalem and Qatar’s LEED certified convention center offer good examples […]