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Upgraded LEED V4 Version Demands Energy and Water Meters

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building standard devised by the United States Green Building Council often comes under fire for being insufficiently rigorous – particularly for large commercial buildings. Now a new version  – LEED v4 – has been established. Taking effect in November, 2013, LEED v4 incorporates four new standards designed to improve […]

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Qatar’s First Passivhaus on Track for 2013 Completion

A host of private and government organizations in Qatar have teamed up to build the emirate’s first Passivhaus – one of the world’s most sustainable design certification systems with origins in Germany. Better yet, the solar array that will generate an annual 58,000 kilowatt hours of electricity to power the home will be provided by […]

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Largest LEED Platinum Government Building Opens in Dubai

A Dubai neighborhood that is undergoing a dedicated urban densification plan, Al Quoz may have recently welcomed the first “largest LEED Platinum Government Building,” but it won’t be the last to claim this distinction. “Sustainable Building” is the new 340, 000 square foot headquarters for a branch of the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) and […]

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Gaza’s Only Five Star Hotel Was Built With Adobe Bricks

It requires a rollout of the imagination to envision among Gaza’s ruins a five star hotel, especially one that is made with adobe brick. Designed by the Palestinian architect Rashid Abdelhamid, who was born and trained in Algeria, the 22 room Aldeira Hotel features domed ceilings and arches and a resplendent earth-toned facade. Located astride […]

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Bahrain’s Temporary Market 338 Beats Out Glitzy Shopping Malls

Despite the many stereotypes about residents of Gulf countries, many people prefer creative, sustainable boutiques to shopping in big glitzy malls, though their options are typically fairly limited. Which might explain why Bahrain’s Market 338 has become such a popular destination. Inaugurated by Al Riwaq Art Space, the temporary souq in Manama’s Adliya district started with […]

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Fruitful Fusion “Trochets” Bean Bags from Trash

Concerned to reconnect hands and minds and make a worthwhile environmental impact, a few women from Saudi Arabia are crocheting recycled plastic bags into colorful bean bags and other quality crafts. The founder of Ateeq, which is Arabic for vintage, Diane Rayyan teamed up with crochet master Ishrat Khawja to hold a two day “trocheting” […]

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Sustainable Tunisian Crafts by Matali Crasset

When we first wrote about the boutique Dar HI Hotel in Nefta, Tunisia, Ben Ali was still in power, and Tunisia was one of the Middle East and North African region’s most egalitarian Arab countries. So much has changed since the Jasmine Revolution, leaving both the population and their natural environment more vulnerable than ever […]

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650 Handcrafted Oak Pieces Went Into This Fine Mashrabiya Table

Mashrabiya screens are a common element in Middle Eastern architecture and yet few people outside the design world realize how much work goes into making them. In order to unveil the extraordinary care and patience that goes into each handcrafted screen, Beirut-based Carwan, the Middle East’s first popup art gallery, commissioned mischer’traxler to design the Mashrabiya […]

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10 Tips To Green Your School Year

Summer’s in its last laps: a new school year’s looming.  Green up the school day with 10 easy tips Wherever you live around the world, it’s probably time to start the school year at the end of the summer. Here are some tips to pass on to parents with kids. They’re also good for high-school […]

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Win a Climate Change Summer Camp in Jordan

A free, week-long summer camp on climate change at the end of the summer, in Jordan. Apply now! The Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung Foundation (HBS) in Ramallah, along with their Beirut and Tunis offices, hosts their Second Regional Summer School. This year they’re tackling two aspects of climate strategies specific to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) : the […]

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Deluxe Iranian Residential Complex is Built Around the Trees

This building is located in Niavaran, Tehran – a district in the northern foothills. The climate in this area is completely different than the south and center of Tehran because of the nearby Alborz Mountains. Unfortunately, many old gardens in the area have been destroyed by urbanization projects over the last century. But Mohammed Reza Nikbahkt took a […]

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Middle East Fashion – 5 Green Spots for a Summer Fix

Let’s face it, eco-friendly clothing is hard to come by in the Middle East. Desire to own the top brand names at whatever financial cost often trumps planetary-consciousness, so there’s little incentive for designers to go green. But for those who still want to look their best without hurting the earth, there is light at […]